"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

From Exec: Pain demands to be heard

Recent events show the importance of open dialogue and free expression
From the OGB archives

It is never easy to learn in the shadow of tragedy. The atrocities we have witnessed in Israel and Gaza may be half a world away, but for many on our campus, the violence could not be closer to home. As our front page story this week reports, our campus community is in pain. 

That pain does not seem like it will go away anytime soon, and that fact must be acknowledged. Today, two events put on by Campus Life will offer space for students to process the events of the past two weeks. We applaud this effort, but, overall, more spaces are needed for students to discuss this event candidly and respectfully. 

The Old Gold & Black will not offer an opinion on the violence occurring in Israel and Gaza. We cannot. Our editorial board, and even our executive team, have differing views. What we can and will do is provide a space for students to process this conflict. In our news section, we will report objectively on how the Israel-Hamas War is affecting the campus community. Two stories in this week’s print edition represent the beginning of that work. In our opinion section, we have two different perspectives on the violence. 

As Wake Forest’s paper of record, we have a duty to capture the student voice, to “cover the campus like the magnolias.” But as student journalists, it is also our responsibility to stand up for free expression. We are troubled by the fact that students, particularly Muslim students, fear they will be “blacklisted” for expressing their thoughts on the Israel-Hamas War. We are disheartened that students at universities across the nation have been doxxed for sharing their views on current events. Let us be clear: there is a place for passionate debate, but creating cultures of intimidation around expression, in whatever form, is dangerous. 

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Wake Forest’s motto calls us to work for humanity as we work through and process the violence and tragedy with which we are daily confronted — in the Middle East, at home and everywhere in between. The first step of that, which must be taken by students, professors and administrators alike, is to create a space of truth telling, honesty and free expression from which that work can begin.  

The Executive Board of the Old Gold & Black occasionally writes executive editorials. The board comprises Editor-in-Chief Christa Dutton and managing editors Maryam Khanum (multimedia), Breanna Laws (print) and Aine Pierre (online).

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