Originally published in Issue 14, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (May 4, 2017).
I almost never joined The Minstrel.
I came into DeSales thinking I wanted to be an advertising copywriter and had no intention of pursuing journalism as a career. I became a staff writer on The Minstrel a couple weeks into freshman year to make friends and get involved in the school. I thought it might be difficult to handle the extra work, but I decided to try it out.
Looking back, I’d like to pat my freshman-self on the back for making that decision because this paper has created a passion in me to investigate facts, interview people and tell their stories.
Overall, The Minstrel has been one of the most impactful things I’ve done here. It’s taught me bravery, leadership and how to accept criticism.
When I accepted my position as Editor-in-Chief last year, I had no idea how I was going to fill 14 issues. I knew I wanted to bring controversial topics to The Minstrel but I wasn’t sure what topics or how. This year is when I really got into the mindset that everything can be turned into a story and my gears were always turning for new ideas.
I also moved away from editorials this year since I have this great “Letter from the Editor’s desk” where I can write anything I want—which has been an absolute pleasure—and started focusing on hard news.
I am proud of my staff and myself for covering many weighty topics such as sexual assault, LGBT rights, mental health, sex trafficking and politics. We’ve opened up diverse conversations on a campus where these conversations were previously lacking or nonexistent.
It has specifically been great to witness the evolvement of the non-discrimination policy, which I first covered in November, and to now see that the decision to add “sexual orientation” is going to the Board. (Read the article out on Page 1.)
In addition to improving article content, we added the “Editorial” section and editor position. In previous years, there would only be an Editorial Page when there were enough articles to fill a page; however, this year we made sure to devote at least one page an issue to editorials.
We changed the masthead design, fonts and other layout changes such as photo stories to approve the paper’s appeal. Additionally, we cut the full puzzle page to either a quarter page to sometimes nonexistent in order to cover more content for our readers.
I have many people I would like to thank for their support at DeSales. First, I would like to thank The Minstrel staff for putting up with my perfectionist attitude when it comes to editing articles. It was a pleasure working with Managing Editor Will Edwards and all the other editors by my side. I know they will all have great success in the future. I wish Chris Shaddock the best of luck as Editor-in-Chief for the next two years. The enthusiasm you have for journalism will take The Minstrel to great places and I can’t wait to see the paper continue to evolve.
I’d like to thank The Minstrel’s advisor Professor McKnight for being an inspiration to me as a journalist and always helping me out of the hot water I often created; Dr. Grasso for bringing out the feminist in me, always chatting with me in her office and challenging me academically to be the best I could be; and all the other professors I’ve had an honor of meeting at DeSales who have shown their support for me in some way.
I couldn’t have made it through the past four years without my communication right hand (wo)man Erin Grube. (They’ll miss us roaming the Humanities hallway next year.) Thanks for being a friend to me since freshman year and helping me learn that it’s okay to not be
Thank you to my best friend Skye Van Hook—who “doesn’t even go here”—but has shown so much support and encouragement for my articles on social media that you would think she did. She believes in me and my talent more than I believe in myself.
And thank you Tina Tran, the nicest person I know, for attending almost every DeSales event with me. It’s been a memorable four years and I know we will keep the random road trips coming.
Last, but not least I’d like to thank my mom, dad and Katie for reading ALL of my articles over the past four years; there’s been a lot.
Even as a commuter, DeSales was a second home to me. I will tremendously miss this place and the kind-hearted people I’ve met here, but I know I’ll be back to visit.
Although the future ahead of me remains uncertain, I know I’ll be writing. I’d like to take my investigative journalistic skills to the real world and continue to fight for justice in my articles.
I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, “Pretty Little Liars,” that is also about to come to an end.
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?”—Spencer Hastings
Peace, love & DeSales,