The revolution has finally arrived at the Felix Comment section!
People rejoice! The brutal dictator General Fyles is no more! His evil reign has finally come to an end, after a prolonged internal struggle, led by the brave Colonel Alan Perfect and ably supported by Major Charles Titmuss. We have retaken the Comment section and restored it to Freedom, Liberty, and Truth! The management wish to reassure those that live under the new duumvirate that business will continue as usual provided their Loyalty remains unquestioned. Traitors to the Cause, and those that write better Comment articles than either of us, will be dealt with swiftly…
Propaganda aside, the Comment section of Felix is now officially up and running! A significant change when compared to last year’s Felix is the split of the Comment section into the Politics section which deals far more with specific topics, and the Comment section, that will probably deal with whatever the Politics Editors decide they don’t want. Traditionally the neglected child of Felix, the Comment section is set in the unloved middle of the newspaper, only occasionally seeing the light of day as people desperately search for the centrefold. Despite this ignominious situation, the Comment section remains a crucial and vibrant part of the newspaper, rather like some forms of non-lethal bacteria. It is the most critical part of a student newspaper, as it creates a space for measured debate and the careful expression of opinion by students and staff about a range of topics that they are interested in, engaging with the rest of Imperial on sometimes highly sensitive subjects.
A good example from last year was the article written on Tie Clubs in Felix issue 1661 that provoked significant debate all over the university. We are both looking forward (at least I am) to creating and editing more articles that split opinion to the same degree. This leads perfectly into the next excellent thing about the Felix Comment section: people read the articles that you create, and will be interested in your perspective. You can have an impact on the way that your peers – some of whom will no doubt become very successful individuals – view an issue that you care about, and raise awareness of that issue, all as a result of the research that you have done and the article you have created. It is not necessary to possess any particular skill as a wordsmith, or I would definitely not be writing! If you have an idea for an article, simply come down to the Felix basement and talk it over with either one of us. Don’t worry about the fact it’s in a basement: think Steve Jobs and not 50 Shades of Grey.
I have been warned about the sensitive handling required for certain subjects, but I am nearly always on side of freedom of expression. If a view is controversial it is not productive to sweep said view under the carpet. It is far more useful if that view is expressed in an articulate fashion, so that it can then be considered and understood in context, and if necessary disassembled and defeated. However, I recognise that freedom of expression comes with the freedom to take the consequences. Occasionally the consequences of publication may be too risky, but it is something I am willing to discuss, and pretty much all topics are fair game!
Finally, and most importantly, send in articles! At the end of the day, I need something to read during lectures and it might as well be content that you created!
Vive la révolution!
The dawn of a new age in Felix Comment is here
All hail Major Charlie Titmuss and Colonel Alan Perfect, the new supreme leaders of the Comment section! Fred Fyles has been finally overthrown! I would like to thank my mum, my friends, the FA, and especially Muammar Gaddafi, who was a great source of inspiration in this coup d’état.
This year we want the Comment section to become the most high-profile part of Felix. We know it has been sometimes neglected, but we can restore it to the place it deserves: as an outlet for any Imperial student to voice their opinions on issues they care about. We are well aware that your opinions as a student matter, and we will use all our strengths to make sure they are properly heard.
A format we want to emphasise this year in the section is the “head to head” page, which will look exactly as this article looks next to Charlie’s on the left. You might be one of those people that loves an internet discussion, and is able to craft some beautifully long, properly sourced arguments on a reply to an obscure Facebook thread. This format is then definitely for you. Get the person you disagree with to write an article, write one yourself, and we will display it as a head to head debate here in Felix for all students to see. You will be amazed by the response you get.
Felix is ultimately about raising the issues you care about. You don’t have to be Union President for your voice to be heard. We have had some amazing comment pieces come to us during these past years, from articles steering important debates about mental health to passionate discussions about how terrible ales are if you’re European. If anything bothers you about the university experience, why quit at just raising it with your Year Rep? Here, at the Comment section, we will make sure your initiatives, frustrations, ideas, and rants can be properly heard. Hell, we will even help you out to make sure you word them right.
Be the change you want to be. Have a positive impact. Write for Felix.