SLF Intros New Journal

Rebecca Hillman

This month, The Student Lecture Forum (SLF) will be producing its first student publication, the Colgate Academic Review.

The publication will be composed of the best 13 essays from SLF’s annual Essay Festival at the end of the academic year. While the contest and the gathering at Merrill House is an established tradition, the publication is a new addition to the Student Lecture Forum. Previously, awards have been given to the 13 finalists; this year, however, they will also be available in print for the entire Colgate campus to read.

“We are hoping to take the thirteen finalists and print them in an academic journal of sorts,” sophomore Brendan O’Connor said.

O’Connor said that the group’s goal is to cultivate intellectual discourse on campus. SLF holds a weekly discussion series in the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop) T.V. room, is involved with brown bag lunches and weekly dinners with professors and collaborates on events with other campus groups. SLF is the on-campus voice for other groups such as the Debate Club, Model U.N. and Mock Trial.

Weekly discussions in the Coop revolve around current hot topics such as the environment and politics, but O’Connor said that the debate is usually sparked when he asserts a “pretty ridiculous position.”

For example, Colgate students can look forward to debating the question of “When will the Middle East succumb to democracy?” later in the month. Additionally, a highlight for SLF this year was an on-campus lecture by General Wesley Clark, a product of their collaboration with the College Democrats.

SLF’s annual Essay Festival has been a way to acknowledge students’ academic writing that would have otherwise gone unnoticed by peers. The winner and finalists are chosen by the members of SLF through a rating and voting system. In the past, $8,000 in award money was distributed among the thirteen finalists. This year, however, SLF is taking this tradition one step further this year by publicizing the awarded works.

The upcoming Colgate Academic Review will showcase academic essays produced by Colgate students for their classes. O’Connor said that the Colgate Academic Review is unique because it is entirely student-run and will be a place where students can “show off.”

“You can probably ask any single student and they will have a strong academic interest but have nowhere to talk about it outside of class,” O’Connor said.

A senior last year, Mehul Malik ’06, won first place in the contest for his essay on quantum physics and post-modernist art.

“His essay was on the parallels between the basic elements of life through the scope of post-modernist art and quantum mechanics. It showed how people can see similarities between art and physics,” O’Connor said.

The Colgate Academic Review aims to bring academic accomplishments like Malik’s out from under the radar and into the public venue.

SLF’s Essay Festival will be held on April 20 at Merrill House, and the Colgate Academic Review will be out later this month. Submissions should be sent to Brendan O’Connor at [email protected] or given to Jeannine Privat at the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement in the Coop.