One of the first stories I ever wrote for The Aquinian was about a traveling yoga teacher named Robiwan McKennobi. That’s not his real name, but I digress. The story was about his life and journey through yoga, and the two truths about the practice: that yoga is about finding balance and it’s for everyone.
Those are two principles I’ve tried to follow this year as editor-in-chief.
It’s been a roller coaster, and there’s been weeks where the balance between running an independent paper and being a full-time student has been hard to find. Nothing has been easy, but every issue has been worth it.
At the beginning of the year, I had someone tell me I had one of the worst jobs on campus. While this job has been hard, I don’t think it’s been the worst by any means. I am surrounded by an amazing team who do great work and make me laugh every layout Sunday. I get to report, write and read interesting stories every week. There have been so many times I’ve gotten excited about a really fun story idea, a great shot or an awesome layout design. And as I’ve seen myself grow, I’ve gotten to watch my team grow alongside me. It’s the people who make doing this job the best, and every line of ink we churn out each week, every photo and video we share, is the product of a group of people who are passionate about what they do.
A lot has happened this year, from the death of beloved professor Brian Carty, to the first Truth and Reconciliation conference on campus, to a resurgence of student activism on many fronts, a victory in the regional volleyball tournament and the addition of a fall reading week.
As a paper we’ve evolved, adding a video component and a new social media platform, changing our logo and our layout style. There’s still more I wanted to accomplish this year, but that goes back to the yogic principle of balance. There’s always room for improvement, but the key is finding balance between accepting things for what they are and striving to do better.
I’m extremely proud of what my team has done this year. Without them, nothing would have been possible. We’ve also had an amazing group of writers, from first years eager to write every week to fourth years who had never done journalism before being thrown into a story. Just goes to show, journalism really is for everyone. Because in the end, we are here for you, to tell your stories as students and members of the St. Thomas University community.
I know the paper and the student body haven’t seen eye-to-eye on everything this year. I know some stories have made people angry, but it was important we push boundaries and start these tough conversations. As student journalists we are all still learning, that’s one of the reasons The Aquinian exists. It’s a space for students to learn and perfect their craft, and the mistakes we make now teach us going into our future careers. It’s important we try our hardest to include and represent everyone, even if we don’t do it perfectly the first time. That’s something all journalists should aim to do.
I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. I’ve learned so much about journalism, and I thank you all for allowing me to tell your stories. As captain of this little student newspaper, I wouldn’t have survived without my crew, and the best first mate any editor-in-chief could ever ask for in Sarah Betts, who’s basically a walking Canadian Press Style Guide. I’m now leaving you in the capable hands of one of our best, Sarah Morin, who writes the sassiest commentaries this paper has ever seen, and I can’t wait to see what The Aquinian goes on to do in the future.