From the Editor: Creating harmony warrants listening, and other parting wisdom


Something past editors of The Campus never told me was how to manage yourself once your last paper is off to the press and you’re wondering what the heck to do with all this time. It’s like the lamest version of accepting that death is inevitable.
Over the past two years, I rebranded and stylistically modernized The Campus, bought new computers for our humble newsroom, made some people happy and others mad, read a lot and wrote a little.
I’ve been told that The Campus looks better than it has in the past 30 years and that our content is “hardly journalism” in the same month.
I’ve thought about how I’d write this farewell column since I was elected editor-in-chief for the first time about two years ago. In that honeymoon phase, I pictured this column proclaiming boundless praise for everyone with whom I had the pleasure of interacting — fellow staff members, administrators, faculty, community members. After a while, I wanted to use this column to show the public how hard it is to be a student and an editor; how your time only belongs to all of those people you thought you’d praise. I wanted to validate myself. More recently, I thought this column should expose what I see as faults within our community, to call out every little incompetence I’ve seen within our Allegheny bubble. This past year, people’s perceptions of me and the work the newspaper staff does has poisoned me. Anger felt inseparable from the work I used to enjoy.
It’s hard to find one concise idea to write a farewell to because Allegheny, like me, is at a crossroads. For the past two years, we’ve said hellos and goodbyes daily. We’re all lost in the change. No one knows what they want to know anymore, so we listen to the loudest voices or the ones we like the best and drown out the rest — even if it’s something worth hearing. The reality is, it doesn’t matter how I write this column, because some of the loudest voices in our community do not always fully listen and understand. So many choose to categorize everyone and everything into orderly boxes labeled “good” and “bad.”
I’m jaded by the bureaucracy students have taken up due to all the change within our community. It feels like the critical thinking and moral and social development espoused by the college’s mission statement have gone by the wayside in favor of Yik Yak arguments and silent treatments.
For the past year, I’ve worked hard to open up discourse through news coverage and editorials. Each time, I read anonymous online harassment or receive whispered praise in passing, as if Chompers’ secret police force will come and take away whoever discusses the college’s current condition with me. I hope the new academic year brings about stability for Allegheny College, and I hope people aren’t afraid to discuss their views with grace and not the fear of retaliation.
Hearing others tell their stories is why I love journalism. Allegheny is a chorus of perspectives. In order to create harmony, it is necessary for everyone to be comfortable vocalizing in unison.
Thank you to my staff for putting in absurd hours. I pushed you all to the limit, and we came out on top. I respect you all as my peers, and even more as my friends. Keep our proud tradition alive.
To the adviser for our little newspaper Mike Crowley, who taught me to be a journalist, editor, educator and kind -hearted.
To Ben Slote, for your encouragement and criticism as the chair of our tiny-yet-tenacious journalism department.
To the English department and all other faculty and staff members who have taught me and watched me grow here. You are the Allegheny Advantage.
To my parents, for boosting The Campus’ Facebook numbers and always making the addendum “’87” any time I mention Ron Cole at home, in accordance with The Campus’ style guidelines for the first reference to an alumnus. I’m glad you’ll never forget the year he graduated.
To my best friend, Ethan Woodfill, ’22, who taught me how to lead this team and set me up to grow in the future.
To Sami Mirza, who is twice the journalist I’ll ever be, even if he is just half the editor. You are bold and unwavering, and I can’t wait to see who you tick off next. Always remember to remove Oxford commas in news writing.
Thank you for reading, but more thanks for continuing to read.