This paper is about the relationship between you and your truth.
You readers, you students, you professors, you administrators, you athletes, you employees, you fans, you Vols.
You. And your truth.
Maybe you remember orientation leaders describing campus traditions such as yelling "Big Orange County!" and hearing a resounding "Go Vols!" (Not true, if you've ever tried it.)
Maybe you remember the first time you sang "Rocky Top, you'll always be/ home, sweet home, to me" with more than 100,000 fellow bearers of The Orange and White. If you've yet to make that memory, maybe you're hungrily anticipating the day you do (Aug. 31, 2013 vs. Austin Peay: I've got it circled on my calendar.)
Maybe – surely – you've seen the phrase "Big Orange, Big Ideas," a branding campaign that has received criticism and praise for its single-minded approach to life on campus.
With all these mottos, you may have forgotten the official motto upon which UT is founded. Maybe you've never even heard it.
"Veritatem cognoscetis et veritas te liberabit." It's okay – I don't know Latin either.
Thankfully, The UT official school motto can be easily translated into English: "You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free."
Whether an apprehensive freshman or an even more apprehensive senior, these words should strike a chord within all of us. They should not sink into the forgotten crevasses of our over-stimulated minds, but instead settle deeply into the daily ritual here on Rocky Top.
At a school that promises to unchain its students from lies, then, The Daily Beacon is the key to the lock. We are your truth-seekers, an editorially independent media outlet that has existed through the students and for the students since 1871.
We are the diligent fingers on the campus pulse, checking daily on the life-blood of a campus community nearly 40,000 strong.
We are also your crossword puzzle provider and the fodder of countless homecoming floats; without this newspaper, what would protect our floors from all that glue?
As editor-in-chief this fall, I will devote myself to consistently bringing your news and your truth to 10,000 papers a day.
And as the Internet continues to grow, the Daily Beacon website will simultaneously continue to evolve, bringing your news and your truth to the web, worldwide. We've never competed well in the 24-hour Social Media Age; this year, we start. And you can tweet that.
On @UTBeacon_Sports, sports stories will break; from there, the stories will evolve on our website and within our printed pages. Using a more analytical approach than years past, the sports staff will accurately cover UT's 18 men's and women's NCAA Division I teams.
On the Arts & Culture pages, our writers will continue to collect interviews and feature stories on a wide variety of artists, both locally and nationally renowned. Music, art,poetry, film, comedy... you name it, we'll write it.
Also new this year, the opinions section will look different, with a stronger fleet of columnists and a re-dedicated commitment to student and faculty perspective. If a newspaper is a medium of information, then our opinions page will communicate ideas.
As for News, we will bring you every story we can find. Whether a simple lecture review or a more in-depth investigative piece, our news will be your news, the truth you need to know from the brand you trust to write it.
It's a tradition at The Daily Beacon, covering the truth. Last year alone, this paper covered three national news stories and worked alongside ESPN and CNN. In years past, we have served as the launching pad for the likes of Woody Paige (The Denver Post, Around the Horn) and Gene Wojciechowski (ESPN). Despite our long and noteworthy history, however, our duty lies in always leaning forward toward the next big story on the horizon. We aim to reliably outline tomorrow in ink and journalistic integrity.
We aim to set you free.
If you're reading this wondering, "with what chains am I enslaved?" then be sure to read every Beacon you can get your hands on, cover to cover.
The chains you don't know endanger you; they are the chains we seek to destroy.
R.J. Vogt is a junior in College Scholars. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.