Reprinted from Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Stanford Review (June 1987):
Welcome to the first issue of the Stanford Review.
Our motivation in writing this paper is threefold. First of all, we would like to present alternative views on a wide range of current issues in the Stanford community. On many of these issues, a vocal few have succeeded in dominating the discussion. Often with views very different from those of the Stanford mainstream. Many of the more moderate students in the Stanford community remain silent, believing that it makes little difference whether they speak out or not. By presenting these alternative views, it is our hope that the Stanford Review will succeed in bringing about some much-needed debate.
Secondly, we would like to create a forum for rational debate. Whenever debates do take place within the Stanford community, they are too often confined to an emotional level. Name-calling (“that’s racist,” “he’s a communist,” “you’re fascist,” etc.) is the norm, even though it rarely leads anywhere. In the Stanford Review, we will confine ourselves to rational argumentation, which will hopefully lead to rational thought and rational solutions. The emotional type of debate, on the other hand, has had a dismal track record of polarizing views and provoking irresponsible solutions.
Finally, the Stanford Review challenges those who, after reading this paper, still disagree with us. We do not challenge you to merely voice your opposition and tell us that we are wrong; rather, we challenge you to respond in kind—with rational argumentation and with workable solutions of your own. Only when we transcend the emotional level of debate will we be able to move towards the sort of constructive dialogue that results in progress.
On the other hand, we encourage those of you who are heartened by the Stanford Review to write for us. The Stanford Review is here to stay, and we hope to come out on a monthly basis next year.
Have a good summer, and we’ll see you next year!