Illustration by Tom Abi Samra

Letter from the Editors

The Management Team responds to backlash following the publication of a controversial article.

Feb 25, 2020

On Feb. 23 we published an article that has since garnered significant backlash from members of our community. Since then, we have been under pressure to respond. We recognize that any response from us could be misinterpreted as prioritizing certain people’s opinions and feelings over others. This is what makes this particular situation so complex. We have decided to prioritize The Gazelle’s mission as a publication that is open to all voices. The Gazelle’s goal is to teach, encourage, spread awareness, engage with the local community and provide a space for dialogue. It is certainly not to favor one political position or social identity over another.
As students within this campus community, we see the pain that exists among those of us who belong to historically marginalized communities. It saddens us that the very medium that we believe has so much potential to create better understanding and initiate critical conversations, has unintentionally had the opposite effect of erasure. At the same time, we find that some community members feel repeatedly silenced and feel that the article creates space for them to be able to ask questions. We recognize that privilege can make disagreement invalidating for a non-dominant identity, but we also want to highlight that we are trying to figure out a way to be an open platform for voices in a uniquely complex multicultural context where there isn't one shared language around power and privilege.
This case is a more extreme example of The Gazelle’s daily challenge of mentoring writers and starting a dialogue in such a diverse community in which there is so much potential for offense. And this is further complicated by our unique sociopolitical context. When reviewing every article we navigate these various, and often conflicting, factors. After discussions with multiple people in our community and upon much reflection, we have come to understand that nothing we say or do will please everyone. But then again, that has never been our goal as a publication. Our goal is to be a platform for students to initiate constructive dialogue, which we believe is possible, even in this particular case.
There are many criticisms surrounding this article, but there is one major misconception that we feel it is critical to dispel. Among the objections raised against The Gazelle is that the debate prompted by this article is on completely unequal footing. This criticism stems from the fact that in our unique context, some views and identities are more permissible than others. While this is certainly true, from our personal experience we strongly believe that there are always ways to articulate every point of view with the correct framing. In the last year, The Gazelle’s Management Team has obtained access to legal counsel and other resources that can support writers in crafting an article that does justice to their point of view while also ensuring their safety.
To show our commitment to positive dialogue, we have decided that our next special issue, which will be published on Mar. 7, will be “The Inclusion Issue.” We welcome anyone to write about any topic they wish, and we accept any interpretations of the theme, just as we do for every issue. The Gazelle is not and will never be an arbiter of whose opinion is more valid than others. We will work with all students equally to develop articles that they can be proud of and remain true to their ideas and points of view.
Please contact us at editors@thegazelle org with any comments, queries or if you would like to contribute to The Inclusion Issue.
Paula Estrada is Editor in Chief, and Andrea Arletti is Managing Editor. Email them at
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