Much has changed since The Michigan Daily rolled out its inaugural edition on Sept. 29, 1890. Argus to the events that define our campus, country and world, the Daily has seen more than half of our nation’s history, including 21 U.S. presidents, two world wars and the dawn of a digital age that has reframed the presence of every single one of us within societal discourse. Its role on campus, however, remains unchanged: The Daily is the voice of you the students, a staunch proponent of your issues and ever the humble guardian of free and open debate on this campus.
But the Daily’s (specifically, this page’s) duty to University students is twofold: We must and will reflect debates already taking place on campus, but we must also drive the debate on fledgling issues that influence students and their world. Thus our role is to facilitate a two-way exchange, providing a platform for students to speak out, and informing them about pressing topics they can’t learn about from other sources. That purpose can only be served through student engagement, including both feedback on our opinions and personal involvement and input into what is, after all, your newspaper.
This page’s heritage of progressivism runs deep, and, as is the nature of such a beast, the issues we advocate change as frequently as our editors. From global warming to gay rights to immigration, the progressive causes of our time are already upon us, and we vow diligence and veracity in our every supposition and conclusion about these and other salient debates.
It has long been our policy to focus foremost on this campus and touch upon regional, national and international issues only secondarily. This unwritten rule has often drawn frustration from campus groups who see it as an excuse to avoid controversial issues. While that policy must remain, it is imperative for us to consider the growing relevance outside issues have on us students. A war in faraway Iraq will soon call several who may chance to read these words, national policies on education and the economy will define the world we graduate into and the ever-looming specter of global warming has become perhaps the first ever universal human crisis.
As an unprecedented information race melds issues from all levels, we realize that national and international events quickly permeate our campus, sometimes fiercely dominating dialogue. It can never do for us to avoid such issues merely for assumption of their distance; we must speak what is on students’ minds. But we also ask that you allow us to do the second, equally important part of our duty. We write constantly of the Ann Arbor Greenbelt, rail lines in southeast Michigan and higher education funding, not to avoid other issues but to impel discussions we feel are imprudently ignored.
We will never compromise our ideology, but facing an evermore polarized country and campus, it will be the highest principle of this page in my time to respect and give space to all relevant sides of an issue. The staff of our editorial board, as well as our contributing columnists and cartoonists, are ideologically diverse and we constantly seek to recruit those who may add additional nuance to our perceptions. Should you ever feel we are failing in this promise, you are welcome to join our staff and effect change, or simply write us a letter. I promise to read every single one of them.
Editorial Page Editor