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Opening Thoughts

    What constitutes an idea? Is it an important invention, like the wheel, the compass or  the steam engine? Is it an organized system or policy, like democracy or laissez-faire economics? Is it an approach to understanding the world, like heliocentrism, psychoanalysis or Newtonian motion? Perhaps a good way of describing an idea is as “a way of doing something.” Mathematics is a way of measuring the world. The assembly line is a way of manufacturing products efficiently. Postmodernism is a way of reorganizing different beliefs.
    When we say that somebody has a “new idea,” we say that he or she has a suggestion for how once can do something differently. If the idea turns out to be a good one, then it can change the world for the better. Applying new ideas to life is how humanity has always progressed: moving from a hunter/gatherer-based community to an agricultural one created stability that paved the way for more inventions; the Magna Carta held a ruler accountable to their subjects, encouraging the development of governments that improve the lives of their citizens; germ theory led to the discovery of the bacteria behind various diseases and methods of fighting them.
    Having an idea, however, is not enough. Ideas don’t work in limbo; they must be shared. Sometimes there is resistance to a new, provocative, challenging idea, but once it takes root, society prospers. And that is why the free exchange of ideas is essential. A great idea can come from anyone, but unless that idea is shared with others so that it can build upon the work of centuries, it is useless. Not a single one of us has all the answers by ourselves. Aristotle didn’t. Luther didn’t. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne didn’t either. But they had the world to consult, and now we have them to consult as part of our world.
    It is easy to see that the ideas that improved our ability to communicate were some of the greatest—written language that would last through generations, the printing press that increased the distribution of ideas, and the Internet that made that distribution instantaneous. We are fortunate to live in an age and a country where ideas are relatively unfettered. Every waking minute we have access to ideas from around the globe, and we have forums where these trending ideas can be examined and discussed.
    One such forum is The Student Movement, where topics of interest to the student body can be featured. The solutions to the problems that plague us on campus are hiding behind new approaches to our thoughts and behavior. That is why we should encourage the kind of discourse that has led to eureka moments in the past and will inspire students to find their own eureka moments.
    This semester, The Student Movement hopes to continue trying new ideas. We are expanding our web presence, adding accessibility to the list of the newspaper’s assets. And in the Ideas section, I want to incorporate students’ ideas into the articles that get published each week. Andrews University is fertile ground for ideas, which is why we value student feedback. We want to hear about your thoughts and concerns. We want to facilitate conversation and foster deep thinking. Most of all, we want to continue to circulate the ideas that have brought us where we are today.

The Perspective of a Freshman

The Perspective of a Freshman

Meet the Provost

Meet the Provost