With graduation around the corner, I have realized I’m going to miss being an editor at the Collegian.
My friends and family said I was crazy to want to do this job with all of the deadlines and responsibilities that can be part of working at the Collegian. At times I felt I was.
But I think I would have been crazy not to want to do job this during my time at CSU.
Newspapers are the first draft of history. In the past four and a half years, I have witnessed the stories of the killing of Matthew Shepard, the shootings at Columbine, the 2000 presidential election, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, CSU president Al Yates’ resignation and countless athletic victories in tournaments and bowl games. There are hundreds of other stories that are a part of this list. By working at the Collegian I have felt, in some way, connected to all these events that have made us sob in sorrow or jump for joy.
And think of how insignificant this slice of time is to the 111-year legacy of the newspaper you read every day before class.
The first semester I worked at the Collegian the newsroom had been relocated to the old Fort Collins high school because the flood of 1997 had destroyed the basement of the student center where our offices where located.
In just a short time things have changed tremendously. In December 1998, the Collegian moved back to the student center, equipped with new computers, desks and, in the years since, staff members whose constant drive for success made us continue as the only daily college newspaper in Colorado.
Every day at the Collegian our hard-working advertising staff sells the ads that make publishing our newspaper possible and our production staff puts the ads together so they look attractive in our pages. Reporters tirelessly track down the stories you read every day, sometimes by spending days on the phone, in interviews or writing on tight deadlines. Photographers add the images that frame those stories in vivid color or black and white. Finally, page designers put it all together like a puzzle, sometimes through the night when the rest of the campus has been snoozing for hours.
In addition to all of these people, I want CSU to know about the editors who have sacrificed their social lives, and whose grades have probably suffered a little bit, because of their dedication to this newspaper over the past semester.
Ben Koerselman, my predecessor, who started this semester setting a precedent of accountability future editors of the Collegian would be wise to continue.
Becky Waddingham, the Collegian’s next Editor in Chief. I will probably never meet a more dedicated reporter. She is as skilled working in Washington, D.C. or New York City as she is in Colorado.
Andrew Whelan, who truly has a vision of the way the Collegian should be: a place where people enjoy working and learning. This paper would not come together every night without him.
Vince Blaser, whose political savvy vastly improved our election coverage this semester. I wish him well in his trips to London and Washington next year.
Colleen Buhrer, one of the most professional editors I’ve ever worked with. She helped hire a very talented staff of reporters for this semester.
Shandra Jordan, who has a bright future in journalism ahead. She made sure our news coverage of the campus was fair and detailed.
Dustyn Connelley, her sassy attitude always gave our entertainment section just the right amount of spice. This section has never been more fun-filled because of her.
Joni Ramirez, has an excellent eye for story ideas and design. Her positive attitude has carried our special sections through some stressful deadlines.
Jon Ackerman, one of the most knowledgeable sports fans I’ve ever met. Our CSU game coverage has never been more thorough because of him.
Vince Adams, who always has an opinion about everything, but never lets that bias what we cover in our columns.
Matthew Bernhardt, the best graphic artist I’ve ever seen at the Collegian. Our paper has looked more colorful this semester because of his illustrations and information graphics.
David Schneider, who has proven to be very flexible and understanding in helping put together the paper at night, even when we have several late stories.
I want to also give my thanks to the general manager of student media Larry Steward who has been committed to seeing the Collegian succeed and especially to our newsroom advisor Jeff Browne whose advice and constructive criticism made every staff member at this newspaper want to strive to become better journalists and better people. I couldn’t have done this job every day without you.
To all the readers of the Collegian, I want you to realize there is something special going on in the newsroom of your campus paper. The staff of the Collegian will continue to make this the best newspaper it can for years to come.
Josh Hardin is the Interim Editor in Chief of the Collegian. He is a senior majoring in journalism and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.