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By Silas Hood, Feb. 22, 2022

As the new semester sets in, the Undergraduate Journal of Ethics, Policy and Social Justice is seeking applicants to submit papers for its spring 2022 issue.

Students may submit their work before the Feb. 27 deadline and will receive feedback the following month, prior to the journal’s expected May release. The journal, launched last semester by the Philosophy Department, offers students the opportunity to learn the research paper publication process and produce their own anonymously peer reviewed works.

Managing Editor Cory Aragon, an associate professor in the department, shared his interest working on the journal and its cohesion within the department.

Courtesy of Mia Miller

“I’ve been sort of tapped into the work that’s been going on for undergraduates around publishing and presenting their own work,” said Aragon. “Our department does a lot of undergraduate research, and our students have started to publish some of their work in professional journals, and so it just comes together with my own interests along with what I think would really help our students.”

The journal aims to provide a topic-focused publication around ethics, policy and social justice. Students may submit research papers for feedback through peer-review by editors as they learn the publication process and receive college credits.

“We’re trying to figure out how to better communicate what it is that people are getting from their philosophy degree,” said Aragon. “It’s a high impact practice where we can focus in developing certain types of skills and produce something that you can show the skills I learned here and that I can apply in a job here.”

Following the Cal Poly Pomona learn by doing model, editors and staff look to provide students a new opportunity to develop their portfolios while thinking through a social justice lens, a core tenet of the department.

The idea for the journal was introduced by Mia Miller, a philosophy student, who is serving as executive editor.

“It was primarily just with the aim of fostering student interest and research,” said Miller. “I know with the pandemic people haven’t been as active in different activities, so in addition, I thought it would be a nice way to provide exposure to academic philosophy and advance critical thinking through a more social justice lens.”

The journal’s topic-focus of ethics, policy and social justice follows professional publications on the undergraduate level and allows for different pre-existing organizations housed in the department, like the Ethics Bowl and California Center for Ethics and Policy.

Students interested are encouraged to submit their pieces regardless of their strength to receive feedback on their arguments. Editors will reach out by the end of March, and the revision and publication process will carry out until the May release.

Submissions are optional and open to all students both at and beyond Cal Poly Pomona. Editors partake in a three-credit class and one credit lab analyzing arguments and undergoing job preparedness training.

“I have a fair bit of research experience and I like research, so I thought I would be a good fit as an editor,” said Michael Rhodes, a psychology student and associate editor.

“We’re working on our critical reading skills and our reviewing skills and what to focus on, and it’s definitely helpful skills to learn,” said Rhodes. “Doing discussions, sharing our thoughts and ideas with each other, there’s definitely opportunities for everyone to talk and receive feedback and that’s very valuable.”

With it being the first year for the journal, the editors are limited to eight members but hope to see more applicants and submissions in years to come.

“Going forward, it is meant to be a national or international undergraduate journal of philosophy,” said Aragon. “The idea is that it is meant to be pretty open.”

The journal will be available to students through physical copies and an online website. Once paper submissions close on Feb. 27, there will be a call for art submissions available to students who wish to participate. Further information and where to submit can be found on the Philosophy Department website.

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