As the semester ends, so does my reign as Editor in Chief. At first, that realization saddened me. Thoughts of apprehension raced through my head. I have so much left to do. I can not leave yet.
Then, I remembered how far I have come these past two semesters. Yes, my time as Editor in Chief is ending. Yes, I did not accomplish everything that I wanted, but I have grown. I found passions I never knew existed. I created friendships that never would have existed without the conditions The Weather Vane office provided. I thought about my life and the lives of those in my community in ways that I never had before. Throughout this journey, I discovered a passion that exists at the core of who I am: passion for sharing people’s voices.
When I first started working for The Weather Vane, I fell in love with writing feature pieces. Meeting new people and learning about their experiences was exhilarating, even though it made me nervous. As soon as I began talking to a person, though, my nerves would disappear. Their stories enchanted me, leading me to forget about everything else in the world.
As I continued to write features, the nerves were replaced with excitement. I could not wait for the next one. I always left interviews wanting more. Questions I did not ask rattled around in my head and I would worry that I missed something crucial about their life by not asking the right questions. I wanted the articles to be a snapshot into the life of that person so that their voice would come through.
With more practice in feature writing, it became easier to find an angle to focus on and weave the voices of people throughout the piece. I could zoom in on an aspect of someone’s life and share it in a relatable way. The more comfortable I became with writing feature articles, the more I fell in love.
Once I became Editor in Chief, that love led me to the goal of bringing as many student voices into the paper as we could. I believe that we have made good strides in that direction, but we still have far to go.
The biggest way that I would like to see progress is having more students reach out to share their stories. I want EMU’s community to see The Weather Vane as a place that they can share their stories and experiences. People can share their voices in several ways. They can submit opinion articles that share their thoughts, give testimonies detailing a unique experience, or reach out to be interviewed if they do not feel confident in their own writing abilities.
As a student newspaper, our goal should be to share the thoughts and experiences of the community. The more people that reach out to us, the better we can serve our purpose as a student newspaper. We try our best to find as many voices as we can, but we only have so many resources to do that. In order for my dream of a variety of voices being represented in our newspaper to come to fruition, we need help from our community.
I think my passion for sharing stories has helped bring more perspectives into the paper, but I know that we can still bring more diversity into our paper. As I look at the work I have done, I feel proud of the groundwork that I have laid for sharing the unique stories that exist on our campus. I now ask for you, my community, to help my goal continue.
Please do not be afraid to share your voices. Every single one of our opinions matter. When we walk around campus, we see each other, but we do not know each other. So I implore you all to share your voices so that we can start knowing each other.