From The Editor

 

By Gerry Boyle '78, P '06
 

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Here at Colby we had been talking for years about doing a story on the 2004 presidential election. After all, Colby faculty members are tapped regularly by national and international media looking for insight into the political process. If The New York Times calls on our professors to edify its readers, why shouldn't Colby do the same?

The question for the editors here: what could our magazine add to the discussion? What could an article in Colby say that hadn't already been said?

"What's at Stake," (page 14) is the result of an open-ended approach to the story. It is the antithesis of the sound bite. I think of it as "the Spa approach."

One of the not-small benefits of spending time on Mayflower Hill is the opportunity to chat with faculty members about the day's news. A chance encounter in the Spa can turn into a 20-minute analysis of the situation in the Middle East, and I almost always come away feeling I know much more about the world. This issue of Colby tries to offer our readers a Spa conversation of their own.

We went to faculty members and asked a very general question: "What do you think is important about this presidential election?" Then we turned the tape recorder on, sat back and listened.

The subjects vary according to interests and expertise. Joe Reisert talked about the Supreme Court. Patrice Franko focused on global economics. Cal Mackenzie, the election itself. Sandy Maisel, the polarization of our country. Rob Weisbrot discussed foreign policy, new and old.

We also left Mayflower Hill to tap a couple of national political experts who are Colby alumni. Amy Walter '91 and Stu Rothenberg '70 offer inside-the-Beltway perspectives that might surprise you.

Of course these are only excerpts. (The interviews sped along at a rate of about 5,000 words per hour.) The selections we printed are verbatim, and I think you'll find that all of the participants are articulate, intelligent and think impressively on their feet. All of that time in front of a class has its benefits.

So think of this as your chance to come back, if not to the Spa, then to class. It's a seminar on the presidential election taught by a roster of the College's experts. We hope you will feel a bit better informed when Election Day arrives. I know I will.

No, you didn't miss an issue. This is the fall 2004 Colby, according to our new publication schedule. We've adjusted our publication cycle to better coincide with the seasonal labels we affix to our magazines and to better fit the schedule of the other publications that the Colby design office produces. The fall issue will land in mid-August, winter in November, spring in February and summer in May.

You'll also notice that we've redesigned the magazine. The new look will allow for better display of compelling illustrations and photographs and for a new "Colby News" section on what's been happening at Colby. We hope you like the new look. As always, readers' thoughts on the magazine are welcomed.

A last note on changes behind the scenes at Colby. Two mainstays of the magazine team, Production Coordinator Joanne Lafreniere and Media Editor Alicia Nemiccolo MacLeay '97, have left Colby. Lafreniere, who has served in various capacities at the College for 35 years, pleasantly but firmly kept things on track for Colby and will be sorely missed. The same goes for MacLeay, who was valued as a writer and editor but decided she preferred the full-time company of her new son, Burke. We wish them all the best and welcome Ruth Jacobs, formerly of Maine Times, to our staff. image