The beginnings are the hardest to write. It’s always about looking for a witty way to say what has been said before (basically: welcome back), and staring at a white screen with a slowly blinking cursor is no way to get inspired. Consulting the archives for advice from former editors doesn’t really work either-it makes you feel unoriginal. So instead you cast about for ideas, hoping they’ll turn up before your deadline hits. Such is the life of a newspaper editor.
To the outside observer, the start of school must be an interesting sight. One day Lower Field is empty except for pigeons, the next it’s filled with parents on the brink of tears, and the next only nervous-looking freshmen remain, along with a large inflatable jumping castle and far too many two-fours. Soon other students begin to trickle back, some fondly remembering their frosh week from the year before; others wishing they were first-years again, living a life free of the stress of GPAs and looming grad school applications. The clubs and services start up again, activities night comes and goes, and student life returns to something approximating normal just in time for exams to come along.
September, though it arrives too early, can be seen as something of a blessing in disguise. The first week of class is almost my favourite time of year-everyone’s relaxed, free of the stress of class, and you can have a drink or two or three at OAP (or your bar of choice) pretty much guilt-free. Before the leaves fall, the cold hits, and we seek refuge in the libraries studying for midterms and writing papers, we’re given four precious weeks to slowly get ourselves back into academic mode and get our bearings.
Over in Student Newspaperland (also known as our Shatner building office) the process is somewhat condensed. Arriving back on campus just a week before class, new editors have little time to get their bearings, instead facing trial by fire in an attempt to get the first issue out on time. Eager to learn and do well, they struggle through, so that you, our readers, can wander through these pages over the next week when you’re looking to pass the time.
For that we thank you. If it weren’t for you returning to the newsstand to pick up our issues week after week, then we wouldn’t have much reason to be here. When it comes down to it, we’re here to serve you and your interests.
In that spirit, we’ve made some changes to the paper over the summer. We’ve modified our masthead slightly and started using a new font in response to your comments. We’ve expanded our Editorial Board, adding an editor who will be responsible for the opinion section and will work with our columnists and guest columnists. And we’ve launched a new Web site, which we hope will eventually include polls and forums where you can share your thoughts on the stories and events we report on.
I invite you all to contribute to the Trib in some way this year. This is your newspaper as much as it is ours. Like our coverage? Don’t like our coverage? Write us a letter. We’ll print as many of them as we can fit. Want to see an event or story covered? Come in and talk to an editor, or send us an e-mail. Itching to let everyone on campus know about your point of view? Write a guest column.
All I ask for in return is your understanding. We will undoubtedly make mistakes. That’s not to say we want to, and we will try our best week after week to keep them to a minimum, but we’re learning too, and we’re only human.