NEWS’ VIEW: The things we still don’t know
The Yale Daily News Managing Board of 2016 enters retirement this weekend
There is so much we don’t know about Yale, about New Haven, about ourselves and about one another. We, the Managing Board of 2016, are acutely aware of this fact, even as we conclude a year of editing the Yale Daily News — uncovering details about our campus and exploring the events that make the days here go by slowly but the semesters pass with lightning speed.
We’re journalists; we thrive on change. But this one snuck up on us: This is our final issue. We elect our successors on Saturday. Next week’s paper may not bear visible witness to this transition. It will be the same News, awaiting your thoughts and your rejoinder, even your outrage. But our lives will change dramatically.
Forty-two of us have edited and designed this paper for a year. We took photos and shot video. We drew illustrations and wrote code. We did it because we love the News, and cherish the abiding friendships we’ve made here. But we also did it because Yale as an institution has moved us, and we’ve felt compelled to find out why.
Yale is too vibrant to be experienced with indifference, too vigorous and vital to be accepted with unthinking satisfaction. There is no easy contentment here. Yale doesn’t beckon us to be at ease. It is a torrent of activity and ideas, a flood in which we’re thrown as freshmen, sink or swim.
Our response has been to ask questions — of classmates, of professors, of administrators and of the staff members who make Yale work every single day. We’ve tried to trace what is unknown, to search for the most complete answers we can find and then to communicate that information to an intellectual community that is at its best when it is well-informed.
We know our readers haven’t always agreed with the decisions we’ve made. We’ve looked unflinchingly into some of the community’s rawest wounds: sexual violence, mental illness and the fault lines of race and class that continue to divide the student body. We’ve done this not as a way to dwell on the pain of our classmates but in hopes that the News can serve as an alarm bell for the Yale community, calling it to reflect on the ways in which we fall short of our ideals. The highest tribute we can pay our University is to insist that what besets us now doesn’t have to be.
We make this observation knowing full well we live in two worlds as student journalists — we are your peers, your lab partners, your friends and your students, but we are also unbiased observers, on the cusp of the action. It’s been our job to track institutional change, but we join our readers in waiting anxiously for the University to make itself better, to live up to its highest purpose.
Searching for, and respecting, the truth of what goes on at Yale — rarely obvious at first glance — has been our mission. Stupefying, though, is the sheer magnitude of what eludes us during the four years we spend as undergraduates. Yale’s long history, which is one-hundred times honorable for every one of its blemishes, remains a mere footnote in the histories we make for ourselves on campus. While we yearn to know more, the realization that there are mysteries is ennobling in its own right.
We’ve been entrusted with the News for a single year. The topics we’ve covered have changed us, just as they’ve changed Yale. Everything we’ve been able to find out is now set down on our website and in a series of issues bound in volumes that will live on the fourth floor of our building.
The most important legacy we can leave is insisting on the enduring importance of what remains unknown. We make our mark by passing on our questions to the next generation. This has been our job, our obligation. But it’s also been an immense joy — to think and wonder alongside all of you. To ask questions.
Keep wondering. Keep asking questions.