Inheriting a tradition, keeping up with change

“We are forced, by a changing Yale and a changing world, to make patterns for the future,” wrote some of our predecessors in this space in 1954. Since those words appeared in print 50 years ago, both Yale and its daily newspaper have been transformed. But as the names of the 127th Managing Board of the Yale Daily News appear in the masthead to the left of this space for the first time, that sentiment still strikes at the heart of our vision for this paper.

For all the talk of a Yale bubble, this University is profoundly affected by what happens outside its campus. But the relationship is reciprocal: What happens within the walls of Yale resonates well beyond our grounds to New Haven, the rest of the country and the entire world. That fact has never been clearer than in this year’s presidential race, where two Yale graduates are now engaged in a debate over the direction our country will take over the next four years. Yale cannot take full credit — or blame, as the case may be — for the choice Americans face in the coming weeks, but there is no question that President George W. Bush ’68 and Sen. John F. Kerry ’66 were both shaped in part by their time at New Haven. Likewise, the canvassers on Cross Campus, the impassioned Op-Eds on this page and the animated conversations in dining halls all illustrate that we, too, will be profoundly affected by the outcome of this fall’s elections.

Over the coming months, we intend to closely explore the relationship between Yale and presidential politics, but we will also examine change that emerges closer to home. Yale’s administration, closely watched by colleges and universities across the country, has undergone dramatic turnover since last fall. The University’s decision to switch to an early action admissions policy and its relationship with its unions are stories that take on national importance even as they develop here. On a daily basis, teaching and research at Yale have global implications — one reason why you will see greatly expanded coverage of science and technology at Yale in these pages over the next year.

Now the city’s largest employer, Yale is also reshaping — and being reshaped by — New Haven. The University’s relationship with the community has been transformed over the past decade, and it will continue to change as Yale’s growth brings both cooperation and contention. Just as we examine the world within Yale’s gates, we will provide in-depth coverage of the city’s attempts to revitalize its downtown and improve its quality of life.

In the daily paper, our weekly scene section, and a revitalized magazine, we will strive to offer a closer look at these changes from different angles. And while we cover the Yale community, we know we are also part of it. With that in mind, we hope to engage our readers in a discussion of what we can do to better serve that community as an unbiased, timely and complete source of news.

So as Yale and New Haven evolve, we will, too. We are the nation’s oldest college daily — a fact we are not shy about mentioning — but our strength is not in our age. Today, we officially inherit an institution that has continually demonstrated its commitment to reinventing itself. As part of a changing Yale and a changing world, we will try to uphold that tradition, every day.

Comments