Senior Column- Amelia Conte


Why do I love being a part of this publication? I don’t know if it’s the fact that my fellow seniors and I were head editors for two years instead of one, or maybe it’s that we chose to revamp the entire layout of the paper. Maybe it’s the sense of accomplishment from finally starting a website. No: I think it’s because I was forced to love it.

The hours before deadline are a magical time in a newspaper office. This was my Wednesday night for the past three years: Stuck in a room the size of a professor’s office with more chairs than square feet.

For 7-8 hours, as many as 15 of us are packed in that space. We’re angry about incorrect AP style, we’re stressed about a missing story, we’re distracted by Internet videos, we have a test the next day that we won’t start studying for until 11 p.m., we’re not sure how to fit an extra word in the headline and we’re scrambling to the other side of campus for a photo before the sun goes down.

We swear and we hit and we yell and then we laugh about it all.

I’m using the pronoun ‘we’ because we are all in it together. It’s a group effort to get the paper out every week and one person can’t do it on his or her own.

We’re forced to collaborate, closely, and we learn about each other. One editor’s biggest pet peeve may be justification while another couldn’t care less. We know who can’t stand incompetent writers, who hates incompetent people in general and who hates missing basketball games to do the paper. We know what makes each other tick, but we compromise and we work.

So you learn to love it; you have to. If not, I’d go crazy, working with people I hate for hours at a time in that little room.

Luckily, that’s not a problem, because they’re all wonderful, hilarious and so creative. I knew I’d be nervous about letting go to the younger classes once I graduate, having been in charge for so long, but I didn’t know I’d end up so confident with the direction the paper will go from here.

I have no fear that the photography in the paper is going to keep getting better and better. James will continue his wonderful work and I know Dana will be a great editor for years to come.

When I think of my work as Photo Editor at its worst I think of an awful tabloid–style center with four small photos, 300 words and loads of white space.

When I remember the best, I picture a broadsheet front page packed with stories and four beautiful photos of Michael Pollan collaged as one, something we’d never tried before. In a short time span the paper has made amazing progress and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.