Senior Send-off: One link, two links, red links, blue links
I never truly understood the impact a local newspaper could have on a community until I was introduced to The Hofstra Chronicle. I had a general sense that journalism in its purest form is an unofficial check on the powers that be, but I’d only ever extended that perspective to major publications like The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. After all, starting my college experience during one of the most controversial elections in U.S. history left very little room in my mental news cycle.
Then, I read the Sigma Pi hazing piece published by The Chronicle during my sophomore year. I read that students who were just looking to make new friends like I was were terrorized by people they were supposed to be able to trust. I saw the power that student journalism had when news outlets across the country picked up the story. They retweeted the videos of vile fraternity members forcing these poor kids to strip, vomit milk and slather themselves with hot sauce in a ritual designed to torment.
That’s when I knew that this paper’s depth was more than just to serve as another piece of propaganda for the University. That’s also when I realized that I had to be a part of it. The question of “How?” remained.
I’d never learned how to write an actual story and I was just barely scratching the surface of my public relations degree. It didn’t even occur to me that there was a social media manager position whose job was to post the stories online to all of The Chronicle social media accounts.
When I first starting working with The Chronicle, I just sat in the corner by the TV waiting for my opportunity during our weekly budget, begging for emails with links. I never really talked to anybody or felt like I’d made any connections. I was just the guy who posted the stories that went to print each week.
Now, The Chronicle’s presence online is so much more than links on Facebook and Twitter. The paper’s social media presence is completely different. We’ve taken on an awesome assistant, started a weekly newsletter and worked with the news team to connect them to members of the Hofstra community to help tell their stories.
Fast forward to layout night of our final issue before the end of the year, and I am less than two weeks away from graduating. I’m sitting in that very same corner, scrambling to write this because it is so goddamn difficult to summarize the bliss of being part of a team so dedicated to telling stories that would ordinarily be swept under the rug. Every person on this editorial board is an absolute inspiration. You are the only people insane enough to stay up until four in the morning to put out a kickass paper the very next day.
You are also the only people willing to go to head-to-head with the administration at this University. God knows they’ve hit you with every left hook they possibly can, but you roll with the punches with an unmatched resilience. Continue to stand tall and lift the voices at this school that they don’t want people to hear. They may not make a change every single time we publish, but you can give them a good run for their money.
Joe and Katie, this paper has changed wildly since I started, both editorially and within its office atmosphere. Your collective imprint on this paper is immeasurable and will be remembered for a very long time. None of this would have ever been possible without you, and you should be immensely proud.
Eddie, I have the utmost confidence that you and your new assistants will make this paper’s social media better than I ever could. Be creative. Think out of the box. Take the time to comprehend how important your role is to this paper and to the Hofstra community itself.
On that note, I only have one final thing to say: Links!