As of Spring 2019, Watchdogs Gazette, an independent student publication, serves our student body as a platform to house and protect freedom of thought and expression.
Students, especially in the history of our university, have been the element most capable of fueling change within our communities, societies, and our region. Through muting our voices, dictating our writing and enforcing censorship upon our thoughts, the power that lies within penmanship has been confiscated from us.
Detached from embedded fear in expressing our opinions, we build this initiative: an initiative that hinges on distinguishing the difference between an opinion and a false fact laced as one.
By presenting ourselves as student-writers with this space, we grant ourselves a liberty that is not divorced from a responsibility. We launch this project with a vision to empower writers, but within journalistic integrity and one that does not endorse publication of opinions that go to coat racist, sexist, or homophobic views, as well as false claims and any other discriminative form of writing.
The name Watchdogs goes to reflect our intention as academics who need to be critical of their surroundings. This publication is solely run by students, independent from any administrative body, where it does not threaten our campus’ associations both internally and externally nor harm our university’s name. Our campus has been sheltered away from the causes most meaningful to us. The identities we determine for ourselves have been shelved and labeled problematic. We understand the burdens that come with speaking up but also the dire consequences of remaining mute. We therefore see to it, that pen-names are adopted for those of us who need them. We seek, with this initiative, to gain our voices back. We invite you to have a voice louder than us by providing you with the tools and platform to express it.
May our student body become, if not remain, fearlessly vocal, eager for a constructive discourse.
We, in the future, hope this platform reports from and connects different campuses in multiple languages within our defined state, and we work toward it becoming an accessible tool for students to share and challenge perceptions through sharp, aware, and informed writing.
– Zeinab W. Moukachar, January, 2019