I first came to the Collegian about a month into my first year at Kenyon, and since then, I’ve seen it through four volumes with four sets of executive staff, each with their own approaches to the job, and been on staff for three of them. After a certain point, the people taking those positions were those that I knew so well I could probably remember copy editing their first few articles. The incoming staff are no exception, and having seen their work, I look forward to what they’ll bring to our 150th volume.
The paper changed quite a lot in spring 2020 when the pandemic hit. Our executive staff believed strongly in the value of our reporting, so production continued remotely and began to creep from Wednesday nights into, after a couple hours of sleep for a breather, late Thursday mornings. One of our staff designed and laid out the pages from her personal computer. Even when we returned, printing was still a challenge, as the paper’s long-running partner Mount Vernon News had been bought out and no longer had a printing press.
To our readers, my advice is this: Please take the time to read past the headlines. The articles we publish, at their best, are the products of a week or more of interviewing and writing efforts by their writers, plus the suggestions from all our editorial staff made throughout the production night. In contrast, the headlines are typically written at 2 a.m. by executive staff and editors who may or may not remember fully what the article was about and are desperately trying to write a headline that fits on the page.
And, I hope that you all have some appreciation for what we do. Most of us work long hours and late nights every week, without course credit or pay (and for the rare few who do get paid — I’ve done the math, and let’s just say they’d need to create a Tier –5 just for us). But still we sacrifice our Tuesday and Wednesday nights to cover all the happenings on this campus, because if we don’t, who will?
To the Volume 150 staff, good luck, and good night.