By McKinley Michalowski
What does Arete do?
Arete is a St. Edward’s award-winning and student-led publication that annually produces an academic journal consisting of students’ nonfiction essays, analyses, Capstone papers, and commentary. The publication has won The American Scholastic Press Association’s annual competition eleven times, including ten distinctions of first place with special merit. The journal pursues representation of different perspectives, ideas, and ideologies that embody the diversity in the St. Edward’s community. Arete student staff members carefully select pieces to form a cohesive and provocative journal each year. Student editors work together to decide which pieces represent not only St. Edward’s campus, but the Austin community and our global climate. The end-product is an annual collection of academic work meant to introduce new ideas and challenge social norms. Arete is the embodiment of civil civic discourse in that it encourages and promotes meaningful conversation within the St. Edward’s community and beyond.
Current Editor-in-Chief, Gabrielle Wilkosz, says, “Arete is unique in that the common thread stitching together the undergraduate research papers is just that—undergraduate research. Topics in psychology, literature, biology, and rhetorical criticism are all fair game. This kind of liberty frees undergraduate writers. Arete reinforces the idea that anyone can diligently practice writing and research skills with hopes of getting published, whether you’ve completed a hard-earned PhD, or your first semester freshman year.”
What do you get out of participating in Arete?
“By joining the staff,” Dr. Amy Clements comments, “students learn how to process information that contradicts long-held beliefs. It trains students in being careful and precise in shaping a message.” Arete pairs written word with visual rhetoric, as the Editors work with a small team of graphic design students in the physical production of the journal. Clements says, “I think of it as a book… the production process is very similar to the publication process of an anthology. It’s the book publishing process.” The opportunity Arete offers in getting to work on a publication in this way is unique, and it encourages professional, civil practices in that staff members must work as a team to select and edit submissions and prepare them for publication.
Wilkosz says that Arete, “brings together a unique group of people. On the one hand, we have writers who provide submissions and entrust editors to select and peer-review their work. On the other hand, there’s Arete’s manuscript readers and editors who meet during the spring semester. The staff often times gets into debates along the way. These engaging conversations, usually prompted by a student’s work, range from big picture socio-political debates to small picture grammar tiffs. No matter what, we speak our minds and keep the goal of the publication in view.”
How does Arete contribute to the St. Edward’s community?
Brother John Perron, now retired, founded Arete in 1991 with the intent to give students a platform to publish their academic work. Since its inception, Arete has seen many faulty sponsors, including Dr. Drew Loewe. In 2014, Dr. Amy Clements took over the publication and continues to lead student editors in the completion of the journal each year. Arete has a special place in Dr. Clements’ heart as she claims she “owes her career to student publications.”
“Academic journals (such as Arete) fulfill the mission of higher education,” Clements says, “Students get the opportunity to make a contribution that requires higher order thinking and intensive research, and receive intensive scrutiny.” Arete’s tagline is “The honorable mission of scholastic inquiry.” Submissions come in every year, counting anywhere from twenty to a hundred or more, and student editors sift through to carefully select five or six pieces to be featured in the print magazine. As editors of previous editions have noted, “The selection process is rigorous, but we have to find a collection that is representative of the times and of St. Edward’s students and their diverse interests and ideas and fields of study.”
Wilkosz says, “One of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had in my three years at St. Edward’s has been editing and collaborating with others to shape Arete. Our undergraduate academic journal is named for and showcases ‘excellence of any kind’ and ‘moral virtue,’ which are both definitions of the anthology’s Greek name.”
How can students get involved?
To become an editor for Arete, one must simply show up to an editorial meeting beginning in November. To get published, here are the guidelines:
Submissions should be:
- interesting, provocative and weighty
- no more than two per student
- works of academic research (not fiction or creative writing)
- between five and twenty pages, not including Works Cited or figures
- written by a St. Edward’s student enrolled at the time of submission
- sent between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31
- emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org