Photograph by Koh Terai

Letter From the Editors: Reflecting on Our Place

What is it that we do, and why do we continue to do it?

With over a 100 issues published, one would think that The Gazelle is set in stone. Pitch meetings at 5:00 p.m. every Saturday, four regular sections on the website, six operating desks and management; on Sunday morning, you have our newsletter in your inbox and your social media feeds are flooded with articles.
However, during the past semester, we have been led to question what is it that we do, and why do we continue to do it. How do we battle the complications that arise in our continued effort to bring together polarizing components of our community together?
As a student-led, independent publication, we do not see ourselves confined to maintaining the sometimes skewed perception of NYUAD and the Global Network University as being at the pinnacle of perfection. We see it as our responsibility to bring important — albeit sometimes uncomfortable — conversations to the forefront of discussions and policy-making.
This semester, The Gazelle’s editorial board has invested time and effort into bringing sensitive but relevant topics into discussion, such as the mistreatment of staff, the changing campus culture with regard to off-campus interventions, grade inflation and legal requirements that inhibit accessibility of facilities on campus for physically disabled members of our community.
While debates on similar topics can take place behind closed doors or in policy-making rooms, these places are often only frequented by those with direct access. Our town halls and General Assemblies continue to face low attendance. Newsletters dispatched from various offices remain unopened in our inboxes. Social media forums lack the nuance to explore these topics, sidelining rational perspectives on our location and our identity as both a U.S. American institution and a UAE-based campus.
Because of such circumstances — or, in fact, despite of such circumstances — The Gazelle’s readership exceeds 2,500 people per week. We are cognizant of the fact that being based in the UAE, our publication must abide by laws and limitations; however, first and foremost, we see ourselves as students and members of the community, putting our opinion out in the open not only to be accessed by immediate members of the community but also by all concerned parties including staff, parents and prospective students.
Khadeeja Farooqui and Connor Pearce are Editors-in-Chief. Email them at feedback@thegazelle.org
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