Graphic by Megan Eloise/The Gazelle

Letter From the Editors

A row of seven red telephone booths lines the western and eastern walls in Saigon’s Central Post Office. In the ‘80s, my mother took nine of her ...

Sep 12, 2015

Graphic by Megan Eloise/The Gazelle
A row of seven red telephone booths lines the western and eastern walls in Saigon’s Central Post Office. In the ‘80s, my mother took nine of her siblings and cousins to the city at a time for a scheduled collect call. The postmaster called out the family name and they huddled around one booth to hear from my uncle, the first in the family to migrate to Australia.
Later, all ten would recount their frustration that the allotted 15-minute call consisted of one person asking, "Are you well?" and then both parties crying for the remaining 14 or so minutes. Communication was expensive and the need to convey important information efficiently was crucial. The next time, they arrived with a prepared list of talking points.
Communication flows much more easily today. iPhone screens feature collages of different modes of communication, at the beck and call of our nuanced information-sharing tastes. A picture of the Innovation Kitchen’s special of the day is too petty to post on Facebook and would undermine your more serious Twitter aesthetic, but it perfectly suits a filter called Slumber on Instagram, plus a short, wry caption.
For The Gazelle, communication comes by easily. Any number of articles could be published online, without the restriction of a width-by-length space quota typical of printed newspapers. But easy access to communication keeps us on our toes; it makes us constantly question, if there is no limit to what we say, what should we venture to say, and how much? If endless lists of cat GIFs are possible and popular, is that what we should publish?
As co-editors-in-chief, Zoë and I continue to ask how The Gazelle should expand its scope and remain relevant. What is important to our readers, mainly the NYU Abu Dhabi student body? Earlier this year, we aimed to reflect the artistic community with our Creative Desk, which features and discusses student art. We also unrolled videos, some investigating social issues concerning campus, and others exploring downtown Abu Dhabi.
This semester, we begin by introducing the Research Desk. In its jargon-free expositions of new academic research by members of the NYUAD community, this section aims to better reflect and stimulate interest in the core of our university’s work.
We also introduce an advice column, aimed at exploring the more personal experience of living in Abu Dhabi. While anonymous, we hope these voices will open the conversation on shared struggle, concerns and empathy among readers. We invite anyone, whether on or off campus, to post submissions here.
In developing The Gazelle, we remain critical and constantly ask what is important to the student body. We might remember the lesson learned and angrily declared on the steps of Saigon’s Central Post Office in 1981, after a 15-minute call that cost half a day’s work was over: “Speak because you have something to say. Speak because it matters to the person listening.”
Yours, Joey and Zoë
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