For decades, The Gustavian Weekly has been a part of our campus as a forum that fosters and invites discussion among students and faculty alike. It is also a place where those from any background may come to have a platform for free expression supported by and defended by the US constitution, but also Gustavus’ itself.
I’m sure at some point in time, there were individuals that thought Gustavus could not be a place for diversity and inclusion for all races, religions and ethnicities alike. But I write to you, readers, those days do not exist today. Gustavus is, and has been, a place that supports, encourages and protects the rights and freedoms that we enjoy so much on our campus. The pages of The Gustavian Weekly are no exception. Our newspaper will continue to be, as it has been, a place where any individual that has something meaningful to say will be entertained, encouraged and supported.
It is no secret, as many have passionately expressed to myself, Cole Trebelhorn, Editor-in-Chief, as well as to a number of our staff members, that recently we have missed a mark. I strongly believe that it is a part of our duty to acknowledge our responsibility and act accordingly.
Last week in our ninth issue, The Gustavian Weekly published two op-ed articles that have struck a chord in our community that cares so much, many felt compelled and as their duty to speak against them. The numerous students felt strongly that a conversation was necessary to ensure that the feelings of the campus were heard, and acknowldeged and challenged.
That’s what we do as Gusties. We defend; we represent those that with representation, will enjoy the success that so many privilaged individuals enjoy today. We are all passionate individuals, and we all stand for our own beliefs and core values.
However, we all need to come together as Gustavus students, alumni and supporters, to encourage civil dialogue. That is our duty. Living in a society that encourages free thought for all, and expression of opinion, one will often find these thoughts challenged through discourse and various arguments and perspectives presented.
The Gustavian Weekly is not exempt from critique, criticism, or free or error. We are not a higher power on campus that aims to intimidate; we are to be held accountable for that which we publish and for that which we support because that is our duty as student journalists–we must acknowledge our own biases. Equally, however, we will continue to support free speech, and continue to support the freedom of expression that is granted through Gustavus supporting these unalienable rights.
As long as these rights are upheld, there will be content that is questionable, controversial and challenges our core values that we Gusties so strongly uphold. And it is our duty as Gusties, as citizens of this campus, to realize this duty and to fight for the spirit which Gustavus stands for.
The Gustavian Weekly will continue to be published by students, ran by students, created by students and criticized by students because supporting one without supporting the other is not the fabric to which the Gustavus spirit is composed of.
In the last week since the November 1, issue eight of The Gustavian Weekly was released, published, and printed numerous Gustavus students approached me personally and made it clear to me that they are willing, and ready to fight for those that are being challenged and perhaps even targeted—and I applaud this. I applaud their forthright attitude to step into the ring with adversity, into the path of potential pushback without fear and without hesitation.
With this understood, as Erik Norelius, our schools’ founder once said, “whatever we do, let us do it well.” And Gusties, caring for others, is something we must all do well.