Mount Allison’s popular student-edited journal, 7 Mondays, is once again on the line to have its levy revoked. If the student body votes against continuing to fund the journal, which compiles student-submitted works of photography and creative writing, there may not be future editions.
The referendum to decide the journal’s fate will coincide with the MASU elections taking place on Jan. 30 and 31. The question at hand: Should each student continue to pay $3 each year to fund the project? With its 23rd annual issue on the way, 7 Mondays has lasted longer than any other student-produced journal in Canada.
MASU science senator Andrew Moreira explained the importance of such referenda for the student body. “Every three years a club or service that uses student fees to run, like 7 Mondays, CIS, SRP and the Bike Co-op, must be put to a referendum of the entire student body. This is intended to make sure that the services provided still align with the wants and needs of the student body. Unfortunately, 7 Mondays is on the block this election cycle.”
Kennedy Lundberg, a fourth-year English major and editor of 7 Mondays, explained why she believes the journal is important to her and the Mt. A community. “It’s amazing to have such a longstanding journal on campus that’s [compiled and edited] by students.”
“It’s really special that we can have this great conversation about public work and [have] this space to be able to talk about the publication of creative works. It’d be a shame if that disappeared,” Lundberg said.
The journal’s editorial board, composed entirely of volunteer students, selects submitted literary work through a rigorous review method: only unanimous agreement can secure a piece’s place in the journal.
“For this [next] issue, there [are] roughly 60 pages of writing that we’ll be looking at. Every single one of those pages will be discussed, every single piece gets discussed and voted on,” Lundberg said.
With such selective measures, many might be led to believe that the editors only consider work from English or photography students. However, the journal has always been open to submissions from any Mt. A student.
“Anyone from any department [can submit]. Obviously, you have to be a student at Mt. A, but other than that, there are no real boundaries,” Lundberg said.
Lundberg added, “It’s completely unheard of to have a [student-edited] journal that’s been running for 23 years. That’s … awesome. And we shouldn’t let it stop over a three-dollar fee.”
With such a high turnover rate, universities like Mt. A do not provide an ideal environment for long-running publications. To combat this, the journal has been quietly advised at a distance by fine arts department head and the journal’s supervisor Thaddeus Holownia since its infancy.
“The third year [in which I was involved], I said we should try to get some extra funds and make it into a photography and literary journal. We got money from a couple different things and we put together the first 7 Mondays that had photographs and creative writing,” Holownia said.
“We did that for a couple years, cobbling the money together, until an ambitious student organized a referendum, which passed, and money was put in place to fund the journal,” Holownia said.
The journal has been funded by the student body ever since. The MASU is mandated to put up the levies of 7 Mondays and other student-run organizations for occasional referendum, although Holownia said that the repetitive referenda are redundant at best and suspicious at worst.
“They should instead be saying, ‘we’ll fund it for 10 years’ [instead of three] so that the editors can use their time more wisely instead of hustling around to get that passed again,” Holownia said.
Compared to the levies of similar student-run organizations, a $3 fee, for a personal copy of 7 Mondays each year, appears small. Whether or not it is small enough for the majority of the student body remains to be seen.