When I sat down in lower Peirce three years ago and was told to write a story about the broken dish conveyor belt, I was put off by the idea of working at the Collegian. A story like that felt pointless. How was I supposed to make it exciting? Why did anyone care about an issue that would likely be resolved within the next 48 hours? There was no need for me to pursue such an insignificant matter.
Three years later, I’ve come to the conclusion that not every story is going to be front-page material. Not every story is going to have all of the answers, nor all of the information. But that’s not what journalism is always about. It is about a commitment and duty to the community that surrounds you, and if that means updating everyone on a broken dish rack, I will happily oblige.
Since that day, I’ve covered larger stories that excite me and the rest of the community: I spoke with Marco Saavedra ’11 after he was granted political asylum, I wrote about the COVID-19 vaccine after two years of a devastating pandemic and I discussed the College suddenly shutting down the residential farm program after 10 years.
But, of course, I continued to cover seemingly banal stories since that first one I wrote, including lots of Village Council meetings about parking debates and various housing panels that went nowhere. As time went on, though, I felt grateful for stories like these, because as trivial as they may seem, they all matter. Each story is a record of Gambier history.
My time at the Collegian was far from easy. We didn’t always report perfectly; we didn’t always have enough information. Some stories were neglected entirely. We made mistakes, and that’s okay. We spent long, tedious nights at the office churning out stories to the best of our ability. No one asked us to do so; no one oversaw us. We did it entirely on our own. I’m so proud of that.
I was fortunate to be surrounded by a generous and uplifting staff who were equally committed to this paper. My duties as editor-in-chief were made so much easier thanks to all of them, and I will miss them all tremendously once I leave Gambier.
Journalism has the power to do great good, and I believe that the Collegian is one of the most powerful outlets on this campus prompting change in the right direction. But our work is far from over. As I pass off my duties to a new staff, I am confident that they will continue to uphold this commitment. Best of luck, 150.