I still remember the day that I received Angie Epifano’s powerful piece. I was watching Project Runway, and I decided to check my email during the commercials. I read the piece three times before I called my mother and told her about it, and that I was going to run it. “Can you get in trouble because of it? Can they expel you or take your financial aid away?” she asked. I hadn’t really thought about it until then. The way I saw it, it didn’t really matter. Journalism is about exposing the truth. It’s about making a difference and creating change and starting dialogue. Angie’s piece did all that and so much more. It exemplified what journalism is supposed to do and what student newspapers should aspire to.
During my three-semester tenure as editor-in-chief, we’ve had some of the most important and controversial pieces this College has seen in recent memory. We’ve had an AAS election scandal, faculty plagiarism, an account of sexual assault that went viral and a discussion about athletes and sexual misconduct.
We’ve made mistakes, and I take full responsibility for those. But, despite those flaws, I hope that students, faculty and staff have grown to appreciate The Student and the hard work we put in every week. I know some students still refer to the newspaper as The Amherst Stupid — which isn’t very clever, but that’s a different subject —but for every student that says that, I convince myself that we have five new readers.
This is my last regular issue as editor-in-chief. Through my tenure, I’ve learned about power of the written word, the power of courage, honesty and meaningful dialogue. I’ve learned that although one person can make a difference, it helps a lot when there’s a whole team behind you. I could not have survived one year and a half had it not been for the wonderful editorial board. Sometimes I yelled a little too loud and a little much, but I’d like to use this space to say thank you to all of them for being patient with me.
As corny as most of this piece has sounded, I truly mean everything I’ve said. I believe that this newspaper has the potential to create true change as long as students, faculty and staff keep writing, reading and commenting. This hasn’t been an easy job, but seeing people read it Wednesday at lunch makes all the late nights worth it. I’ll miss being editor-in-chief, but I know that Alissa, the future editor-in-chief, will do a better job than I ever did. For one, I know she’ll yell a little less.