This spring, I took the helm of the first newspaper to ever print my words for the world to see, The Northwestern Chronicle. Most people I know have asked me one of two questions. Many want to know why I would take charge of a paper they view as failing and ridiculous. The rest ask me, “What’s the Chronicle?”
I have a few answers. The first being simple sentiment. It was The Chron, after all, that gave me my first chance to put my words out in public, and helped me find the confidence necessary to scratch out my first notes and stories outside the classroom. The most important reason, though, is that The Chronicle offers a look into the stories here at Northwestern that consistently fail to be told.
We are a community of bubbles. Agreements, disagreements, love, and sometimes even hate percolate though our home here, and so many are burst before they ever get a chance to alter the melange of campus life. I believe that those ideas deserve their chance to speak, even if they’re unpopular. Perhaps especially if they’re unpopular. The purpose of college is to challenge our beliefs, to gather those bubbles up until they hold a form of their own, whatever that may be. And that creation represents the selves that we become when we leave Northwestern, the sum of all the ideas, arguments, classes and conversations that stuck with us and became a part of who we are.
We can pull together the most popular ideas, of course. Scour our studies and our social lives for the “perfect college experience,” and surround our identities with a palace of confirmation and support. It’s not hard to find those columns in North by Northwestern or The Daily that cheer us on. They’re wonderful. In The Chronicle, however, I look for those rare gems of thought that go against the grain, that challenge the common notion. I don’t always agree with them, but that’s the whole point. No matter how big your cheer squad is, you’ll never know how strong your team is until you face off with the other side. At the Chronicle, we’re not afraid to tell people that they’re wrong. We’re not afraid to make people angry, because anger is natural. It’s okay. And none of us will ever grow without first encountering conflict.
I have a lot of plans for The Chron. I intend to see us continue to produce deeply-researched news and investigative journalism. I mean for us to continue to cover the groups and stories on campus that others won’t pursue. I want to give Northwestern students a place to go for serious news about their school, and honest opinion from perspectives they’ve never even considered.
We have a long way to go, but we’re well on our way. And we’re always looking for volunteers.