A Farewell Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
Issue   |   Wed, 12/07/2016 - 01:03

After two semesters, 26 issues and countless hours spent editing, this is my final issue as editor-in-chief of The Amherst Student. I’ve been fortunate to work with a dedicated staff throughout the duration of my time with this paper. We’ve had designers, writers and publishers who have endless talents; from the section editors who meticulously edit sports stories to the publishers who graciously donate their time and ensure our subscribers receive the paper each week. Producing a weekly 12-page publication is no small feat, and I can’t overstate how integral these individuals have been to making this paper a success.

As I look back at my time at the helm of this paper, many notable milestones come to mind. We covered the student-led Amherst Uprising, we reported notable athletic achievements, including a national championship for the men’s soccer team and most recently, we offered a place for students to productively react to the tumultuous presidential election. Despite all of these wonderful in-print successes, one of the accomplishments I’m most proud of occurred outside of our pages: our decision to switch office spaces with the Queer Resource Center. After considering how to best use our campus’ resources, we made a trade that has benefited our staff tremendously while also giving the QRC deserved visibility and facilitating collaboration between our three campus resource centers. This move inspired better collaboration between our four distinct sections and designers within the office, while also improving overall efficiency. It gave us a space we can access at all hours, and now truly call home.

When I took the position of editor-in-chief, I had a vision for the direction I wanted to take the Student. I’m so proud of the QRC trade because it is deeply connected to this greater commitment I set out with: a desire to prioritize student voice and the needs of the campus. This newspaper should, above all, be for the community. Whether our content holds administrators accountable, lets you read about the most recent athletic accomplishment or gives you a list of 10 songs that will keep you calm during midterms, its primary purpose is to serve you, our readers.

As for the future of this paper, I know that this larger mission will continue on under the leadership of Jingwen Zhang, who will take over the position of editor-in-chief. Jingwen has worked tirelessly as a managing news editor and I know she will bring that same commitment to this new role. Our plans for the future of the Student also include the expansion of our presence on campus. In a time where the role of media is changing by the minute, we plan to revamp our digital presence in order to give students access to better information, and at a faster rate. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the team to reach these goals and ensure our community continues to be as informed as possible.

My final plea to the student body is the same one I’ve repeated throughout my time with the Student: write for us. This paper is a unique way to directly voice your opinions and inspire tangible change at this college. We should take advantage of this close-knit community and the remarkable opportunity we are presented with at Amherst. Yes, when I inevitably asked you to write for the Student in any of our interactions, I did want your help to fulfill our content needs for the week, but I also wanted you to have the chance to make your voice heard. One of the main things I’ve been reminded of again and again throughout my time with this paper is the true power of language. It’s imperative that we continue to utilize it in effective ways.

It might be hard to believe, but I will dearly miss staying up until 2 a.m. every Tuesday night to produce this paper. Once again, I need to thank the dedicated staff for sacrificing their time each week and remaining committed to our larger goals. Working with fellow students who think critically, speak thoughtfully and prioritize dialogue has made a world of difference in ensuring this paper is representative of our larger community. I’ll greatly miss the Schwemm’s runs and making “The Office” parody videos, but most importantly, I will miss the perspectives and thoughtfulness each of you brought to everything you did for the Student.

If you’ve supported us in any way during your time here, by reading our paper, writing for it or holding the door open for us as we scrambled out of Keefe with stacks in our hands, thank you. Your continued support plays a vital role in ensuring students will continue to have a voice on this campus.

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