An online student publication, The Quill Times aims to create a common platform for students from different academic institutions and countries to discuss issues of our time. While not all of us have the same resources or opportunities, we all have a voice. Conversations matter because they shape our generation, and ultimately, our collective legacy, which is why we need to speak up—not later, or never, but now. Students matter. Our thoughts matter. Our voices matter. Our actions matter.
Some academic institutions have a number of student publications, while others have none. The quantity and quality of these publications play a significant role in how students engage in conversations, be it about elections, foreign affairs, or a communal issue. Although having discussions within our academic institutions can be vibrant (or boring) enough, they can make us complacent and oblivious to the thoughts outside our institutional bubbles.
The idea to launch an online student publication began with sisters from Japan, Marina and Emu Yoshimura, who were concerned with the lack of student engagement in many Japanese universities. After meeting with Editors-in-Chief of The Yale Globalist— an undergraduate quarterly at Yale College— they decided to take the publication’s model to their Japanese university. But having attended international schools and embracing a global perspective, they decided to expand this project worldwide so students around the world can engage in the same conversations. In November 2018, they launched the publication. They recruited Koki Hori— a college student at the Akita International University (AIU) and a Japanese Delegate of the 70th Japan-America Student Conference (JASC), and publicly announced the publication’s launch.
Our name, the “Quill,” comes from the Pen & Quill Bar, the name of a restaurant at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ), a press club for foreign correspondents in Tokyo. War correspondents established the Club after the Occupation of Japan began under General Douglas MacArthur to foster democracy after Japan lost in World War II. While archaic, the quill remains an important symbol for literature and serves as a reminder of the genesis of writing amid technological advances.
By establishing a common online platform in addition to social media, The Quill Times provides an academic and structured avenue in which students can express their views about topics they care about. The publication encourages students to engage, take initiative, and speak up about issues that may be important but underreported in mainstream media. Although it mainly seeks articles relevant to politics, social issues, and foreign affairs, it also welcomes ideas that are unique and personal.
*This student publication differs from others in that it does not have an affiliation with or endorsement from any academic institution. It operates as a company; however, all staff are students.
**The publication will collaborate with publications from other universities, such as The Yale Globalist at Yale College.