Graphic by Tom Abi Samra

The Gazelle Needs You

If you want a publication that is diverse, stimulates debate and conversation, provides a platform for greater understanding and represents us and our community, then write for The Gazelle. Applications for The Gazelle are now open.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of NYU Abu Dhabi. At The Gazelle, we have used this opportunity to reflect on who we are as a publication, what we have done well and what we can improve. For some time, this publication has been caught up in routine, with little change or reform. To many on campus, we are just a few dozen people who publish articles from the confines of a library conference room on Saturday evenings, perhaps isolated or withdrawn from the rest of the NYUAD community. We, the new managing board, are fully aware of The Gazelle’s perception among many on campus as a distanced and unrepresentative publication. This year, we strive to change that.
The Gazelle should be a reflection of our community. It has, however, not adequately reflected the two fundamental elements that make NYUAD unique.
The first is the deliberate and calculated location of our campus in a cosmopolitan city and a diverse country. Our placement in the UAE has helped mold this community into one that is appreciative of the great demographic diversity present here and informed about a region of the world that is often unrecognized for its global outlook. However, much of our reporting in the past has involved little engagement with the UAE or even Abu Dhabi. While reporting and reflecting on international events will still remain a part of The Gazelle, the biggest avenue we have for truly original reporting is here in the UAE. Through exploring and writing about the city in which we live and reflecting on our unique position as a liberal American institution in a conservative environment, we may come to better understand this country and ourselves as part of it.
The second element that makes NYUAD unique is the diversity of its population and the discussions, debates and insights that emerge from placing people of vastly different backgrounds on a single campus. While The Gazelle’s staff are certainly varied in their backgrounds, the publication has failed to adequately represent the broad spectrum of opinions that exists on campus. In part, this is our fault, for failing to reach out to those with less popular or more marginal viewpoints. We accept that responsibility, and will endeavor to improve our approach.
In pursuit of greater diversity on our end, we have made several reforms. This year, we almost doubled the size of our management in order to involve more voices in our discussions and decisions as a publication. We also plan to host debates and town halls on campus regarding important issues that arise throughout the year, so that we can be a platform for both written and verbal debate. Separate from the work of our Opinion Desk, we have also opened up more Columnist positions for students to write about any specific topics or themes that intrigue them. We invite you to participate.
While a large part of the responsibility falls on us, part of it also falls on you: our readers and the community at large. Any NYUAD student can publish an article for The Gazelle, but often the very people who complain about the lack of diversity in the opinions we publish are the same people who refuse to write for us. Rather than publishing bold articles that raise complex issues, The Gazelle has become a forum for only a handful of aspiring writers to publish their work and build their portfolios. But the success or failure of our publication is as much a reflection of your engagement as readers and writers as it is a reflection of our performance as staff. Skilled writers with strong opinions need to rise to the challenge and revive The Gazelle.
If you want a publication that is diverse, stimulates debate and conversation, provides a platform for greater understanding and represents us and our community, then write for The Gazelle. NYUAD students are the heart and soul of this publication, but often only a select group of students have stepped up to voice their opinions.
We want to engage with as many of you as possible. Help us become a publication that reflects the best of NYUAD.
Paula Estrada and Jakob Plaschke are Editors in Chief. Andrea Arletti and Kaashif Hajee are Managing Editors. You can email them feedback at
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