I grew up in Daytona Beach, Fla., a town primarily known for Spring Break, NASCAR and driving on the beach. The warm ocean was a good place to learn to surf (despite being the shark-bite capital of the world), and the public schools prepared me adequately for Stanford’s rigorous academics. However, what I realize now is that it is an area lacking the rich diversity many of us have come to take for granted in our time on the Farm.
The global awareness of our community is unparalleled. In fact, the student body immediately redefined the way I interpreted the term diversity. It no longer signified simple differences in family origin; it applied to those of different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, of varying political ideologies and sexual orientation. We are beyond privileged to live and interact in an environment that promotes a mutual understanding of each other’s lives.
This continuous dialogue, as beneficial as it may be, is not always easy. The nature of a heterogeneous community is that there is rarely universal agreement. It’s a phenomenon that, when coupled with the inherent stress and competition of higher education, can move from highly thought provoking to overwhelming. When placed in these situations, we run the risk of reacting in ways we later regret, opting for impulsive, passion-driven actions over more eloquent, thought-out responses.
In the short amount of time that has comprised this volume, we have been through a tremendous amount as a community. We have encountered events that have tested our resiliency as a cooperative unit. We have found ourselves divided by arguments that appeared to offer little room for compromise and have been placed against many of our closest friends on issues of student life, academics and human rights where there was no shortage of passion. There have been trying times to say the least.
The same can be said for The Daily’s coverage of these topics. As a diverse group of students, we have been challenged as an organization to clearly define our roles as journalists. Like the greater Stanford community, we don’t always agree. The depth and breadth of our coverage comes under constant internal scrutiny. We have occasionally found ourselves toe-to-toe on how to cover or not cover issues we feel passionately about.
But as editor in chief, I found the most value not in what we decided, but in the processes by which we made decisions. Observing a diverse staff of stimulated minds sharing, discussing and debating opinions on topics ranging from ROTC to the expansion of the humanities has been among the more rewarding and awe-inspiring experiences of my life.
Attempting to constantly further our understanding of the Stanford community has been a primary goal during the existence of this 120-year-old organization. We wish to improve the quality of our work by becoming more in touch with your lives. Although the nature of journalism creates the occasional controversy, I am incredibly grateful for your appreciation and support of a staff dedicated to serving you in the best way possible.
On that note, you have done an unbelievable job of serving each other. This community would not be what it is without the endless desire to grow and to learn. We may never fully agree, but we can always try to understand. As President John F. Kennedy said, “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”
Thank you for an incredible volume. It has been an absolute pleasure.
President and Editor in Chief, Vol. CCXXXIX