Senior Send-off: Reflecting on an informed and reformed community
Image courtesy of Robert Kinnaird//Hofstra Chronicle
It is impossible for me to thoroughly express how much The Hofstra Chronicle has meant to me in any short amount of words.
I entered college four years ago wanting nothing more than to write for my school newspaper. I have been contributing to The Chronicle since September of 2015 when I first began writing. This year – my senior year – I had the privilege and honor of serving as managing editor. Four years later, I am able to say I had a hand in producing 80 issues of this newspaper, with the exception of one or two, perhaps.
I have written dozens of published articles on an exceedingly diverse number of topics. I tackled issues ranging from administrative corruption to religious restrictions to Greek life infractions to health and safety scares galore. I have written incredible success stories detailing student, faculty and university feats. I have written obituaries for some of my community’s most tragic losses. Many articles were a joy, and many others – a nightmare. Regardless of the difficulty, I persisted. That is the nature of the truth. Sometimes it is heartwarming, and other times it is heart-wrenching.
I have come to learn that this newspaper is an integral part of a productive, ever-growing community. I have watched the content of The Chronicle shake this campus in the best of ways. It didn’t take long for me to realize that what I like most about journalism is that it is truly and explicitly impactful, that it fosters important conversation and sometimes leads to hard-hitting procedural and legislative change.
This has been the case during my time at Hofstra. The Chronicle effectuated a rise in standards, tightened protocol and sparked an emergence of new positions within the administration. Students have been given more options, fees were waived, committees have been formed and two organizations faced major consequences for conduct that victimized students. It is no secret that The Chronicle was a major mover and shaker in these cases.
Reflecting on these 80 issues overwhelms me. When I became an editor, I was told by a predecessor that this is the hardest job on campus. It is the hardest, most thankless work, yet the most rewarding, I was told. This is absolutely the truth. The responsibility of monitoring a university and reporting about it in full while being both the watchdog and a student on a college campus has challenged me to my core mentally, emotionally and ethically. However, being a part of this paper has given me more pride, purpose and pleasure than I can fathom.
I can say with earnest confidence that the work performed in room 203 of the Student Center is done with the best interest of Hofstra students in mind. Editors do not get paid. We do not get any college credit. The motivation behind our work is in seeing the betterment of our community. I am humbled week in and week out by an editorial staff that dedicates an incomprehensible amount of time and energy to their readers.
Young reporters entering the field today face a contentious climate. Ten journalists have already been killed in 2019 alone and hundreds have been imprisoned. The emerging political rhetoric surrounding journalism attacks our work and campaigns against our mission. The truth is in danger all over the world, and we need more defenders of it now more than ever.
As I close out this chapter, I encourage emerging editors to push the envelope, ask the hard questions and write courageously. Don’t be complacent. Your right to truth-telling is indestructible.
To my mentors, Michael Ortiz and Laurel O’Keefe, I carry your guidance with me every day. To the new leadership, Taylor Clarke and Jill Leavey, I am leaving this paper in the best of hands. To my current and former staffs – thank you for keeping me sane on Mondays, for all the laughs, for the epic playlists and for being my family at Hofstra.