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Letter from the Editor
Tony He '22 Editor-in-Chief
November 2, 2021

Dear Reader, 

We have often emphasized the importance of the truth, and how we hold it as a central value to our reportage and work. Naturally, this begs the question, what does the truth actually mean for a student publication like ours? How does it influence the decisions that ultimately shape our published content? In this letter, I hope to provide a window into the Scroll’s publishing process and evidence our commitment to ideals such as objectivity. 

Our journey of grappling with the truth starts, first and foremost, with our Writers’ Meeting. Every issue, our team of writers, both staff and contributing, fill the basement of the Kendall. On this first night, editors and writers workshop the ideas that will eventually fill the six sections of the publication. From writing down the smallest rumor of an exciting story to crafting an angle for a deeper dive into daily life here on campus, the Writers’ Meeting is our catch-all. Directly afterwards , our editors reconvene for rundown, where we determine the most compelling articles for the issue. At the conclusion of this meeting, writers, photographers, and graphics artists receive their assignments, kickstarting an intensive week of writing and content creation.. We travel around campus, interviewing, transcribing, constructing, revising, drawing, and photographing, all in an effort to capture the most accurate snapshots of life here in the Deerfield community. Next, we edit. Through countless Google Doc comments, phone calls, and editing meetings, we aim to interrogate the validity of every sentence. We ask ourselves – is this sentence accurate, essential, and illustrative? On a broader scale, we return to the perspectives included within the article and again, interrogate the idea of representation – whose voices are not heard and how we can prevent our own biases from entering the conversation. As these two weeks conclude, layout begins. Melding together pictures, graphics, and text, we construct the Scroll. Finally, we copy edit all pages, scouring for those overlooked errors and entering in the final edits. 

Most certainly, throughout this process, we are often confronted with difficult decisions. Sometimes, we unintentionally misrepresent the ideas of others. In other instances, investigations have led to little to no meaningful results. Indeed, during these decisive moments, we look towards our guiding principles and consider pieces for their validity and comprehensiveness. While we constantly strive to collaboratively improve each article and adapt to changing circumstances, unfortunately yet realistically, sometimes we must not publish a piece. These are always some of the hardest moments to reckon with, as we always seek to represent more writers, perspectives and voices in our reportage. 

At the conclusion of our journey, we hope to have captured an honest sliver of Deerfield to inform our current understanding and serve as a historical record. In this first issue of the 2021-22 academic school year, we hope to describe the ways that Deerfield has both returned to its traditions while continuing to evolve. Indeed, the possibilities were seemingly endless as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and an ‘old’ Deerfield replaced last year’s transitional quarantine phases and POM tracers. Indeed, in many ways, we have resumed our previous patterns of life, with fully in-person events such as the Rumors play highlighted on our Arts page. Yet, we have also reported on the ways, both big and small, that our community has continued to evolve. For example, on the Features page, students’ reactions to the newly revised class schedule. Separate from our reportage, our Opinion articles have also continued this conversation between honoring tradition while continuing to look ahead. For example, our Board Ed “1709, 2021” argues for a reckoning with Deerfield’s land and our relationship with Native American communities and histories. In this article, we hope to illustrate how the past continues to influence the present, and, importantly, how we can still improve on community values such as honesty and conversation. Ultimately, I hope this letter has illustrated just some of the ways that we here at the Scroll work collectively towards ensuring the authenticity of every article published. Most certainly, remaining truthful means remaining transparent and open to improvement. If there are any corrections, or feedback concerning the Scroll, please do not hesitate to reach us. 

My Best,

Tony He 何程林