Letter From an Editor: A note on the editors

Priyanshi Katare, Opinion Editor

Dear Readers,

My co-editor Pallas Gutierrez and I are as distinctly different as they come. If we were to draw a venn diagram of our experiences, the only thing in common would be our love for the Daily, and this what we bring to the whole process. As editors, we recognize the need to be as inclusive in our narrative as possible. We understand that no two voices sound the same and that is exactly why they must all be heard. Our differing perspectives give us the room to tell stories that are reflective of the experiences of the students on this campus. We consider this to be important and too significant to ignore.

When I first joined the Daily, I focused on writing stories that talked about issues that affected students on campus. I wanted to write for the Opinion desk for the same reason. I view human-centric issues to be an urgent conversation that we need to start having as a community. I joined the Opinion desk to be able to provide a platform to start this conversation.

I consider my job as Opinion Editor to be rooted in the ground values and childhood experiences that have shaped me. In my life so far I have studied in ten different academic institutions and lived in six different cities. I’ve lived in rural Wisconsin where the sun set at five and in the greater Mumbai region where it rains for five months straight. This was crucial to shaping me as a person. As a child in an ever-changing environment, my only form of stability was the customs and traditions of the society I belonged to. For the most part, I had to learn to adapt my South Asian roots to the environments that for the most part were not always conducive to it.

I often catch myself saying that I grew up in an extremely positive conflict. On the one hand, I was being pushed to follow through with the changing times of my generation and on the other hand, my feet were being nailed to the ground by the ideals considered appropriate and genuine by my society.

I belonged to this society. I respected it and I wanted to honor it in every way possible, but I also wanted to do justice to myself and so at a very young age I found myself to be in an identity crisis.

My only solution to this crisis was to aggressively adapt and almost match one domain of my life to another. This helped me find common ground but also maintain individual grounds for things I considered to be right by my standards. At every point of time, I asked myself if I was diluting the impact of the experiences I was brought up in.

Another facet of my ever-changing environment was the constant change in the groups of people I interacted with. Almost periodically I had a new set of friends with widely different sets of interests and opinions. This taught me to develop a sense of relatability where ever I went. I understood very quickly that in order to talk about issues that are significant, I must first empathize and understand the people it concerns.

But even in moments of no change and absolute calmness I constantly deliberated with myself.
The questions of ‘who am I and do I belong here’ were in fact the ones that allowed me to understand the impact I could create and role I could play in any given community. These questions allowed me to reflect on the person I was at that moment and where I saw myself.

In my time at Northwestern, I have often found that there is a tendency to merge and bracket people off into very narrow categories. As an editor, I intend to fight for the very opposite of this. I believe that we need to provide people with the space to find their own common and individual grounds without pressuring them into the confines of narrow definitions.

Priyanshi Katare is a Weinberg sophomore. She can be contacted at [email protected] If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.