OP-EDS

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March 7, 2006

It has truly been an honor

It is always difficult to sum up in a few hundred words what an important experience has meant to you, especially when that experience has been something you have been so invested in for so long. I would much prefer to point everyone to our archives, and the more than 150 Maroon issues I have had a hand in publishing. That end result is what I am most proud of, and what I would most prefer people judge me by. Yet, as is tradition, I am charged with providing an abstract of my feelings on this day of my final Maroon issue. I’ll start, strangely enough, with the trouble I’ve gotten myself into while working here.

I spent my first stint with the Maroon writing a Viewpoints column that prompted all sorts of strongly worded responses—from strangers, from graduate students I had never met, and even from my math professor. I then took over the Viewpoints section and started getting nasty e-mails about all the articles in the section. When I became editor in chief…yes, you guessed it: more angry e-mails.

I started making a list of interesting things I was called, and whom, the Maroon or I angered. I’ve been called a racist on a University listhost. I’ve been called an extremist (by a liberal) and been accused of suppressing the debate on academic bias (by a conservative). I was accused of being, and I quote, “jury, dictator, and executioner.” That last one was an interesting one. A certain unnamed alumnus stripped on the quads last spring during Scav Hunt and was suddenly dismayed that the number one Google hit for his name was our article about the incident. I sympathize with him about the implications of this on future job applications, kind of, but we have a certain rule about keeping our archives intact.

One particularly terrifying morning, I woke up to an e-mail from Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz threatening legal action and claiming that the Maroon had defamed him (true)…willfully (untrue). That was a sticky one. I also had the pleasure of speaking with the press secretary of the United States Department of the Interior. It seems Interior Secretary Gale Norton was a little annoyed with one of our op-ed columns that ended up in her daily press briefing. That one was solved by the first ever Viewpoints op-ed written by a government official.

In the face of the angry e-mails and the constant criticism, I still truly believe that working for the Maroon was the best decision I made at this school.

Despite my various detractors, I have made my best attempt at guiding the Chicago Maroon over the past three quarters. We take it upon ourselves to document the life and times of this great university, and that can often seem a daunting task. However, in the end, it is an honor.

I will take that with me as I reluctantly leave campus in June. I may or may not return, but I will always look upon my undergraduate years at this school with fondness. My days at the Maroon play a large role in that.