Here's my last column from The Review. I hope you enjoy it tmaster (and anyone else who didn't pick up a copy).
By: Mike Crane
I had a lot of expectations coming into this year. I never expected things to turn out how they did. Not to say that it’s a bad thing, just surprising I suppose.
There is a lot about working on a newspaper that I think the general readership takes for granted. There is a lot about working on this paper that I think the general readership takes for granted.
Just in case you missed it, Saint Vincent College is a private institution. This makes things a little different, and sometimes challenging, when it comes to student press.
On larger, public campuses, it is commonplace for the student newspaper to be completely independent of the school structure, not answering to anyone in authority in the school.
This is not the case here at Saint Vincent. It is the nature of the game. And believe me, it comes with good things and bad things.
However, I think I’ve done a pretty good job keeping everything in check, finding a balance. While technically falling under Student Affairs, The Review is still “SVC’s Student Run News Source.” Meaning, the news presented within these pages are for the students, no one else.
That’s not to say no one else will read The Review. Quite the contrary. The Review is read by faculty, staff, administration, family and prospective students alike.
But the primary target is the students of Saint Vincent College.
Has every article been exactly what the students have wanted to see? No. I make mistakes. What I may think is important to the student body, may be way off base (or more likely, way off in left field).
But hopefully I’ve gotten better at figuring out what the students need to and want to read.
In my humble opinion, The Review has improved significantly this year. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that every year I’ve worked on this paper it has gotten better.
But thankfully (and God willing), I’ll be back for another year as Editor come September.
That gives me another year to make The Review the absolute best I can make it. And my sincerest hope is that whoever takes the reigns after me nurtures this paper to where I could not take it myself.
Even as finals loom, I find myself trying desperately to prepare for next year.
I’ll be working over the summer on a new front page layout. Hopefully it will be another step in the right direction, and besides, what would a new academic year be without a new front page layout?
In addition, next year you will not be able to find copies of The Review on the tables outside the cafeteria. We will finally be able to say that the next issue will hit the newsstands- at least so to speak. Around campus will be wire newspaper racks, proudly holding copies of each new issue. Locations are still to be determined.
But all in all, this year has taught me a lot. I have learned quite a bit about how newspapers work, how this school works, and how I work.
Usually when I’m putting together each issue of the paper, I wait until the very end and then I write my article. That way I can use whatever room is left. But for this issue, I set aside my space first. Call me greedy, call me crazy, but I wanted to be sure that I had all the room I needed for once.
I always look forward to writing these columns on the back page, it gives me time to ruminate, to muse and to think.
It’s nice to have a space that I can call my own. Being able to have this column in each and every issue has been a blessing. I don’t think I ever once dreaded writing my column. It has been a wonderful way for me to release, to withdrawal and immerse myself, all at the same time.
I find myself wondering sometimes though if it is for naught. I am always scared that it will just appear to be my rantings, or even worse, a series of unconnected thoughts.
Hopefully this is not the case. If it is, I sincerely apologize.
A friend once described my thought pattern as an empty void, and every once in a while, random rays shoot off in completely random directions. I think she was right.
Next year really does seem so far off. We have a great expanse of time between now and then. I’m sure to many seniors it feels like an eternity. I’m sure to many other seniors it will seem as though a minute. But that’s one of the greatest gifts and curses of life: we can never truly empathize with one another, but we can sympathize, support and assist.
To all of those who have assisted me this year, my staff, I thank you. Words alone cannot say nearly enough, but for now, all I have are words to give you. The ability to stand my insanity and find some semblance of order in the chaos I create is a gift. Thank you for your patience, understanding, dedication and hard work.
To all those graduating, congratulations. I hope the journey taught you something along the way- for so often it is the journey, not the destination, that teaches us so much.
To all those who have felt stirred by this paper, write! It always surprises me which articles strike a cord with those on this campus. Sometimes I’m told to my face that things are fine, but as soon as I am gone, they obviously are not. That is the nature of the game. I don’t hold anything against anyone, and I certainly would never hold back submissions on the basis that I don’t agree with them (for more proof of this, take a look at the issue leading up to the presidential election).
So often, people are quick to point out the faults of this paper, but are never willing to step up and help me fix them, or write an article. I’ve come to expect that, even though it saddens me each time it happens. I find myself very often taking the blunt of arguments without a chance for rebuttal: you see, the newspaper is always wrong.
That’s pretty much how it works here on campus. Be it students, faculty, or administrators, there is always something gravely wrong with this paper that I have to fix. Very rarely do I get truly constructive criticism and ways that I could work to improve the paper, just why it needs to be fixed.
As always, I hope I don’t come off as too bitter. To some degree I’ve come to expect these things. I nod and listen, trying to figure out ways to do what I can. But sometimes I get caught up in, I don’t know…school work.
But as I said before, the audience for this paper is students. It is always the most disappointing when students gripe and complain and yet offer no assistance, are not willing to help me learn.
Do I expect this article to change the culture of campus? Not in the least. But maybe some things will start to make more sense.
The Review’s office is located next to the Wimmer Bridge. If the door is open, come in. Help me learn. Granted, it may not be me inside the office (if there is obscenely loud music coming from inside the office, chances are its me).
I am one for quotes. I find something very profound in what others have said. Maybe it’s because I’m not very eloquent, maybe it just makes more sense coming from someone else, but nevertheless, I enjoy collecting quotes. Funny quotes, inspiration quotes, random quotes, whatever. I think there is a great deal we can learn from each other that we cannot learn from ourselves. One of my favorite quotes fits the situation The Review finds itself in very well. I’ve probably blabbered on too long about this year, but I’ve still looked ahead to next year. Who knows how things will turn out? But we must keep going, that’s what I know. And as for the quote, well, “Perhaps the ending has not yet been written…”