USC: A study in contrasts

As a senior unwillingly graduating this May, I inevitably find myself reflecting on the past three and a half years. I am amazed by how much has changed during that time and by how much has not. Since I arrived at USC in 2012, the acceptance rate for freshmen has fallen nearly 10 percent, new buildings have sprouted up on campus and an entire Village was razed and now nearly rebuilt. Still, every fall, the Trojan faithful head to the Coliseum to cheer on the Men of Troy as the Spirit of Troy plays “Conquest!” and “Tribute to Troy” again, and again, and again. The Trojan Knights continue to guard Tommy Trojan in the week preceding the game against that school in Westwood and the Daily Trojan continues to go to press.

This contrast between tradition and progress is characteristic of USC which, as President C. L. Max Nikias likes to say, is “going to run a marathon at a sprinter’s pace.” The University has made huge leaps in the field of higher education — a massive fundraising campaign which has raised $4.7 billion to date, a groundbreaking Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and a Nobel prize in chemistry for Professor Arieh Warshel — to name a few. But this relentless pace is far from perfect, as evidenced by concerns over diversity and inclusion, which Provost Michael Quick has called one of the “wicked problems” of our time, and efforts by faculty to unionize for higher wages and better benefits.

The Daily Trojan is also a dichotomy of tradition and progress. We have a storied print history dating back to 1912, but we have also made efforts to adjust to the forces disrupting the larger print media industry by expanding our online and digital presence. This semester we will continue to adapt to the changing media environment by creating more digital content for our website and social media platforms to tell stories in the most engaging way possible and create a rich platform for discussion for USC and the community around it.

But we will not ignore tradition. In addition to expanding our digital coverage, we will also be providing you with more longform, in-depth stories that examine our University, the progress it has made and the issues that still need to be addressed. Our goal is to become a 21st-century student media organization that acknowledges USC’s triumphs while still holding it accountable to its students and to continue our tradition of print excellence as we strive to be a pioneer in the field of collegiate journalism.

Anshu Siripurapu

Daily Trojan Editor-in-Chief