By the time most of you get around to reading this, my face will undoubtedly be staring blankly up from desks and classroom floors across campus, and Iâ€™ll be trying to avoid my own uncomfortable gaze.
My columnists tell me having my face printed all over the place is no big deal and that no one except for maybe the chick at the McDonaldâ€™s drive-through will remember my mug â€“â€“ which, lets be honest, doesnâ€™t look much like me anyway (I hope) â€“â€“ but I still canâ€™t help but feel a little uneasy.
This year marks my third year working here at the Collegian, and today marks the first day my picture will be associated with anything I write. News reporting and editing has been my game until now, and my byline has been a frequent element of the news pages. But thereâ€™s something comforting about being able to hide behind that faceless, two-word name that makes you more a reporter than a human, and I now feel a bit naked.
So in light of my new-found exposure at this new position of mine, Iâ€™d like to take a bit to further expose myself, my colleagues and this paper to try to help you better understand what we do here, why we do it and how you can help make us better â€¦ then the Collegian.com comment board trolls can flame away.
To start, weâ€™re an independent student paper run entirely by students.
Weâ€™re like you â€“â€“ we have other minimum wage jobs, full class loads, relationship issues, drinking problems, parents that have either abandoned us or think weâ€™re Godâ€™s gift to earth and dogs that vomit on our carpets. We have lives outside of the paper and weâ€™re not professionals. We donâ€™t have professionals write or edit our stories, no administrator tells us what stories to cover and we often have to learn by trial and error.
What that means for you is we do make mistakes. Often. As much as we hate it, we misspell names, we misquote people, we report facts inaccurately, we make stupid judgments â€“â€“ and sometimes thatâ€™s on a good day.
But we also learn.
We want to be accurate. We want to get all of our facts right. We want to keep you from knowing just how hungover we were all day Sunday. We want to tell your story. We want to come up with new and interesting content. And we want you to love your paper.
Which is where you come in.
Itâ€™s easy to sit at a desk or in an office and criticize the Collegian, to mock our errors and point out our inadequacies. Cynicism is trendy and fun, I get it, but anyone can do that.
So instead, send us an e-mail, give us a call or, if youâ€™ve got the guts, come in and have a chat with us. We want to fix our mistakes and hear your criticisms, suggestions and ideas and we want you to help us better ourselves, even if that means me getting a few strands of fury-spittle on my face.
You are the reason we exist. Without you, weâ€™ve got nothing more than a bunch of pointless words on a page. The Collegian claims to be the student voice of CSU, and we need you to help us find that voice.
And if that fails, my face will still be on your Clark Building table every Tuesday so you can entertain yourself by drawing silly facial hair on my face and coloring my teeth black. Everyone has got to have some kind of purpose.
Editorials Editor Jim Sojourner is a senior journalism major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.