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I love this time of year. The temperature slowly cools down while the trees begin to change from various shades of green to brown, red and yellow. The smells of autumn begin filling the air as the jackets come out and the backpacks get dusted off. The entire mood in the town of Grand Forks shifts as the students attending the University of North Dakota return from their summer break with a sense of purpose, motivation and the notion that anything is possible., and, obviously, hockey kicks off.

As the school year progresses though, the strain and stress associated with college is multiplied more and more everyday. The course load seems heavier, the schedule seems busier and the professors seem less lenient. But for those first couple of weeks in fall, every student has the world by the tail and is absolutely confident in their abilities, ready to face their future head-on with a newfound — or perhaps renewed — sense of accomplishment.

I love the feeling of walking onto campus and sensing the excitement in the air, that electric buzz of the collective student body eager to continue their journey at UND for a new school year.

And what a year 2016 is shaping up to be. While we’ve seen more than our fair share of heartbreak with the passing of Prince, Alan Rickman, David Bowie and Muhammad Ali, just to name a few, there is still hope for the rest of the year. With the start of the new school year, this is a moment in time where we can look up and push forward, not wallow in the past.

Speaking of moving forward, UND finally has a new logo to go along with the name Fighting Hawks. While I understand the animosity many students, alumni and fans feel towards the logo, I for one have grown tired of the debate and constant arguing. As I see it, what’s done is done, and the hard part is over. All that’s left now is to adjust and accept the new logo. Because try as you might, its not going away.

From this point on, I have every intention of embracing the new name and logo, knowing full well that the artistic rendition of the Sioux logo does not embody the pride or fighting spirit of this university. Some great memories were made under the Sioux logo, and it will forever remain a glorious part of our history. But for now, let’s put down the pitchforks and support our university and our athletes with the same vigor we brought to the stadium in years prior.

You might disagree with my thoughts on the matter, and that’s okay. If you do, you should write a letter to the editor and we at The Dakota Student will see that your thoughts on the matter are printed in the next issue. We’re not ones to shy away from opposing opinions, and we welcome the thoughts and opinions of the student body.

This year—or this semester at least—I will be your opinion editor for The Dakota Student. I have not written for the student paper for very long, but regardless of my experience, I’d like to give everyone curious enough to read this an outlook report; an idea of what I want the opinion section to be this semester.

As we have a presidential election coming up, I have every intention of introducing different points of view in regards to the candidates from students around the campus. I highly encourage everyone to write letters to the editor and send them to The Dakota Student. To help stir the pot and get some debate going, I’ll be writing pieces on each candidate as the semester continues, even on the candidates I don’t like, personally. Agree or disagree with me, either way, write to us.

This presidential election has been wrought with controversy, and everyone seems to have a strong opinion about why they support the candidate they do. While the candidates are less than admirable, I am nevertheless excited about the simple fact everyone is finally talking about politics, especially the younger generation. Its as if our generation has been on autopilot (for the most part, if you’ve been active in political debates then this is obviously not directed at you) for years now, but has finally woken up.

You have opinions and I run an opinion section, it was meant to be. So please, read this and share your opinions with me. I think one voice can change an entire student body’s outlook, and I think that voice is somewhere within the student body. So if you have something to say, let us give you a soapbox (you must share though, this isn’t Facebook). I’d like to see some shared opinions and debates on things that matter most to you. Do you have a favorite book? Do you have a favorite band? Do you think going vegan is the only way to stop global warming? Do you think there are certain political matters we should be paying more attention to? If you have any thoughts or opinions you want to express, write to us.

While I am the editor of the opinion section, this small portion of the paper is not mine, it’s yours. This section can and must serve as an outlet for your voice to be heard. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we encourage healthy and respectful debate amongst ourselves, especially in light of such a controversial election coming up in November.

Love or hate Trump? Write to The Dakota Student. Disagree with an opinion piece written by one of us? Write to The Dakota Student. Want to highlight something important on campus we may have missed? Write to The Dakota Student.

I look forward to serving you this semester by sharing your thoughts and opinions. Remember, this is your chance, this is your paper and this is your voice; use it wisely.

Matt Eidson is the Opinion Editor for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]