Letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

When I think about what my semester as Editor-in-Chief of the Tufts Observer has meant to me, all that really comes to mind is the song “There’s Too Much Love” by the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. It is honest, and narrates, over the course of three minutes and 27 seconds, an internal conflict—the song’s speaker describes the stress of being idealized by a lover while experiencing a serious identity crisis. Eventually, however, he realizes that his efforts and anxieties about revealing his “true self” are secondary to the feelings that are blooming within him, singing, “there’s too much love to go around these days.” What’s more important is the presence of love, which covers a variety of faults.

I love the Observer—love looks like too short a word for a feeling so big—the people and the product. I hold such deep respect for the tenacity, intellect, stamina, artistry, and dedication of my peers involved in the making of this magazine.  

There are many people who believe that words (despite their form being their function) are limited in their capacity for communication, that the English language (or language in general) has hard barriers held in place by grammar, linguistics, or physiology that force certain emotions, sensations, and dreams to remain ineffable. I disagree—I think the delight of writing is in the effort to articulate the ineffable. The tools and outcomes of writing are diverse; anyone can write, and with the help of others, I’d go as far as saying anyone can do it well. It’s what makes writing such a diverse and democratic art form. 

Journalism is slightly different. It requires research, fact-checking, close attention, and, to me, equal parts compassion and courage. To report is to bear witness, to disrupt, to educate, to mobilize, to celebrate, to share, to uplift, to protect. The necessity for principled journalism is stronger now than ever. The community that has bloomed in the pursuit of this goal at the Tufts Observer makes me proud beyond belief.

And there really is too much love to go around these days. I am beyond grateful for the countless number of people who have filled my life with joy through our time together on the O. Thank you to my phenomenal/amazing/beloved/brilliant managing board—Anastasia and Hami, and to Emara, who I am more than confident in and thrilled to pass the EIC torch on to. Thank you to the entire Fall 2023 staff, whose talent and dedication have been consistently admirable and awe-inspiring. Thank you to my former EICs Melanie, Amanda, and Sabah, my sage guides and points of reference for all things Observer. I think back often to my first piece written and published in the Observer, an opinion article disentangling a web of anti-Blackness and anti-Asian racism using scholar Claire Jean Kim’s theory of racial triangulation. I remember my semester on Arts & Culture with Sabrina, and in Poetry and Prose with William. I think about the poems and leditors I’ve written since then, the articles I’ve edited, the writer I was, and the person I’ve grown into—and smile. It has all been such a pleasure. 

With pride, love, and appreciation,

Juanita Asapokhai, Editor-in-Chief