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The Tech printed its first issue in 1881, in the year of the twentieth anniversary of MIT's founding. The founding board of editors set a mission for the fledgling publication, brought into being by “public spirit:” The Tech would provide “an avenue for the expression of public opinion.”

Their aim was tied intimately to the mission of universities in general and to MIT in particular. To make discoveries, to create new knowledge, and to share and propagate that knowledge requires an avenue for the free exchange of ideas which a newspaper is uniquely situated to provide.

In today’s issue, the first of the one hundred and thirty-sixth volume, we report on four stories which highlight the thrumming energy of discovery and creation that animates and characterizes MIT, from students working to revolutionize the way we move through space, to new initiatives which reduce the barriers to creation, to questions about self-governance, and stories of activism that challenge our self-definition as a community.

Yet just as important, if not more so, to the founding board of editors, was the newspaper’s commitment to the students, their readership. The Tech, they proclaimed, “will exercise a guardian care over the members of the school, protecting the Freshman, curbing the Sophomore, correcting the Junior, and supporting the Senior in his old age."

As a newspaper, our goal is to inform, provoke, and challenge. It is also to ensure, as the board of the first volume put it, that “the efforts we make are stepping-stones to further attainments.”

As we move forward, I want to revisit our commitment to our readership and ask for your input in shaping the future direction of The Tech:

What should a newspaper, produced by MIT students for the broad MIT community, be doing today?

—Katherine Nazemi

Editor in Chief