Hello. We're The Gazette. We're a group of Western students and ex-students who run the newspaper that the university community reads each day.
Believe it or not, we take great pride in the work we put out. We are respected across the country for being one of the most prestigious university publications in Canada.
Oh, there's something else we take pride in. Our right to make decisions concerning how our newspaper is run.
When this year's front office set out its one-year plan in May, 1996, we made a long-range decision. We decided to run the first-ever Diversities issue of The Gazette.
We recognize February as Black History Month. We respect it. In two previous years, The Gazette published a Black History Month issue in its commemoration.
This year we decided to try something different.
We like the result.
This is not to say a Black History issue won't be published in the future. That is the decision of others who will have the opportunity and privilege of editing The Gazette.
In the meantime, we stand by our decision to share the Diversities issue with our readers. We aren't stepping on anyone's toes, rather, we are complimenting the multicultural makeup of Western. We think that Western's tossed salad community is a microcosm of all of Canada. We are Canadians, no matter what our backgrounds. All are equal today yet all should be celebrated for where they came from. That is our intention with today's issue to celebrate all cultures that represent Western.
We have not waited for national Multicultural Month. We have not neglected Black History Month. But we have gone ahead and set our own schedule to meet our own agenda. We don't need national recognition to present our feelings on a topic. We chose today to present our multicultural issue simply because we felt like doing the work today.
Kudos to all the groups on campus who took us up on our offer and wrote a little article to tell, in their own words, what it's like to them as individuals to have a certain heritage. Only with their help can light be shed on what those different from us are like.
Harper Lee said it best in To Kill a Mockingbird. "You can't judge another man until you walk a mile in his shoes." Today's Gazette attempts to walk a few inches in as many shoes as possible. We haven't judged any group we've embraced them all.
We hope you don't judge our decision until you walk a mile in our shoes. We're putting a daily newspaper together here and it's our choice what we fill our pages with. We think our small step today is a step forward.