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Coverage, not complacency

The major challenge of collegiate journalism is to break through the complacent self-satisfaction of life at a prestigious school — and nowhere is this challenge more acute than at Princeton.

Traditionally, editors-in-chief of the 'Prince' begin the school year by reaffirming their commitment to report the news in a fair, unbiased manner. Today, we go one step further: We pledge a war on complacency at Princeton. We pledge to use these pages to force issues onto the campus agenda that our community has gone too long without confronting. We pledge to add depth to our coverage of those issues that Princetonians have been discussing without candor and vigor. And, while we will offer neither solutions nor answers to questions facing the University, we pledge that the consideration they will receive in all sections of our newspaper will be meaningful, thought-provoking and bold.


It is with this pledge in mind that today the 'Prince' unveils a variety of initiatives for the coming semester. Most prominent among these is our creation of a new weekly publication, The Prince Magazine. We believe that professors and students should be weighing in together on topics that affect undergraduate life at Princeton — and we feel there is currently something of a void on campus where this exchange of ideas and opinions should be. The Prince Magazine will aim to fill that void, raising questions that we hope will stir frank discussion on campus on a variety of topics: who students are — ethically, spiritually and politically — how they respond to moral dilemmas in their everyday lives, whether they are optimistic about the future and whether they are satisfied with life at this university.

Taking a cue from The New York Times' gripping summer series on race in America, we too will attempt to examine how Princeton students confront issues of race under daily circumstances that are both mundane and extraordinary. In undertaking such a series — which will appear in these pages later in the semester — we aim not to uncover any universal truths about race relations at Princeton, but rather to create an atmosphere in which the most crucial topic of our time can be considered anew on this campus.

Race is by no means the only issue that has been swept under Princeton's rug of undergraduate complacency in recent years. Admissions policies, the University's role in both local and national politics and the impact of the Frist Campus Center on Princeton's intellectual and social climate will all receive prominent coverage in this newspaper during the next semester.

We encourage members of the Princeton community to continue to use our ever-expanding Website to go beyond the daily content we offer in the print edition of the paper. Online polls, contests, audio interviews and historical perspective from the pages of Daily Princetonians past are just a few of the many features that will be made available this semester at

This summer, New York's Lincoln Center featured a play, called "Spinning Into Butter," which received rave reviews. It told the fictional tale of a dean who confronts racism at a small New England college. While the play offered no single answer for improving race relations — or for dealing with any other difficult issue confronting higher education today — it proposed that the first step in addressing sensitive topics on college campuses is, simply enough, to talk about them.


Like "Spinning Into Butter," the 'Prince' will raise more questions this semester — in both our daily edition and our new magazine — than we can realistically answer. But we will not shirk the challenge of placing those questions before the campus community, and we will not bow to those forces that have enveloped this campus in a blanket of complacency for far too long.

That is our pledge for the coming semester. And today we begin putting it into practice. — RICHARD JUST '01 124th Editor-in-Chief

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