Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
In response to Jose Aleman’s editorial printed in The Phoenix on 4/05/07, we apologize to Aleman and anyone else we offended with the “Identity Studies” article. Our intent was not to ridicule the efforts of those who are working for Ethnic Studies; although the Gazette staff has varying opinions on this issue, we believe that students should be able to learn about their own race, class, and sexual orientation in an academic setting, and we applaud efforts towards diversifying the curriculum.
The article was intended to satirize people who genuinely only wish to learn about their own culture–history majors who complain about the non-Western requirement, Black Studies majors who don’t want to study Africa, and Asian Studies majors who are bothered that they must take courses on more than one region in Asia. We believe that an Asian man who only takes courses about Asian men has just as myopic a view of the world as a white man who only takes courses about white men. There are good reasons for distributive requirements such as we mentioned above, and we hope that as the community moves towards a more diverse curriculum, it will also work to ensure a diverse education.
We hope that with this new information, Aleman will be able to re-read our article and recognize it for what it was.
We are also glad that Aleman responded to our article in a public forum. Aleman and others who have had opinions on Daily Gazette articles in the past will be glad to know that next year we will be unveiling a new version of the Daily Gazette which will allow for comments on articles and will include a daily editorial section.
We believe serious campus debate will be elevated if students are able to directly comment on articles and opinions in a moderated public forum and to do it in real-time; this is part of our continued commitment to continue to be the best source of campus information available.