Same book, new chapter
Volume 96, no.26
Jay Benedict | editor-in-chief
I’ve been the Collegio editor-in-chief for about 15 months now, and my tenure is near an end. It’s a bittersweet feeling to leave this position.
This will be my last issue as the head of the paper. I’m not graduating yet, so I’ll still be around in a lesser capacity.
If anyone enjoyed my writing, don’t be disappointed.
I’ll still be here for another semester. In all honesty, it will probably make me write more. Without having the weight of the Collegio on my shoulders I’ll have more time to do what I enjoy the most: write.
The past 15 months have seen some of big changes for PSU, and I feel fortunate to have been granted inside access to them.
We have covered everything from student government referendums for the tobacco policy and fees for building construction to the 2011 NCAA football national championship.
We’ve seen two SGA elections, athletics renovations, student fee debates, the concealed-carry debate, a battle for bulletin boards and slashed collegiate budgets.
I started my collegiate journalism career at the University of Kansas. I learned a lot, but was focused on Student Senate and my fraternity more than writing.
After I left KU, I started writing for the Collegio. I still remember my first assignment. Usually, we give potential employees a softball. I was asked to talk to victims of the Joplin, Mo., tornado six months after the fact.
That story launched my career here and subsequently my rise to the position I’m about to abdicate. At times it’s made me neglect my studies and social life, but what it’s taken away it has given back in rewards, tangible and intangible.
Sometimes grades have taken a backseat for me, but I’ve got a killer portfolio of published work and leadership experiences that, hopefully, an employer will value.
As I noted, this time has seen a lot of change for the PSU community. We’re building buildings and changing policies and have seen consecutive huge turnouts for SGA elections, even though the standards for “huge” are pretty sad.
I’ve enjoyed it all and I hope PSU thinks we’ve done a good job.
I set several goals when I became editor. One of those was to cover as many campus activities as possible, and the other was to include the Pittsburg community as a whole. Our budget made it hard and we had to cut pages and color at times, but I think we did a pretty good job.
This town survives because the university is here and draws people from all over the state, country and world. We covered everything we could with the resources we have and put the
voices of students and faculty in print. Our stories represent the faculty and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a staff that’s more diverse. We’ve assembled individuals who represent many races, genders, religions and nationalities, and that helps us in our pursuit of fair and balanced coverage.
I sincerely hope that if we’ve accomplished one thing while I’ve been EIC it’s that we covered everything fairly. Many people distrust the media because of bias.
We’ve earnestly tried to let students tell their story. Our pages have been fraught with student, faculty and staff opinions and quotes. If there’s been any spin, please let me know.
One of my regrets is that we may have sacrificed some features, especially since the fantastic Val Vita left in December, for more hard news.
The bottom line is that I hope I left the Collegio, its readers and the PSU community in a better place than when I got here. I think the number of awards the staff won at the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press conference in April is a good indication.
We won awards in most categories. We’re proud of that, and we hope PSU is too.
I want to thank our adviser, Gerard Attoun, for giving me the chance and the space to make this paper my own and hire a staff that is this good.
The Student Publications Board also deserves credit for allowing me to have this much fun while gaining experience and ruffling feathers from time to time.
There were some weeks when I thought President Steve Scott or College of Arts and Sciences Dean Karl Kunkel was going to give me a call and tell us to chill out, but that never happened. There were a few times that we were at odds with Athletics and SGA, but all of those situations turned out well.
Regardless of the past, the person that Attoun and I have nominated to relieve me of my duty, Marcus Clem, is more than capable to increase the Collegio’s coverage. He’s spent time at Johnson County Community College and has been a stellar reporter and copy editor here. He has a lot to learn, but so did I.
He’ll have Attoun, this talented staff, and me at his disposal, and I hope the paper will continue to improve under his guidance. He can write better than most and is more connected on campus than my old ass.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the last three semesters and I hope everyone can appreciate the path that Marcus takes us all down. It’s been real, PSU. What this university lacks in bigger-school atmosphere, it more than makes up with the opportunities it gives students like me.
That’s why PSU’s enrollment will continue to grow and we’ll do our best to inform them.