A note from our editors on this Activism edition of Et Cetera.

It wasn’t so straightforward settling on activism as the theme for this edition of Et Cetera.

Social justice warrior, slacktivism, clicktivism, haterade, ally… the rhetoric surrounding activism today feels more pejorative than supportive. From speaking to our peers, many say they feel alienated by ‘activism’ on campus, whatever form that may take.

Yet many students also reached out, speaking of their involvement in social justice groups, charity-based societies, volunteering initiatives and educational organisations. They were seeking a larger platform to get more students on board with the various causes they champion.

We also had a tremendous response to our launch edition, Diversity. Articles like A letter to Asian girls and Weight of our world dealt with societal issues requiring action.

Changing the narrative about what activism is on Australian campuses, and its potential to shape our time at university, was our aim for this issue. Instead of pointing fingers, the students behind this issue are putting forward ideas and possible solutions to the challenges of change-making at university.

Freedom Ride, 1965

Students have proven to be a powerful agent of change for decades, particularly since the landmark anti-war protests of the 1960s. Whilst activism has certainly shifted in form, it remains relevant in an age where online reach has democratised the individual’s voice.

From the work of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the more developed voice for international students, the real cost of being a student in Australia, and the corporatisation of university administrations – this edition looks at issues that affect us all.

We’re not trumpeting partisan politics, we’re telling personal stories. We hope this edition challenges your ideas around activism, and inspires change.

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