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- The Week’s End
Note: This is a two part letter. The first is from the outgoing Editor in Chief and the second is from the incoming.
For two and a half years I’ve held a senior-level editorial position with The Hub – first as Managing Editor and then as Editor in Chief. For two and a half years I have watched an irregular print publication transform itself into what I feel comfortable calling a vibrant digital student news production.
When we first went online during my first full month on the Editorial Board, I quickly became acquainted with the question, “Wait – Emmanuel has a newspaper?”
We’ve now surpassed 150,000 site views on our 650 published articles. “Proud” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Sometimes, I find myself wondering who we, as a student news group serve. Do we serve Admissions, to encourage prospective students to apply and attend Emmanuel? Do we serve Administration in order to present a cohesive representation of the opinions and concerns of Emmanuel students? Do we serve alumni so that they might feel they have a perspective of how life has or hasn’t changed for current students?
The answer is no – and sometimes yes. While we do often find ourselves serving those purposes, I think back to earlier in this semester when I was eating brunch in the JYC. It struck me, looking around, how many people I don’t recognize. Now before someone points out that I’ve always commuted, let’s consider the fact that, at least in my time here, we seen almost all the same faces running events and being commended again and again. There can’t be more than 100 so-called “student leaders” on campus, despite club roster numbers. They have a big presence and what they do is important, but their demographic is a small one. Both the SGA and the Council of the Presidents are only a microscopic sample of whom Emmanuel students really are.
I’ve heard swaths of student leaders and administration officials lament the frequently low turnout for student events, regardless of who runs them. ECPB might be the most successful (shouts out to Moonlight Breakfast – I love you from the bottom of my heart,) but even then, attendance is often less than ideal when you consider how many students actually go here.
When I sat in the JYC that day, I thought about how we so often fail at actually reaching the majority of students on campus, and I’m starting to think that this is because there is a fundamental misunderstanding of who the student body actually is. Sure, we can break down percentage points, we can dorm-storm, we can send out survey after survey. But in the end, not everyone is outgoing or has a desire to join a club at all. Numbers might indicate that, in fact, that is the majority.
When assigning stories, I try to ask “If I heard x event was happening on campus, what would I wonder about it?” And this is how we often enter assignments for articles. I think this mindset would be most helpful across campus. Instead of asking ourselves what we want to hear or what we enjoy, we could instead ask ourselves what we think students we don’t know are feeling or thinking.
But now, with graduation looming and a new job ahead of me, I am in the melancholy position of saying goodbye to our remarkable staff. Every single staff member goes above and beyond the call of duty- engaging in hours upon hours of group discussion every week, attending bi-weekly story meetings, coordinating interviews, writing articles, and revising as necessary. To say that these staffers effectively take upon a credit-free extra class would be no exaggeration.
There have been bumps. Goodness, there have been mountains and earthquakes. We have had stories where absolutely no source would go on the record, there have been people who go weeks without responding to our inquires, sources have skipped scheduled interviews, and sometimes the most interesting and hard-hitting lede has left us grasping at thin air for concrete evidence.
But, we do the best we can to fulfill our mission, which is to provide real news coverage and analysis of campus life – and sometimes beyond – to the Emmanuel community.
Now, before I become redundant, let me once again congratulate the rising senior Editorial Board. Abbi Matheson ‘17, Brian Burns ‘16, and Paul Rowley 16’ will be taking over as Editor in Chief, Executive Managing Editor, and Assistant Managing Editor, respectively. I believe there are no people as competent, as enthusiastic, and as sincerely devoted to take over what I’ve often referred to as “my baby.” I’m humbled to be able to attribute anything I’ve done as mentorship and guidance to three people I have watched develop into talented reporters.
Emmanuel isn’t perfect – and neither is any student group. The Hub certainly has room to grow as much as the rest of the student body. But, I encourage those remaining on campus in the coming year to engage with what I believe is an intrinsically invaluable service – student news created and presented by and for students. It simply can’t exist without the participating individuals.
Monica Busch ’15
Editor in Chief Emeritus
I take on the role of Editor in Chief with a bittersweet cup of coffee today. Three of the most inspirational women I know, Monica Busch, Paige Kennery, and Chelsea McDonnell, are graduating. I would like to thank these women for everything they have taught me, both about journalism and about life. I wish you all the best of luck after college.
They leave care of The Hub to Brian Burns, Paul Rowley, and myself. I cannot wait to work with these two in the months to come, preparing for the return of the student body come the fall. We at The Hub will continue to uphold the belief that transparency is vital and factually based articles and discussions within the Emmanuel College community. In the coming semesters, it is my own personal goal to provide such information in a timelier manner. This cannot be done without the help of the Emmanuel student body. You are all the voices of this institution either through participating in interviews, commenting on stories, or writing for The Hub. Do not let your voice go unheard.
As we exit this year and enter summer, let us not forget those seniors who have in some way inspired us to be the people we are today. For the sake of sounding too cheesy, I’ll leave out the inspirational quote about how you are a sum of all the people you interact with. Just remember, as we send our seniors off, to take the time to thank them for all they have done.
To Monica, Paige, and Chelsea: The Hub would not be where it is today without you three. Thank you for believing in us.
See you all in four months.
Abbi Matheson ’17
Editor in Chief