When I began touring colleges in my junior year of high school, I made sure to pick up a copy of the student newspaper at every school I went to. Not only was it a (free) token of whatever place I had visited, I appreciated that unlike all of the admissions brochures, pamphlets and emails inundating me, it wasn’t trying to advertise to me. A college newspaper, I thought, was the ultimate encapsulation of a campus.
The way I think about college newspapers has changed a lot in the past four years. For one, I never imagined I would lead one. I joined the Collegian as a staff writer for the news section in the fall of my sophomore year when both Kenyon and the world were still grappling with pandemic lockdowns. I felt immensely lucky to be on campus, but still felt isolated: stuck in my room taking mostly online classes, not able to see people in person beyond my closest “bubble.” I was looking for new ways to engage with Kenyon, and I’d always been loosely interested in journalism, so I sent an impulsive email to then-News Editor Linnea Mumma ’22. At this point, the Collegian was fully remote. Apart from a short weekly meeting, I wrote my stories with text guidance from Linnea and Amanda Pyne ’22. Writing articles that ranged from Village Council recaps to coverage of the pandemic, I found not only something I loved but a community that loved it as much as I did.
As I think now about what it means to capture the full picture of a community, I cannot help but reflect on the fact that when the Class of 2023 graduates in a few (scarily short) weeks, it will mean that almost every student on the Hill arrived after the onset of the pandemic. There are other ways Kenyon is changing, too. My class year is the last to have had Beer and Sex Advisors, and soon there won’t be students at Kenyon who remember living on the Farm, having confidential support from SRPA supporters or the origins of K-SWOC. I’m proud that the Collegian has played some role in preserving the record of these important efforts and organizations. Going forward, though, it will only be persistent student efforts that can push for change and fight for the ability of students to support each other and make Kenyon the place we want it to be.
There are more people to thank than there’s room for here, so I’ll keep it brief. First and foremost, Linnea and Amanda: You are the reason I am the journalist I am today. I am endlessly grateful for your friendship and for your mentorship. Thank you for always believing in me, always supporting me and always answering my Wednesday night texts. Molly Vogel ’00, thank you for always pushing us to be better (and letting us get away with being a little silly). Salvatore Macchione ’23, Reid Stautberg ’23, Alex Felleson ’23: I truly could not have done it without you. Thank you for being wonderful colleagues and friends. Somehow, I already miss our late nights. Audrey Baker ’25, Katie Sparvero ’25, Hannah Sussman ’25: Good luck! You’re gonna kill it.