It’s strange to think a newspaper has a particular voice, yet nearly all do. The New York Times describes a center-left and well-educated New Yorker who enjoys politics and art. The Detroit Free Press is an advocate for a city and state in dire need of advocacy. The Michigan Daily’s voice, however, has been aptly described in more unusual terms — a liberal, cranky and fiscally irresponsible old hippie with a penchant for pot.

The Daily’s voice is influenced by precedent set by its stance on a wide array of issues in editorials that run every day on the left side of the opinion page. The Old Hippie has endorsed Republicans and Democrats, supported military engagement in Libya, called to remove public officials from office — including former Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell — and even written about the horrors of fire trucks — they’re too big, too red and too loud.”

Okay, perhaps that last one warrants further deliberation — they do put out fires, after all.

But simply applying a “liberal” label to the voice of The Michigan Daily is misleading. Through our editorials, we carefully consider the world around us. We independently and thoroughly address changes that need to be made immediately. By respecting past precedent, we recognize that certain values in society won’t change over time, and we must continue to promote them. But, we also acknowledge our world is changing, and are unafraid to set new precedent or challenge our previous positions. You can to count on the Daily to continue endorsing social equality regardless of orientation, gender or race, environmental conservation and quality, affordable education.

More than anything, our voice is unabashedly and shamelessly an advocate for students — student rights, student interests and student concerns. As University students ourselves, we recognize the issues that affect our classmates and campus community.

The Daily has enjoyed 122 years of editorial freedom, and will continue to use that right to act as a voice for students. We can objectively evaluate the institutions around us — the University, state and local government, even The Michigan Daily itself.

The opinion page serves two equally important purposes: promoting our own interests and providing a forum for all aspects of life at the University of Michigan. It’s our job to advocate for students and call on University administrators and others to change policy. It’s also our job to give every student on this campus a chance to have their voice heard; a chance to let others in on their point of view, even if it’s only for 500 words. This year, we’re working to increase the range of viewpoints presented on our page. It’s an elementary school lesson — a diversity of perspectives leads to better understanding. To that end, we encourage all of our readers to contribute to the conversation.

As Editorial Page Editors, we promise to present content relevant to the University and Ann Arbor, promote spirited debate and provide excellent and thoughtful writing. As readers, we humbly ask you to contribute, keep us accountable and, most importantly, read.

Ashley Griesshammer and Andrew Weiner
Co-Editorial Page Editors

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