My time at the Collegian can most accurately be characterized by me trying to run away and being sucked back in everytime. It all started when then Managing Editor Conor Fellin asked me to write a commentary article about the president of my old high school. I accepted, thinking “How hard could this be? I have opinions. People should know my opinions.” I swore I’d never write another article. Conor told me I’d be back.
I came back.
I told myself I’d stop writing the next semester. I just didn’t have the time. Somehow I got conned into editing the Variety section. And I was pretty good at it (I think). Conor started the VOID, and I scarred Fraser for all eternity with plesiosaur erotica. I started non-English articles that died out because no one could edit them. All in all, it was a good time.
I studied abroad, and the Variety section carried on without me, and I told myself that for my senior year I would write the occasional article, but take it easy and not take on an editorial position.
Then, the night before the first issue of my last semester at TU, Giselle Willis emailed me to tell me that the Variety editor position was open and asked if I wanted to come back. And I did. I really really did. Despite a lot of rough patches, the Collegian has given my time at TU a sense of purpose that I think a lot of people leave without.
Despite the general apathy on campus, about things like Trey Barnett’s suspension or Geoffrey Orsak’s sudden disappearance or Ross Parmley’s illegal gambling or sexual assault on campus, I have to believe that the Collegian has made a difference. Even when a senior who’s been here for four years asks me what the Collegian is.
I mean, as the Variety editor, it’s not like I’m covering anything terribly controversial. I’ve never been asked to retract a story or print an apology (unless you count that one time I implied that Baja Jack’s chicken was less than fresh). But I still like to think that I’ve had a hand in the real purpose of journalism, giving a voice to those who need it.
Hopefully with enrollment dropping, the administration will realize that they can’t act with impunity. That they have a responsibility to the students and faculty here to provide a safe, fair learning, working and living environment.
Saying goodbye to the Collegian, and to TU, is bittersweet. I’m incredibly sad that I’ll no longer have a hand in the organizations that actually seem to give a fuck, but I’m so looking forward to see what the next generation of writers and editors and activists will do for this campus and community.
So thanks to Conor for getting me involved. Thanks to Giselle and Fraser for actually thinking I’m funny. Thanks to Hannah, Kayleigh, Trent, Michaela, Sam and James for keeping things going, and thanks to the Collegian for offering me a chance to make a difference on campus, no matter how little the student body seems to care.