Do you really need the Maroon?
As it stands, there’s more than one answer to that question—and that bothers us. Each member of our over 100 person team is devoted to providing a service that our fellow students can value, and on which they should rely.
Spring quarter is always a time of change for the Maroon. In keeping with that spirit of change, we will be rolling out a series of new offerings this quarter aimed at better tailoring our coverage to the needs of a student body that is ever more deeply engaged with and aware of its surroundings.
This spring, before you finish your midterms, the Maroon will launch a new website, complete with features that will broaden both the scope of our coverage and the range of tools with which we deliver it. Namely, the new site will reflect a serious devotion to multimedia journalism, such as video stories and a weekly podcast. Along with this digital overhaul will come an unprecedented emphasis on investigative reporting in order to bring you the stories that you need, and rightly demand, to read. To that end, writers will have, in addition to the usual writing responsibilities of our biweekly schedule, longer-term investigative projects involving new levels of in-depth reporting and dedication.
The stories we will strive to provide in each issue will be those that affect not just our campus, but also the South Side and this city. Indeed, this newsroom believes that the health of any community stems from the health of its public space and public discourse. Simply put, the so-called “Life of the Mind” at times fails to unite the diverse population here at UChicago, and in turn cleaves our fragmented collective from the larger community and city we live in.
As distinct from other top-tier U.S. universities, UChicago’s sense of collective identity is dormant, if not completely stillborn: Because of this, at some point, each and every one of us has borne injury. We firmly believe the Maroon has a role to play in building, and mending, these senses of community. A student newspaper can and should, after all, pressure, excavate, and elevate the diverse voices and concerns its community brings to the table.
And so we feel that our commitment to that project will begin in earnest when we sit down with you. This upcoming Tuesday, April 8, we will host a lively roundtable in McCormick Tribune Lounge in the Reynolds Club from 7–8 p.m. Face to face, reporter to reader, let’s retool the Maroon’s mission, efforts, and objectives such that they dovetail with the standards to which you rightly hold us. All are welcome: Come critical, and come engaged.
We acknowledge, of course, that the question with which we started this letter will never be fully resolved—and perhaps that’s the way it should be. A reality that accompanies the running of an honest, accountable student newspaper is that we won’t agree on all the headlines. Yet, in pursuit of an independent student voice, we can be in chorus. The Chicago Maroon seeks to be a leader in this pursuit, in the service of its student body.
Whether you’re an avid reader or this is the first issue you’ve picked up, we implore you to come next Tuesday to this honest conversation. The Maroon recognizes both the great responsibility that comes with our commitment to a collective truth immanent in our individual stories and that we can never fully attend to this responsibility without your valued input.
The Chicago Maroon needs you. And you need the Maroon.
Emma Broder and Joy Crane