The Elephant in the Room: Greetings from your Token Male Editor!

By: Phillip Nagler  |  August 7, 2019

By Phillip Nagler, Opinion Editor

Last semester, I was part of a significant change that impacted this newspaper — I became the first male editor of the YU Observer. It was strange to hold this title, and part of me felt like I was invading a space that was designed exclusively for the women of Yeshiva University. With that said, the board members of the Observer were extremely welcoming and made me feel like their equal. Nevertheless, I feel that I owe the greater YU community an explanation as to why I joined a historically female newspaper and why I am worthy of serving its readers.

A strong personal value of mine is creating and contributing to a community. At YU, it’s difficult to build a community, as one has many responsibilities and little time to invest in developing relationships. My strategy to finding my own niche on campus is meeting like-minded people through clubs and student organizations. This is what drew me to the Observer.

Before writing for the Observer, I wrote for some of the other campus publications. I had a few friends involved with the Observer who would occasionally ask me to contribute articles. I declined their requests, as I had other obligations and little time, but I appreciated their enthusiasm. They were devoted to recruiting writers and were passionate about maintaining a quality publication.

Between the fall and spring semesters of academic years, I like to evaluate how the previous term went, and how and what I can improve for the upcoming term. The commitment of my peers from the Observer encouraged me to inquire if they needed another editor. To my luck, there was an open position. I was offered to be the Junior Features Editor and I gladly accepted. Since then, I’ve written and edited a number of articles, but more importantly, I’ve grown closer to my fellow team members.

I’m particularly excited to be working on the Opinion section this year. This section allows students to express their beliefs, concerns, innovative ideas, and criticisms. Through these statements, discussions on campus are framed, club events are planned, and the status quo of our institution is challenged. A community is formed and developed as a result of student voices, and I am excited to help build our community by amplifying these voices. Although I am a male editor working for a historically female paper, I am devoted to expanding the presence of the Observer and feel that I can serve its readers and writers with my passion for it.


Photo: Phillip Nagler