Farewell (Vol. 1, Issue 18)
The thought of commencement leaves one with mingled feelings. The exaltation of graduation is tempered to a great extent by the sobering reality the hour of parting friendships inevitably brings about.
To those of us on the Governing Board graduating this semester, it is doubly depressing. That we who have been indissolubly bound up with The Commentator from the days when it was but a hazy concept until its present inspiring reality must now bid farewell to. the very soul we created, seems incredible to us. Yet, so it is.
And as the hour of inevitable parting approaches, a series of scenes pass again before us, as again they inevitably will in future years. There is the dream of a student newspaper in the spring semester of 1934 which was mentioned to no one but one’s most intimate friends, for fear of laughter. Then comes the appointment of a Publications Committee by Student Council during the fall term of 1934. Its purpose is to investigate the possibility of the publication of a student newspaper at Yeshiva College.
The spring term—and things begin to move! Council decides. An editor is elected. Notices are posted about the building. Applications immediately begin to pour in. The scene changes to a dormitory room in Riets Hall. It is littered with papers as a milling group of students determinedly go about their business. Three of the group are continuously banging away at typewriters borrowed from every part of the building. And thus the first issue of The Commentator goes to press.
The feeling of awe with which first the Governing Board and then the school received the first Commentator will never be forgotten. Soon The Commentator grew. By the end of the term it had its own office. The following semester found The Commentator a member of an intercollegiate news paper organization as national advertising brightened up its pages. The staff increased. Undiscovered talent revealed itself. Distinguished from every other group in the school was The Commentator organization by its efficiency,co-operation, enthusiasm.
But far more important and determining in the history of Yeshiva was the new spirit and lease on life with which The Commentator inspired the student body. During the first few initial issues of The Commentator in last year’s spring semester the student body remained aghast at the frankness and vigor with which The Commentator expressed itself. Only then did the student body first begin to realize that it was not only their right but their duty to take an active interest in all college matters affecting them as well as the institution itself.
The whole hearted and unselfish participation of the overwhelming majority of the student body in all the campaigns of The Commentator to win the respect of the administration for the opinions of the undergraduates in regard to college policy has been the sole reason for the precedent of independent student action. That every important request presented by Student Council or The Commentator has been granted by the administration is a powerful example of the necessity of and the benefit accrueing from student-administration-faculty co-operation.
So, to the incoming Governing Board we relinquish control. Our work is done. The Commentator has been recognized. Success has marked every one of its important endeavors. The student body has rallied to its support while abortive attempts by the college office to censor it have failed.
To the incoming Governing Board goes the responsibility of leadership which The Commentator assumed and has maintained ever since its inception. As inviolable tenets, the new Governing Board must uphold the independence of student body action, particularly the exclusive control of Student Council over extra-curricular activities.
Above all, however, the independence of The Commentator from any control, open or subtle, by the administration, faculty, of Student Council must be righteously guarded. A precedent for independent, progressive, and Yeshiva-conscious leadership has been set. Will the incoming. Governing Board uphold it?