“So far, I think, for a no money publication we are doing pretty okay,” Jarrar said, laughing.“My parents print out all of the fliers every single time because they have an office printer.
One caveat: the concept of social justice is open to interpretation “In general its so hard to define what social justice is, because it means something different to everybody,” Jarrar said.
On January 21, the Antithesis began posting a monthly selection of news features, opinion pieces, and editorials online.
This semester a group of New School students launched a website called the Antithesis, an online publication led by sophomore Petra Zarah Jarrar that puts out student written work relating to local and national issues of social justice.
Plans to propose a budget to New School’s administration and bring the website into print next semester are currently in the works.
“And just to allow them to write whatever they are thinking or feeling without feeling repressed or feeling like maybe they don’t have a voice.” The New School’s paucity of student groups, and of ways for students to engage with community, sparked the idea behind the publication, Jarrar said. “It’s so hard to access information here about different clubs, organizations, events.” Jarrar began the project last fall by printing 30 flyers and posting them around school, inviting students to join her in creating the first edition of the Antithesis.
She said any issue falling within the realms of politics, economics, the environment and society inevitably raises questions of social justice, and so is worthy of discussion in the Antithesis.
Jarred by the experience, Smith wrote “Help the Homeless,” a piece about mental illness within the homeless population of New York City and the city’s tepid approach to addressing the issue.
“I wanted to engage with how that dealt with the social spirit of The New School, with homelessness,” Smith said.
Lauren Walsh, a part-time journalism professor at Lang who provides feedback to the newspaper, said student-driven projects like the Antithesis are complementary to the school’s overall activist community.
“We’ve always been teaching this, but now there’s sort of a shared language about it,” Walsh said.