by Noor Adilah (17S06B)
While the word soapbox may carry negative connotations today, its origins are rooted in a history of public discourse from everyday people about issues that mattered to them. The literal soapbox in itself – a wooden crate which members of the public use as a platform to voice their thoughts in a public setting – underlies the nature of soapboxing. This environment of freely expressing one’s thoughts in public may come to define the freedom of speech in America, or create spaces like Speakers’ Corners in Hyde Park and Hong Lim Park. However, we rarely have any space for such discourse to occur in RI.
From the 25th to the 29th of July, Press tried its own hand at changing that. Press gave Rafflesians a chance to submit their opinions so that those opinions could be transformed into articles, for our readers to see.
This article aims to announce the submissions that have been accepted and will be posted as articles in the next 3 months. They are:
Diet Culture – written by Gan Chin Lin
Culture of Public Performances – written by Lee Yun Ning
Puppy Mills – written by Yeo Jun Wei and guest writer Kong Pek Yoke
Staff Appreciation – written by Abdul Qayyum
Social Interaction in JC – written by Noor Adilah
Outliers of The Singapore Story – written by Noor Adilah and guest writer Samira Hassan
The submissions varied greatly. A sizeable number of participants complained about the lack of halal food in the school canteen, and an almost equally sizeable number discussed the immorality of the meat industry, as well as the ethical issues behind puppy mills. Both of which are pressing, but in vastly different ways.
Some submissions were cryptic – for example: this list of things scribbled in undecipherable handwriting! Maybe it is a recipe to a potion of eternal life. Or maybe it is a tired J2 trying to express their feelings.
Either way, the people behind Press Soapbox are in equal parts touched and slightly weirded out. You can’t blame us – there are way too many messages that say “(insert name here) FOR PROM KING”. But most of all, we’re excited to be the loudspeaker to your thoughts and to start conversations about what Rafflesians really care for.
So, if you submitted your opinions to Press and have your idea listed here, then look forward to an article that will hopefully live up to your expectations. If you still want your article to be published but it has not been taken up this time, and if you gave your contact details to us, look forward to an email from us seeking clarification about your idea – we are still trying to get angles about the ideas you gave us! And if you have a new idea, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we will try our best to reply and see what we can do with your idea.