I went to the first Nassau Weekly meeting my first year at Princeton and have loved it since. I understood it as a creative outlet—for the others who were writing extraordinary pieces that were so impressive it made me shy, and eventually for myself. The Nass, I learned, is a place to give voice topointed inquiry, to idealism, and to rebelliousness. The people I met that first week were people who wanted to write, who cared about it, prioritized it, and did it in the way they want to do it. In general, students here like to wring their schedules for time for anything besides work. To maintain creativity in a space where the mainstream culture calls for that kind of frenzy is not easy. I think the Nass as an organization encourages imagination and humor, and it streamlines the possibility of accessing those things at Princeton, both for writers and for readers.
It was later, as I learned to get lost on the website, in the archives, and in the apocrypha, that I realized how important the Nassau Weekly is as a publication, and how wonderful, absurd, and sometimes questionable it has been a campus voice. It is a publication that encourages thoughtfulness, that truly grapples with what is happening and has happened at Princeton. Self-reflection as an exercise is invaluable in a campus community where people are reactive to the point of volatility with their particular blend of preconceived ideas. Authors are able and encouraged to take on their own assumptions, to stand their ground while maintaining humility, and to leave the reader with the ability to ask the right questions.
As a platform for creativity and for humor, as a vehicle for questioning and opining, the Nassmaintains an open forum for discussion during meetings and in the editing process. I think that the environment we work to create is unique and particularly important for eliciting the type of imagination and openness we want to exemplify. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be a small part of the Nassau Weekly’s forty-year history. I hope and expect those feelings will only increase as I watch where it goes in the next forty.