Link to full pdf: ZU Magazine Issue #1: Revelation (Fall 2020)

Link to digital version:


Letter from the Editor:

Society teaches us what we ought to do from the second we are born. We are taught how to speak and behave in certain spaces and communities, as well as understand what is socially ‘acceptable’ within them. We lean on these communities until they eventually help us become autonomous.    

We wouldn’t be able to do that unless these communities supported us in the same way that a teacher supports students in a classroom or how political leaders are expected to uphold each citizen’s constitutional rights.

But these systems, which we are so reliant on for support, are in fact extremely fragile. While we may not have been aware of their fragility in the past, the pandemic exposed how insecure the healthcare system, the education system and the justice system really are. 

The healthcare system was unable to accomodate the surge in patients during the height of the pandemic. The education system has struggled to replicate the in-person teaching experience virtually and has failed to adequately protect the students whose schools and universities reopened this fall. The justice system has seen law enforcement fail to protect George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, and has not held all of the individuals that were responsible for their deaths accountable. All while the national death toll of the virus continues to rise. 

The realization that we could not rely on these systems during a time of crisis was painful. However, it was also revealing because it showed us that we were all living through different variations of the same nightmare. This understanding helped unite our staff as the magazine experienced a change in leadership and we were left to adjust to a new way of life. 

We felt that we had the social obligation to directly address this ongoing social crisis in an issue that was raw and poignant. Because now that the flaws of these systems have been exposed, we cannot return to a state of blindness. We can no longer afford to not address them, which is why we wanted this issue to be an opportunity for our community to process what transpired this summer before we figure out how to move forward. 

The articles in this issue show that the desire for change among students is evident — from narratives of students attending Black Lives Matter protests to friends learning how to overcome political divisiveness without tarnishing their relationship. 

While this issue begins to outline some of the problems that were exposed as a result of this systemic failure, uur next issue will focus on mapping what occurs as a result of this exposure, including at our own university. Our hope is that all future ZU Magazine publications will act as catalysts for the transformation that we want to see transpire amongst us.  

The question that remains is whether or not our university and community will respond to this ongoing, multi-frontal crisis in a way that includes the members that comprise it.  In future issues, we promise to continue to examine and shine a light on the actions of the university through these crises, including their dealings with racial injustice and the ambiguous and ambitious vision outlined in the 2027 Strategic plan. 

-Anna Savchenko