Being Editor-in-Chief of The Aquinian during the federal election, rising Indigenous tensions in Canada and a global pandemic hasn’t been easy but it’s been worth it. We’ve told stories that don’t always get heard, and been a platform for voices that need to be listened to.
This year, I’ve stressed over the meaning of words and CP Style, and beamed with pride every time a new issue hit stands. I’ve made some mistakes and had some victories. It’s been my honour to bring some light on the stories and facts people need to know.
Journalism has never been more important. It’s hard to sort through the facts and jargon of press conferences, loud voices and political talk. A reliable news source can make everything clearer in a confusing and uncertain time.
Journalists dig for the information that can help you make informed decisions and make sure institutions are serving the public interest. We’re there for you, not against.
The Aquinian’s editorial team and writers this year have made me laugh on should-have-been snow days in the CBC basement and inspired me with their drive to find answers. The Aquinian is a massive operation and each editor dedicates more than 20 hours of their life to add in that extra detail or triple-check a spelling.
Billy Cole, our sports editor, ever reliable and humble, helped the team understand the technicalities of sports. Jasmine Gidney, our features editor and new Managing Editor, always had a way of digging up the latest trends whether it be deepfakes or gay Jesus. Diana Chávez, the news editor and the new Editor-in-Chief, is the type of person who listens through her recordings three or more times to make sure the article is perfect. Johnny James, our arts editor, with his extensive knowledge of the music scene, had a way of making words more comfortable and friendly. Alishya Weiland, our senior writer, could probably write an almost-perfect story within an hour if you asked her too. Alex Dascalu, our photo editor, takes beautiful photos and somehow put up with our back page and design requests and Young Joo Jun, the layout editor, came into the position with barely any notice and didn’t only design the paper but brought centre spreads back to their former glory.
The writers’ contributions, mostly built of a core team of eight, always helped us reach our quota of 16 stories per week. I also want to thank Wil Robertson and Tanner Riche for providing us respectively with bi-weekly political columns and weekly comics. Your dedication doesn’t go unnoticed.
Jerry-Faye, the Managing Editor, was my partner-in-crime and even though we sometimes had our differences and different ways of managing, we ran the paper together like it had an audience of a million and not just 3,000. I can’t imagine going through this year without texting you every hour of the day about work or the chaos of fourth year.
This year, we brought you live social media updates and several new columns, including a political column and a mental health column. We’ve expanded our coverage of Indigenous events and tried to not only report on stories but provide context for them.
We’ve also tried to improve the organization from within itself. With the help of many, I’ve written a code of ethics and practices for reporting on Indigenous communities. I’ve also created a general code of ethics and practices to help those transitioning into the role of student journalist. We travelled to Vancouver to attend the national student journalism conference, NASH82 and shared the knowledge with other STU journalists.
But overall, The Aquinian is about community, whether it’s about building up other student journalists or reporting on the stories that matter. That’s been my goal this year.
I don’t know when we will be able to exit our houses and gather in places again. But I do know that telling each other our stories of strength and struggles and emphasizing will help us get through it. And that’s really what journalism is; it’s storytelling.
The Aquinian will be here for you again in September, no matter how much the world has changed. And so I pass the torch.