Photo by Adora Zheng

Letter from the 2020-21 Editors-in-Chief

Call us crazy, but one of the things we’ll miss most about high school is pacing the quad on campus, harassing groups of students at brunch to ask if they’d like a Campy still hot from the presses. 

Maybe we were just high off our hard work — the inky fumes of a tall stack of freshly printed papers pressed against your chin can be overpowering — but maybe the 20 hours of tireless work over the prior three production days successfully coming together had a small role to play as well. 

As racial and religious tensions boil over in our country and around the world, we hope our readers appreciate our attempt to report on complex issues with pieces such as “Being Black at Paly” and “Palo Alto’s History of Redlining,” or spur critical thinking with opinion pieces like the one tackling Palo Alto’s need for RV parking. As editors, we have watched our talented staff members defy all expectations to secure interviews with politicians and famous athletes over Zoom, enter the mazes of political rallies with bulky equipment to return with award-winning photos and more. 

It’s been an honor to guide the publication through a visual redesign and an entire textbook chapter in U.S. history. We feel so lucky to have worked with an incredibly capable staff to overcome such obstacles and to have created a phenomenal product that is the first remote edition in The Campanile’s 103-year history. 

We’ve had things relatively easy compared to high schools in the rest of the nation — we’re privileged to be in a district that supports scholastic journalism and values the contribution our publication makes to the community. With the rise of misinformation spreading through social media and even major network news reporting, good journalism is more important than ever — as are savvy consumers of media. We hope we’ve wielded this ever-increasing responsibility well, and we are confident that the 104th editorial board will do the same. 

Paly journalism has been foundational in our lives. Far beyond igniting an undying hatred for the Oxford comma, The Campanile teaches critical thinking and research better than any College Board class ever will and doesn’t shy away from the mechanics of language like many high school English departments across the nation. 

We recommend students take advantage of the stellar journalism department Paly has and we vouch for the atmosphere — serious, yet creative — that is the product of driven student journalists. 

Perhaps the day-to-day grind and responsibilities of helming the paper accelerated our high school experience, but we can’t believe it’s come to an end so soon. As the five of us move on to college, and possibly collegiate journalism, we’re certain we won’t forget our roots and Campanile pride. We’d like to thank our supporting branches as well: the paper would be pulp without the tireless work of our adviser, Satt. 

The parents of each staff member deserve names in the staff box too; their emotional and financial support has undoubtedly shielded The Campanile from both burnout and bankruptcy, respectively. We also extend our gratitude to a supportive school district and Paly administration: when it really mattered, they believed in our ability as a school paper — even when our editorials did not reflect favorably on them or their actions (see below; it seems this won’t end with us). 

Lastly, thank you for reading. We hope you enjoy this edition and the many to come.

Adora, Andrew, Ben, Kris & Shiva