Goodbye, News: Class of 2018 bids MHN farewell

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Lindsey McGinnis '18

Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Izzy Olgaard '18

I cherish every part of my college experience — my international relations and journalism classes, hosting a radio show, studying abroad — but nothing comes close to the joy of working for the paper, first as an Arts & Entertainment editor, then as Editor-in-Chief. It’s been a privilege to cap off 100 years of Mount Holyoke News, and to shape this publication I care about so deeply. Saying thank you is easier than saying goodbye, so here it goes…

To the more senior staff who had also worked under Liz: Thank you for trusting me, for listening to me and for pushing back when I wasn’t thinking or communicating clearly. I was nervous about entering this role after a semester abroad, but you gave me the space I needed to learn and lead. To the new editors: I honestly can’t explain how exciting it is to see you step up and make the News better. I’m grateful that I got to be  part of your journey, and thank you for being part of mine. 

I would have never had this privilege without the support of my phenomenal A&E co-editors, Sarah and Emily. To both of you: Thank you for being my rocks, my sounding boards and my friends. 

And thank you to my friends who aren’t on the paper, for waving when we crossed paths Thursday morning — you on your way to class and me on my way to bed — and for listening politely when all of my stories were about the paper. Your patience and support mean the world to me.  

This year wasn’t easy, but looking at our collective accomplishments, I know that every single 6, 7, 8 and 9 a.m. night was worth it. Since September, we have expanded the paper from 12 to 16 pages, thrown a killer holiday party, sent eight staff members to Boston University’s Power of Narrative conference, debuted the brand-new Visibility section and won Mount Holyoke’s Excellence in Programming award. We continue to find interesting ways to use our website and to foster a welcoming newsroom environment. What a way to wrap up a century of student journalism!

Now some advice for 101: Continue to recognize your peers, set ambitious goals, clean your mugs, chase the stories that you want (not the ones that are easy), save six copies of every issue, listen to criticism but remember the value of a campus newspaper, try to make your section better every single week and do not, under any circumstances, give up the news.

To everyone who has contributed to MHN over the past three years, thank you. You have given me a sense of belonging, pride, purpose and excitement, and wherever I go next, I know I’ll be chasing this feeling.

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Rumi Handen '18

Copy Chief

Photo by Izzy Olgaard '18

Three hundred words are not sufficient enough to properly reflect on my time here as a senior, but I only need one to describe how I sincerely feel: grateful. In the following paragraphs, therefore, I dedicate my space to thanking some of the many individuals who have made my undergraduate experience as profound as it has been.

I would first like to thank my orientation leaders for welcoming first-year me with a sign equal parts terrifying and heartwarming on the College’s gates, proudly reading, “Mary Lyon saw you coming!” I still think about it to this day. Next, I must thank Ham Hall for housing me by Upper Lake in 2014 and introducing me to my now-closest friends; we made it! Thank you, friends, for all the laughs and thoughtful conversations we have shared; I will take the spirit of the Hamily with me wherever I go. Thank you, Gigi Zeiler, for reminding me how precious and fleeting life can be. There is no such thing as too much glitter. And thank you, Isabelle, for being my dearest friend and most wonderful roommate. You are brilliant.

I next want to thank the professors for intellectually challenging me and encouraging me to be a more critical thinker. I am now a better writer, a greater academic and in possession of a killer personal library. Last, and most certainly not least, I want to thank my mom for supporting me every step of the way in Skype and phone calls, care packages, hugs and kisses. I learned my kindness and work ethic from you.

Copy editing for MHN for four years has been a pleasure. My colleagues have made it impossible for me to give up the news. So thank you, reader, for your readership. It has been an honor.

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Emily Blomquist '18

Managing Editor of Content

Photo courtesy of Emily Blomquist '18

I think that the best thing that MHN does is bring people together. I remember as a new transfer student I was hesitant to join the newspaper. It didn’t help that my high school journalism teacher told me that I wasn’t cut out for journalism. I was nervous and felt out of place at a new college. After a few weeks on campus, I became an editor for the Arts & Entertainment section. I met a girl named Lindsey who was one of my co-editors and also somewhat new to the paper. Her dedication to the News was inspiring and I found myself wanting to write better and stay in the newsroom a little longer. She probably didn’t realize it, but she was my first friend on the paper and one of the people that made the newsroom start to feel a bit like home. 

Dedicating so much time to MHN has been such a privilege. It transformed passing faces on campus into dear friends. A couple of days ago, my buddy and current Arts & Entertainment editor, Sarah, showed me a copy of MHN from 2016. Sarah (who’d been a staff writer at the time), Lindsey and I had all published articles in that issue. To most, this paper means little, but to us, it’s our history. Yes, MHN belongs to the community, but to our MHN staff: understand that it belongs to you, too. Invest in the people around you and their stories, be a part of them. It can change your life. Writing in 2016, I didn’t know how much I would come to love the other people writing those pages — and there’s no way I could have known about all the other amazing people that I’d meet.

To the late night crew, those folks who make jokes, eat cold pizza and sing ABBA with me at 3 a.m.: thank you. 

It’s been one of the highlights of my senior year getting to know all of the new faces in the newsroom. We’ve shared a little (Antonio’s) slice of our lives together. And while some of us are leaving now, I can’t imagine the newsroom ever changing. As long as there are students who love it, and who work harder and better for one another, I believe we will never give up the news. 

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Risha Dewan '18

 

Publisher

Photo by Izzy Olgaard '18

A few weeks ago, as I was giving a tour to a group of prospective students, I was asked: “Why did you choose Mount Holyoke?”

Every time I have been asked this question, I have always given the same response: “the people.”

Ever since the first time I stepped on campus, I finally understood what it meant to be part of a community, to share a common vision, to be encouraged by my peers, to actively listen and to strive to do better.

Joining Mount Holyoke News has played a huge part in making me feel like a bigger part of this community. I have formed some of the greatest friendships and worked with some of the most incredible people. It only seems fitting to thank the people that made this paper what it is today.

A huge thank you goes out to Liz Huang and Chloe Maurice, for being the greatest mentors, and for all their unwavering support. E-Board, Thank you for all that you do: from chasing every story to ordering party decorations to expanding the newspaper (!!!). It was a pleasure working with and getting to know each and every one of you this year. Lyuba Popadic — I would have never been able to take on this job without you. I cannot wait to see what you accomplish next year. To all the MHN staff (past, present and future) —Thank you for never giving up the news.

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Carrie Clowers '18

Graphics Editor

Photo by Izzy Olgaard '18

My first night in the newsroom was Nov. 8, 2016. I was lured to the MHN election-viewing party by the promise of a front-page graphic, off-brand copic markers, Diet Coke and a Keurig. At 2:30 a.m., during my first morning in the newsroom, Donald Trump won the presidency. Seventeen months and over 150 graphics later, I’m still here. For that, I have many people to thank.

Lindsey and Emily: I thought about getting newsroom bunk beds installed, but Facilities Management was against the idea. Thank you for doing the long nights and early mornings so that the rest of us don’t have to. 

To the small (but mighty) graphics staff: Commitment means letting me email you five times in one day and drawing duck genitalia without question. I know that the three of you will stick with it.

To Liz Huang: Thank you for asking me to join the paper every single week since I got to college. You are wonderfully relentless. I can’t wait to run for office with you in 2048; I know that we can give MHN an election worth covering. Until then, here’s to the Diet Coke, the Keurig, and the La Croix. Let’s hope Aspartame isn’t as bad as they say. 

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Eileen O'Grady '18

News Editor

Photo by Izzy Olgaard '18

It doesn’t often happen that one course changes the direction of your life, but in my case it did. Intro to Journalism with beloved former journalism professor Catherine Manegold was enough to inspire me to join Mount Holyoke News as a staff writer and caused me to think seriously about the possibility of pursuing news writing as a career. I quickly fell in love with the busy and efficient atmosphere of the MHN newsroom, with its sounds of clicking keyboards and friendly chatter. By the end of junior year, I was an assistant News editor, and by senior year, I was editor of the News section. Being a member of Mount Holyoke News has made me realize the importance of being part of a community on campus and of working together to pursue a common goal.

More importantly, being a member of MHN has made me realize the importance of the college newspaper in America. The decline of local community newspapers over the past decade has made student publications critical sources of information for happenings on college campuses. In an era when a tumultuous political climate has heightened discourse and added new voices to the national debate, student newspapers offer a forum for a microcosm of America’s populace. College campuses are where young adults are learning, developing, growing, trying out arguments, making mistakes, figuring out their lives, finding themselves and gaining an awareness of the larger national and global community around them. Student protests on college campuses in the past five years over issues of racial inequality, social injustice, sexual harassment and gun violence have gained widespread attention and spurred calls for change nationwide, demonstrating the direct influence campus news coverage has on the American dialogue. Mount Holyoke College students have been active in these various political movements, and Mount Holyoke News has been there to cover the events every step of the way. 

As I pursue my journalism career, I will always hold on to the fond memories of the mentors and colleagues who inspired me at Mount Holyoke. I am incredibly proud of the Mount Holyoke News team for working so tirelessly to achieve our goal of being the best campus paper that we can be, for always showing good humor even throughout the late nights and for never, ever giving up the news.

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Sarah Olsen '18

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Photo courtesy of Sarah Olsen

Four years. I have spent four years as a part of the Mount Holyoke community. Four years of sitting in class, spending countless hours in the library, eating numerous Chef Jeffs and writing papers (as an English and religion double major, God only knows how many papers I've written during my time here; I would do the math, but I'm a humanities major because numbers are hard).  Somehow, it feels like those four years passed in the blink of an eye, but also gradually, one day at a time. Now that I'm at the finish line, feelings are stirring. I'm happy and excited that I'll be setting off on a new adventure, but mixed with these emotions is sadness. Mount Holyoke has been my home for four years. After graduation I'll never walk across the campus as a student. I'll be a visitor, an alum who will be spotted desperately trying to navigate the newest additions of SuperBlanch — or whatever monstrosity the school builds next. This change from student to alum is strange to me. Ever since I began preschool, I've been a student. It was my occupation when I filled out important forms and what my extended family talked to me about at family gatherings. After May 20 I will take on a new occupation. What is this occupation going to be? Unemployed? Dream job? A state of mind? I don't know. I would by lying if I said the unknown doesn't make me feel uneasy — but it also makes me excited. I will be starting a new chapter where I won't be spending countless hours in the library or writing another paper (this will happen if I attend grad school, but the verdict is still out on if that's going to be a thing). It's the exciting of not having to do schoolwork after May 6 that's driving me forward. In less than three weeks, I won't have to read or write because a professor thinks I should. I'll get to do it because I think I should. This concept makes it easier to leave the Chef Jeffs, Skinner Green and Jorge. It doesn't mean I won't miss Mount Holyoke, though. I think what I'm going to miss most is the people. During my time at MoHome I have met people who have challenged me, opened my mind, made me better as a person and a writer and — most importantly — made me feel loved. It's because of them that I won't forget my time at Mount Holyoke. Even though I'm leaving the physical Mount Holyoke, I will continue to be part of this community. So, in a way, I'm not truly leaving. No matter where I go or which occupation I take, I will be part of this community. Always. 

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