Letter from the Editor

Finals, purple gowns, 42 degree Celsius heat and summer have engulfed conversations at dinner tables and in lines at the Library Cafe. One more ...

Finals, purple gowns, 42 degree Celsius heat and summer have engulfed conversations at dinner tables and in lines at the Library Cafe. One more semester of our start-up college in the so-called Middle of Nowhere comes to an end. And so does my first semester as Co-Editor-in-Chief.
To be honest, I was scared at the prospect of leading The Gazelle this semester. When I left NYU Abu Dhabi for a year, The Gazelle’s team was like the rest of the school — small, still ordering from Foodlands and buying shampoo at Al Safa Supermarket. With the transition to Saadiyat and the expanding student body, The Gazelle grew just like the rest of the school. It was not six people editing over Olivella’s pizza anymore. There was a video desk, a research desk and a creative desk. The Gazelle had multiple social media editors, illustrators, photographers and copy chiefs. There were more people than could possibly fit in a room. We made a team based on emails and Facebook conversations.
For the first time, I didn’t know everybody. I came back from New York and was unsure about what to expect. Will the production room be like the family that I had left, which tweeted inside jokes and made people do pushups if they missed an Oxford comma? Or will it be a more professional environment, where we were stricter with deadlines and responsibilities, where we perhaps didn’t know each other beyond our editing roles? How will I connect the two?
With a new room, where we hid Snickers and Nature Valley bars for a semester, The Gazelle published the first issue of 2016 on Feb. 7. But something still didn’t feel right. As I found out pretty soon, nothing in NYUAD is constant. The fluid nature of our student body, the ever-changing policies and the restructuring of procedures allow us to construct and reconstruct not only our cultural — and other — identities, but also our work ethic. We shuffled and reshuffled positions, brought in people who mentioned that they were interested in working for The Gazelle at the grill in the Dining Hall or showed excitement knocking on our door.
Between creating debate about the usage of U.S. American, Student Government and majors, stories about bakeries in Amman, catcalling in Havana and romance on Coney Island, we hope The Gazelle has fulfilled its mission of promoting dialogue and conversation at NYUAD and in the greater NYU community. With a live data connectivity experiment and a review of Student Government’s activities in the academic year 2015-16, we hope The Gazelle has expanded beyond its traditional role of being a Sunday morning student publication, and pushed the boundaries of what an independent online publication can do at a school like NYUAD in the field of investigative journalism, interactive media and long-form reporting.
The Gazelle is different now — both in and out of the production room. It’s a good different. I am so incredibly grateful to the team that has spent countless hours editing, reporting, fact checking, illustrating and tweeting as well as laughing, eating, dancing, arguing and reminding me why I continue to be a part of this publication semester after semester.
I’m excited to see where we go in fall 2016 and afterward. Knock on C2-E238. Let’s figure out what excites us, what angers us and what we care about.
It’s been wonderful.
Yours, Khadeeja
Letter from co-editor-in-chief Megan Eloise and news coverage of commencement will be published on May 23.
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