By Fruma Landa, Editor in Chief
I am filled with pride to release the YU Observer’s Summer Recap edition. Originally, we planned to release our first edition of the 2020-2021 academic year in August, yet our plans changed and we decided to publish a summer recap edition. Essentially, this edition is a collection of articles documenting the important events which occurred over the past few months along with a variety of thought provoking and insightful articles.
It is unusual for the YU Observer to publish during the summer; however, this summer has been an extraordinary experience. We are all familiar with the phrase “unprecedented times,” a phrase heading many of our emails, commonly used to sum up the COVID-19 experience. There are both privileges and disadvantages that come along with living at a time unlike anything we, as a student body, have experienced before. Each one of us is taking part in creating history. Our actions, as a unit and as individuals, dictate the projection of the COVID-19 pandemic as well the rectification of the various social injustices we have shed a light on over the past few months. So many of us had the strength to look past our own pain and take part in acknowledging and relieving the pain of others. Conversely, we must acknowledge the trauma of living during a pandemic and the grief that many of us face, as well as the economical and sociological distress this has caused. Simply, this is an unusual time. Our lives have broken away from what we considered to be our norms and routines leaving us to construct our own new personal norms within the framework of the society we currently live in.
For Managing Editor of the YU Observer Shayna Herszage and I, adapting to these new norms meant a decision to publish throughout the summer. We knew it wouldn’t be easy to train in our new staff and publish at the same time, but we felt it our responsibility to provide accurate and up to date news to the student body when there was news to be reported. We assumed we would publish a few news articles (we were expecting a Fall 2020 reopening plan and assumed there would be some other events that would come up as well) but never dreamed that our Summer Recap edition would contain as much content as it does. In precedent times, publishing a newspaper is a process secured by deadlines. Writers need to complete their works before a set deadline, and editors need to ensure that there is enough content in their section ready to be published. However, working with a myriad of uncertainties, we decided to keep the Summer Recap edition as flexible as possible, allowing it to adapt to many possible scenarios. There were no deadlines, no quotas, none of the usual measures which drive a successful publication. Yet, we still published an edition with 28 articles.
Isolated from our communities and support systems, many of us struggling with recreating a fulfilling summer turned to writing, and the YU Observer received a steady flow of articles spanning a variety of topics. As we were not operating under any of our usual expectations we have for editions, there was no external motivation driving these writers. This edition consists of articles written by people who were looking to come together, to share their thoughts and create a dialogue. It was inspiring to see an edition pull itself together by students who took initiative, stuck at home looking for a place to be heard. It was nothing other than an internal drive to create and be a part of the community.
There is a beauty to a space that is made up of people who chose to be there, a space built by the people themselves, and that is what this edition is. Finding a community means being a part of something larger than one’s self and I feel humbled that the YU Observer became that space this summer. It is my hope that the YU Observer continues along this path to remain a newspaper that belongs to the students, held together with both passion and dedication. I couldn’t be prouder to announce our Summer Recap edition, made by students who care.