Over the past 12 months — The Michigan Daily’s 118th year of editorial freedom — the spirit of campus activism was truly reinvigorated as students became increasingly involved in a climactic presidential election. Students decided that the direction of the nation had to change and fought for that change more energetically and aggressively than we had in decades. Thanks to our successful efforts to alter our political reality, the ears of the nation are now listening to what college students think “changing for the better” really means.

Because of these developments, college students’ ideas are as relevant as ever. Now that students have once again demonstrated that their activism can have historic results on the world around them, it is critically important to discuss how we want our world to change. The Michigan Daily’s opinion page is one of the forums in which that discussion is most vital.

Throughout the paper’s history, the Daily has fulfilled a dual purpose: sponsoring the debate over how our society can and must change and providing an informed view from the paper itself on the changes that are most urgently needed. The opinion page’s method for revealing its thoughts about relevant topics are the editorials that appear on the left side of the page. They contain the historical wisdom of editors and the fresh ideas of the paper’s current and diverse staff. I promise that the Daily’s editorials will provide essential guidance for campus discussion.

Traditionally, the Daily’s voice has been thought of as liberal, but that is a misleading label. We argue passionately for the conservation of the world around us. We stand firmly behind social equality for all people regardless of race, gender or orientation. We critically and independently evaluate the actions of the institutions around us — be they University administrators or our local, state and national governments.

My goal is to address the issues that are most relevant to the University and Ann Arbor. In the pursuit of this goal it will sometimes be necessary to discuss national issues, especially in light of the effect that overarching problems – like our faltering economy – can have on students.

But this is only half of my promise on behalf of the Daily. It is equally vital that the opinion page is a forum for debate that includes people from all parts of campus and all angles of the political spectrum. It is important to me that no viewpoint feels left out from the Daily. Columnists have been chosen specifically to represent a large cross-section of backgrounds, interests, topics and agendas, but if none of our regular columnists get across the message that’s most important to you, you should write a letter or submit a viewpoint of your own.

In this historic time for the nation and for student involvement in its affairs, it is up to us to determine what changes we want to see in the coming months at all levels of government and facets of society. I promise that the Daily’s opinion page will serve as a vital tool for hosting that debate. In return, I ask that you, the readers, utilize this resource to its fullest extent and help create something that reflects your sentiments. This is — and will continue to be — a paper that belongs to the students of the University of Michigan.

Robert Soave
Michigan Daily Editorial Page Editor

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