USC is a university in a constant state of progress.This sentiment is perhaps best reflected in the various improvements to the University both physically — the building of the new Wallis Annenberg Hall, The Village construction — and academically with USC’s sustained rise to prominence as an elite international research university.
This progress has occurred simultaneously with the continuous improvements and gentrification in nearby Downtown Los Angeles, essentially establishing the area as L.A.’s de facto cultural epicenter.
The university’s efforts to improve resources, student life and academics in conjunction with Downtown LA’s improvements implicitly reflect our personal duties as Trojans to continue to improve ourselves in every facet of our involvement, whether it be in the classroom, in the workplace or in the community.
But as we continue to make progress, we as students must not lose sight of our core Trojan values.
This past summer was a difficult one for the Trojan Family. The slaying of graduate student Xinran Ji, the tragic death of incoming Trojan Nick Fagnano, Maj. Gen. Harold Greene’s death in Afghanistan and the loss of World War II hero, Olympian and lifelong Trojan Louis Zamperini deeply impacted the USC community.
Zamperini embodied the Trojan spirit and lent palpable meaning to the words “Fight On.” It was his fighting spirit which helped him overcome immeasurable odds and harrowing treatment while detained as a prisoner of war in Japan in 1945. It was only through incredible difficulty, however, that Zamperini was given the opportunity to reveal his character.
Progress is generally viewed as positive, but it fails to account for a fundamental principle which drives it. In this way, instead of characterizing our university as being in progress, we like to think of it as a process of refinement. As the university continues to push on toward the future, it should also be revealing its truest character by virtue of the difficulties of the process.
The theme for this semester’s Orientation Issue is The Trojan, Refined/Redefined. As college students, our primary mission should be to endlessly refine ourselves: personally, socially, academically and professionally.
A true process of refinement is never easy. Businesses in the former University Village were displaced by construction efforts, and USC’s transition into an elite national university has come with some growing pains in shedding its perception as a “party school.”
But in pursuing our goals, we as Trojans must never forsake who we are and the legacy left by those who came before us. The concept of the Trojan Family is as important as ever as the university’s student body becomes increasingly diverse. Fighting on in the face of adversity, as Zamperini did, is vital for a university that will commence its semester on the heels of a summer fraught with tragedy.
“Trojan Family” and “Fight On” are not simple buzzwords to invoke an ad hoc sense of Trojan Pride. They are principles that are intrinsic to the Trojan identity. We hope to emphasize those principles in doing our very best to serve our readers this semester. The Fall 2014 Daily Trojan Editorial Board is committed to this idea of refinement, of constantly improving while being mindful of the tradition established by previous generations.
So on behalf of the Daily Trojan staff, thank you for your readership. It will be an honor to serve you.
Euno Lee, fall 2014 Editor-in-Chief