The Standard is a new, independent student newspaper at Baylor University. Its mission is to offer thoughtful news and analysis in a constructive tone that contributes to a shared culture of freedom and responsibility. Our motto is “honesty, civility, hope.”
The paper will be moderate-to-conservative—not “conservative” in the sense of self-righteous, reactionary, or combative, but in the more fundamental sense of “conserving” something. The question, then, becomes: what does The Standard mean to conserve?
Our culture at Baylor has sadly followed the recent national trend of becoming increasingly polarized and warlike. More and more, we seem to view our fellow students as potential enemies or friends. “You’re either with us or against us!” Moreover, politics seems to occupy an ever-increasing portion of our consciousness.
Of course, political consciousness and activism have their place. But when politics insinuates itself into every nook and cranny of our lives it necessarily crowds out other ways of thinking and being that contribute to life’s meaning: the appreciation of Beauty, the search for Truth, and the patient effort to understand and practice what is Good.
Thus, one thing The Standard means to conserve is an unadulterated love of beauty at a time when aesthetic sensibility seems in short supply. Against the din of angry activists on the Left and Right who say our political battles are too important for anyone to take time for beauty, we reply that a culture without shared experiences of the sublime is not a culture worth fighting for.
Another thing The Standard will conserve is the pursuit of truth independent of presumptuous political pressures. Traditionally the pursuit of truth in manifold disciplines was the chief function of a university. But lately this has been diluted by an obsession with political “victory” that infects all aspects of university life. Against this trend, we will offer focused reporting on the full range of happenings across the university, and we’ll invoke the highest standards of truth in our own reporting. We will not allow our country’s all-consuming political conflicts to twist our view of what counts as news.
And, lastly, we intend to cultivate the good. Cynicism and distrust are too frequently celebrated as virtues in these sick political times. Disorder and destruction masquerade as progress. But tearing things down is relatively easy, while building them up is not. On this score, the treasures that The Standard most hopes to conserve are not the physical objects around us, as important as these are, but the social and spiritual fabric of our community. In launching this paper, we challenge ourselves and our readers to build on the things we share, not on things that separate us, and above all to speak and act in ways that reflect the Christian virtue of charity.