A Welcome Letter From the Editors of The Chicago Maroon

By Gage Gramlick and Yiwen Lu

Dear Reader, 

We need to apologize to you. Orientation Week, this Orientation Issue, and all the other orientation events you’ll attend in the coming weeks—they all gaslight you, make you believe that a quick speech, a speedy presentation, or a few articles will bring you up to speed, make you feel at home, orient you. The truth is: The first quarter of first year disorients everyone. From navigating a new social environment to acclimating to your absurdly sadistic academic workload to trying to understand why your roommate does whatever weird thing your roommate will inevitably do, first quarter takes you for a ride and leaves you whiplashed, gasping for air. 

The best advice we can give you? Throw your hands up and enjoy the rollercoaster. Join the RSO. Go to the party. Be the wide-eyed and bushy-tailed first-year we all make fun of and love. Because nothing can replace time. No house activity or frat or fair will bridge your old home to your new one. Only time will make you feel comfortable here. And O-Week is not enough time. So knowing that you’re going to feel uncomfortable and out of place no matter what—at least for a while—why not take advantage? Do something you never would have done in high school. Push the boundaries of who you thought you were. Regardless of the results, you’re still going to be a hot mess. And that’s fine! You have time. 

All of us—second, third, and fourth-years—we’ve all experienced the clusterfuck that is first year. We are intimately familiar with that first-year feeling of being lost at sea. That’s why finding communities on and around campus is so important. There are tons of other students who want to help you feel at home—you just have to be brave enough to reach out.

That leads us to our unabashed plug: The Maroon, UChicago’s independent, student-run newspaper, is one of the places where you can find community. We run the gamut. From news, arts, sports, longform, and opinion writing; to photography, video, design, copy, and illustrations; to business management, community engagement, marketing, operations, and ad sales; The Maroon has something for everyone. 

And we’ve recently made some significant changes to make The Maroon more accessible, inclusive, and equitable. Not only did we set up a new website and app (which you can read about later in this issue), but we’ve also rewritten our constitution and bylaws. Our new constitution and bylaws clearly lay out our values and subsequent journalistic standards. We’ve given constitutional power to our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee in order to help The Maroon foster an environment in which all students are safe and feel welcome. Additionally, we’ve added several transparency measures, including requiring the identities of the editorial board members to be published as well as requiring our policies to be accessible to all readers. 

The following O-Issue is a culmination of work by our journalists who are excited to meet you and who want you to feel welcomed. While we can’t promise that this issue will bring you up to speed on everything you need to know about life at UChicago or make you feel at home, we know it’s a good place to start. We hope to see you soon. 


Gage Gramlick, editor-in-chief 

Yiwen Lu, managing editor