Editor's Note: Reviving Stanford's Contrarian Ethos

Editor's Note: Reviving Stanford's Contrarian Ethos

Stanford prides itself on thinking differently. Often flagrantly ignoring convention, Stanford students look forward to the future rather than ruminating on the past. The University's interdisciplinary majors, limited number of required classes and laid-back campus culture all contribute to this break-the-mold ethos.

Yet for all the talk of the farm's innovative, institution-shattering culture, a surprising air of conformity has swept over campus. While social life has dramatically changed over the past decade, few now criticize the campus lull. The University is planning the most dramatic change to the undergraduate major since eliminating Western Civilization requirements; good luck finding thoughtful student critiques. As students at one of the nation’s premier universities, we must be more responsive to and critical of these developments.

This environment makes The Review’s role as Stanford’s heterodox publication more important than ever. The Review has stayed true to its mission of providing contrarian and rational dialogue at Stanford since its founding in 1987. Where others conform, Review writers criticize and probe. We reject the name-calling that has defined twenty-first century politics, and respond to those with whom we disagree using reason.

It’s no surprise, then, that our alumni are among Stanford’s most prominent. Despite our constant battles with the University, The Review continues to embody Stanford’s contrarian and trailblazing mission.

Last volume, The Review provided substantive commentary on a wide range of campus and national issues. We covered anti-semitism on campus, offered new perspectives on the affirmative action debate, and explored the GOP’s future. We also took a deeper look into previously untold stories, revealing Stanford’s relationship with illiberal regimes and the story of a Stanford undergraduate who has spent almost half his life in prison.

This volume, expect The Review to build on the work that has sustained this publication's prominence. There will be more investigative pieces, particularly examining Stanford’s relationship with China and the controversy surrounding the University’s potential expansion. We will also closely follow Stanford’s curricular reforms, report on students’ reactions to the 2020 election, and write on Stanford’s role in creating widespread tech addiction.

The Review is welcome to anyone who craves rational and contrarian debate. If you want to help preserve the first-principled ethos that has attracted so many difference-makers to our publication for three decades, see you Mondays at 7pm in Old Union 216!

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