The Community Editorial Board has always valued growth and development; in fact, we are proud to announce that, this semester, our articles got “increasingly worse.” Therefore, we would like to offer our next cohort of writers some guidance:
1. Appease every single person on campus by only taking “objectively good” positions.
What is an opinion piece if not an exact and incontrovertible replica of the opinions of every single person on campus? Opinions can, and must, be objective. Stick to “unambiguously good” takes—Duke should only have Michelin-starred restaurants, there needs to be more pollen and less parking spaces on campus, and The Chronicle should shut its presses down. If anyone could possibly disagree with an article, we must never publish it. We need to get back to the golden years of the CEB, when we had such absolutely indisputable positions as “Don’t do that” or “Give us a break.”
2. Don’t criticize DSG.
DSG is always right and we should never disagree with them. We admit that expecting senators to vote is ridiculous. If this were a free country, the CEB would be shut down immediately for daring to criticize DSG. While we’re at it, we should hire more DSG senators—two just isn’t enough! Our entire board should be made up of DSG representatives.
3. Do not make any clickbait claims.
We get it. Titles like “Duke staff are human too,” “The Community Editorial Board endorses Lana Gesinsky for DSG president,” and “Duke must take advantage of its new virtual infrastructure” are sensational, misleading, enticing, and irresistable. In particular, we are sorry that our article “Prioritizing the liberal arts” was clickbait—we figured no one would read it, but for clarity’s sake, the article actually argues for prioritizing STEM, not the liberal arts.
4. Interview, interview, interview.
Why didn’t we interview both frats and campus for “Bring frats back to campus?” That was an incredibly irresponsible choice on our part, and for that, we deeply apologize. We need to accept that, without interviews, our opinions mean “less than nothing.” Had we interviewed a frat and a campus, we would have been better able to argue that “frats are eternal;” this time, at least, our pessimism would be warranted.
5. Don’t be defeatist and idealist.
To be honest, none of us are really sure how to read; thus, our “research” consists of making things up based on whatever gossip we overhear in WU, and we usually pay Instagram bots to complete our “writing.” The links to our sources in our articles usually just take you to a cute cat video, but no one clicks the links anyways, so we didn’t think you would notice. Our parents already told us we need to get more involved in research, so we’re going to try to participate in Bass Connections and Muser–oh, you wanted us to research our articles? We would never do that!
In all seriousness, we have enjoyed this semester's fair share of debates, hot takes, and response articles in the Opinion section of The Chronicle. On a campus at which, too often, only one narrative is heard, groupthink can run rampant; therefore, the CEB has sought to encourage discourse among the student body. Even if you disagreed with our idea to “Bring frats back to campus” or the possible speaker guidelines in “Defining free speech: DSG’s role in funding speakers,” we hope that these pieces have at least prompted conversations about the issues we care about. If a topic is important enough to spark a debate, then it is important enough to write about. Only by raising issues and fostering an environment in which discourse can occur can we collectively reach solutions that incorporate our distinct thoughts and convictions.
The opinion section of The Chronicle, by featuring responses to our columns, is representative of the discussions that are not only healthy, but necessary, in an engaged, self-reflective, and diverse student body. Whether our articles resonated with you or caused you to write a response in disagreement, we are proud to have opened the conversations that are vital to this university. We hope you will join us in continuing to actively seek the discussions that we are afraid of, the discussions that will leave us more open-minded than before, and the discussions that are mere murmurs in this loud world—that is to say, the discussions that embolden us to write. Anyone who writes an opinion piece about this community holds a stake in it, and, while we may hold different stakes, we are honored to hold them with you.
The Community Editorial Board
Editor’s Note: Ashley Bae and Pilar Kelly have recused themselves from this article.
The Community Editorial Board is independent from the editorial staff of the Chronicle.
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