VOLUME 24, ISSUE 1 • SEPTEMBER 2016 – Freshman Survival Guide
Welcome to Yale, Class of 2020! Your next four years promise to be a whirlwind of excitement, opportunity, and education—the “shortest, gladdest years of life,” as our alma mater proclaims. The project of realizing these expectations though can prove overwhelming, particularly to new students. To aid in this task and to introduce you to campus culture, Light & Truth has compiled our 2016 Survival Guide.
Light & Truth is committed to advancing the cause of liberal education. Yale’s 1975 Woodward Report defines this cause as one “to discover and disseminate knowledge by means of research and teaching”—to expose us to the full marketplace of ideas so that we may forge our own paths to truth. But recent calls to shut down expression overwhelm speech itself and have delt a double-blow to academic freedom; both the right to state and the right to hear unpopular ideas are under assault. In such illiberal climates, the majority becomes the sole arbiter of Truth; as freedom of speech begins to vanish, so does freedom of thought.
This Light & Truth Survival Guide intends to provide an alternative to the dogmatic orthodoxy that underlies the assaults on free speech that increasingly plague college campuses across the nation, including Yale. As Past Editor-in-Chief of Light & Truth Patrick Gaughen once wrote, “We have held a conservative tenor, but our aims are not conservative in the political sense. Rather, our aim is to encourage students to engage on the issue of what it means to lead a good life at this University and in the world at large.”
In this Survival Guide, we challenge you, all 1,373 members of Yale’s largest freshman class ever, to rethink the way you live and to examine rigorously the core assumptions of your personal philosophies.
Free thought, self-reflection, liberal education—these are the values that we advance in Light & Truth. If you share them, join us.
—Madeline E. Fortier, The Editor