Aparna Gopalan’s Editorial

Producing this paper was a labor of love peppered with lots of frustration.

One of the more painful sources of my frustration with the Voice has been my constant “existential angst” about it. Why does the student newspaper exist, whom does it serve, whose interests does it represent, and how does it make the world any better of a place? These questions have remained with me, plagued me, and insisted upon themselves as I have worked on the Voice staff. None of the conventional answers have appeased me. “To inform,” “to entertain,” “to expose students to the College community”…the list of banal answers goes on. But why inform? Why recount happenings on this campus? Why discuss them? To Prof. Simon Feldman’s point in his edition of the recent Crash Course on Journalism, these goals seemed instrumental to me. The “ultimate” goal of the Voice is what I was interested in identifying, and it is this attempt that remained frustrated, and frustrating.

Even as we have yet to adopt clear “ultimate goals” for ourselves, you will find that this issue of The College Voice looks and feels different. We have introduced a long-form section “In Depth” which contains articles that are the results of sustained inquiry into a subject (lasting as long as a month). Our Opinions section has morphed into “Perspectives,” a space for informed reflections that are short of full fledged investigations of “In Depth.” Other changes to layout, tone, modes of inquiry, and things inquired into are reflected in this issue, and will continue in the coming issues.

These changes reflect reasons for my love of this newspaper. While we continue to refine understandings of exactly what role we play at this college and in the world, in the meantime we surely can ask better questions, more questions, ask more people, and ask them in more sustained ways. Maybe if we just really attach ourselves to our questions, we will figure out what good it is to ask them in the first place.