My earliest memory of The Daily Tar Heel comes from my first year at UNC, when in a Quick Hits segment of the opinion page one week I was accused of trying to destroy academic freedom (or something along those lines, unfortunately I haven’t been able to track down the paper online).
The Hit was in response to an article I’d written in my first month as a student at Carolina on a course titled Literature of 9/11. It was an inflammatory piece, written by someone who’d come to college anticipating having to fight in a culture war that never really materialized, and I came to regret having written it almost immediately, especially after I saw what I had intended to be an argument about bias in the classroom was being co-opted by racist Islamophobes. But still, the Quick Hit stuck in my craw and colored my view of the DTH for some time.
At the end of my sophomore year though, I decided to apply for a spot on the DTH editorial board, and, a little bit to my surprise, my application was accepted. It is no secret that our paper, like journalism as a whole, is predominated by those who subscribe to a liberal view of the world. But in the last year and a half I’ve spent working at the DTH, I have never felt unwelcome. There is a genuine commitment to diversity of all forms at The Daily Tar Heel, though, I confess, we are still figuring out how to put that commitment into practice. We’re not perfect, but we are trying.
My opinion of The Daily Tar Heel has changed dramatically over the years, due in no small part to the opportunity I’ve had to see behind the scenes and meet with the people who work here. The students on staff are dedicated to their jobs, to ensuring that the Carolina community has a high-quality and reliable local news source. This is no easy task, and many hours are devoted to putting out content each day. As stretched thin as I’ve sometimes felt this semester, I am in constant awe of those in roles far more demanding than mine, especially our management staff.
The Daily Tar Heel is an important Carolina institution, and I have been privileged to serve as opinion editor for this semester. So, it is with a touch of sadness that I am stepping down from my role at the paper. I’ve made a number of friends and have enjoyed my experience enormously, but I feel that with the increasingly busyness of my job search the opinion page would be better served by someone who can give it the attention it deserves. I know that I’m leaving it in good hands with Ramishah Maruf, who has shown herself to be more than ready for the position in her time as assistant opinion editor this semester.