RECORD EDITORIAL: The Last Word

BY

MY TIME IS UP AS EDITOR-in-chief of The Record, as well as my involvement with this newspaper. It has been an honor and a privilege to bring the news to the Law School community, whether as a reporter learning the tricks of the trade as I went, or in my current leadership position, though I still seem to be learning the tricks with each new issue. I hand the reins to Hugo Torres and I have complete confidence that he will maintain and surpass the level of excellence demonstrated this year by the newspaper staff. He has already retained two staff members, Jeremy Blachman and Tammy Pettinato, both of whom have expertise that will prove invaluable next year.

My goal or vision for this newspaper when I took over last fall was to provide a forum within the Law School for dialogue while also stinging the Law School to action when it seemed apathetic or sluggish in moving along the path of progress. Looking back over the past twenty-three issues I think I accomplished this goal.

Within a few issues at the start of the academic year we had ignited a debate about the lack of women at the Law Review that has yet to subside. I do not regret our coverage nor our editorials calling for more transparency as to how the Law Review has studied this issue. I do not regret our publication of the internal Law Review memo that compared different approaches to solving this problem as well as the proportion of women in other law schools’ law reviews. I still stand by our call for the Law School administration to take over this issue and to institute needed reforms, perhaps though not necessarily including affirmative action, which will ensure that women are represented proportionately in this organization. I remain hopeful that the recruitment work by the Law Review will eliminate the need for another article next fall detailing the lack of women who are Law Review members.

But more important than the few editorials and articles dedicated to this issue, Law School students began to debate the issue, through both the newspaper forum and conversation. This is an invaluable component in helping to eliminate a gender disparity problem that is larger than the Law Review.

Along the same lines of equality, the Law School faced another round of discrimination by the U.S. military this academic year. The Solomon controversy confirmed that the University has a price in how far it will go to provide its students an environment free from discriminatory hiring practices. It is certainly debatable whether the University has a free choice in deciding whether to give up hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money each year. Again, however, the controversy sparked a debate within this newspaper and beyond as to the merits of Summers’s decision, the worth of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and the morality of homosexuality.

These are but two major issues that impacted the Law School this academic year and there are others, such as the study on women’s experiences, that have led to debate and discussion. My point is that I wanted this newspaper to report the news, investigate stories, and provide a forum for alternate points of view. Thanks to the brilliance of Adam White as Editorial Page Editor, I believe we accomplished these goals. Each week he ensured our opinion pages reflected a balanced approach to issues while also accommodating guest columnists. His humor and wit will be missed and I wish him, and all departing staff, luck in the coming years.

It has been a pleasure serving the Law School community in my capacity at the newspaper. It is a privilege to report the news, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done so at Harvard Law School.

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