University on a conquest for excellence

Trojans may have just had 14 weeks off from school, but in that time USC has hardly been sitting idle.

While students were taking the opportunity to work, intern or just catch up on some sleep, the University has opened a new school, reached more than $4.5 billion in its $6 billion fundraising campaign, continued work on a multitude of construction projects and founded a controversially established Alzheimer’s center.

Last year was no different. In the inaugural issue of Fall 2014, the Daily Trojan featured the changes that had been made that summer — the building of the Wallis Annenberg Hall, destruction of the former University Village and USC’s gradual transition from party school to elite university.

There’s a reason “Conquest” is one of the Spirit of Troy’s most famous songs. On the field and off, USC is always looking to dominate and won’t stop until it’s one of the premiere academic and research institutes in the country. In this welcome issue, we highlight both the good and the bad of USC’s quest. The Rossier School of Education is helping to improve the education of local children through a new charter school, and a new dance program will broaden USC’s education in the arts. But at the same time, USC’s ambition to lead in the biological sciences have led to accusations of academic poaching, and the Roski School of Art and Design’s new direction has left some students out in the cold.

As the University is changing, the Daily Trojan is aiming to evolve along with it. More complicated stories and a more diverse student body have necessitated more sophisticated methods of reporting.

Because of this, we are continually seeking to improve our online presence. This semester, our multimedia will no longer be confined to the occasional video or podcast. Accompanying stories online will be media-rich, interactive elements including maps, timelines, infographics and videos. If you’re reading this in print, I encourage you to go online and see how much deeper the stories can get with the added benefit of technology.

Just as the depth of our online content will be extended, so will its breadth. In addition to the print stories that appear online, we will cover unique web stories and add four new blogs to our existing five. In continuing our focus on blogs that began last semester, we aim to go past informing students and welcome them to a community with opinions on fashion, food, music and more.

Regardless of technological advances, the Daily Trojan remains committed to the integrity of reporting that has been at its foundation for its 100-plus year history. In a return to tradition, we have formed a nine-member Editorial Board that will weigh in on one issue of importance to our campus and community each week —  our first editorial appears in this issue. The Daily Trojan has a voice, and with it comes a responsibility to help ensure a well-informed student body.

But though we aim to continually evolve, one thing will remain constant: The Daily Trojan’s primary goal will always be to serve readers to the best of our abilities.

Isabella Sayyah, Fall 2015 Editor-in-Chief