I typed out this goodbye in my little blue corner of Rothwell 157. And in true Online Editor fashion, with all the HTML and hyperlinks. I’m graduating, and I’m going to get that friggin’ degree this May when for the longest time I didn’t think I’d ever graduate. But the more I allow myself to think about ‘finally’ leaving, I get, in less than elegant terms, totally bummed out because I’m also leaving the only place at Mills I loved. I mean, for real? The Campanil was the source of my best and happiest and most interesting memories as an undergraduate.
I remember laughing in Ron Nagle’s office as the now-retired ceramics professor regaled me about doodling during department meetings and hating Grateful Dead. I once ran through the rain to do a video interview with a bearded burlesque dancer. I followed an animal trapper around with my little voice recorder as he wrangled raccoons and skunks on campus. I almost cried when reporting during the Black students’ silent protest against campus racism at Adams Plaza. I actually cried when I won first place and third place prizes for my stories the same semester I was told I was disqualified from Mills.
That doesn’t even include my experiences working alongside these knuckleheads I call my colleagues. Thank you for all the hard work, laughter, weird Post-its, pumpkins and chocolates left on my desk and letting me back in when I left. Allowing me to vent whenever I felt overwhelmed and respecting me even after we’ve had a rough back-and-forth and making sacrifices to help me even when you had other responsibilities to do and especially, the friendships. Thank you for everything.
I’ll end this with some food for thought for both the new and old staff members:
– Always aim for diversity. If a journalist’s job is to show different views, then do the same by actively looking for more diverse writers. It’s not about tokenism, it’s about the power of representation. It’s simply powerful when our readers can see that those listed on the byline are of color, LGBTQA and/or gender-variant.
– Being an “unbiased” journalist doesn’t mean you have to be cold and unfeeling. Handle everything fairly with consideration for the other person, whether they’re your source or another reporter.
– Immediately address criticism and apologize when you’ve done wrong. That means transparency: opening your doors, reaching out for story pitches, explaining the process and fixing your mistakes.
– As a sign that once hung on the back of our door used to say: Remember you are the watchdogs, not the lapdogs, of the administration.
– It’s time to replace that brown couch cover. It’s been there since 2010, fyi.
Thank you and good luck. Truly, I’ll miss you all.
Melodie Miu works as The Campanil‘s Online Editor and has been on staff since Spring 2009. She will be graduating this semester with a bachelor in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in studio art.
For more graduation-related posts, check out The Campanil‘s designated 2014 Commencement webpage here or click on the “Commencement” link in the upper right hand corner of the header.