I have a tendency to think about things from the end to the beginning. I think about the outcomes before I plan out how to get there. So, naturally, I’ve been thinking about this column since last summer, months before I took over this college newspaper.
Back then I thought of straight-up journalism, of glory and reform. No more late nights, no more clashes with administration. “We will be the newspaper everyone wants to read,” I said to myself countless times. At the beginning of the year, I came with an agenda of how I wanted to change The Phoenix. Little did I know that the publication would change me.
This issue is the last one I get to put out as editor-in-chief, and now I find myself with the need to look back and rewrite the column I had planned for this issue. I had this column ready the first week of classes in the fall. I was reflecting on a year that had not started. Now I have to reflect on what has really happened, and this reality is better –– although harder –– than what I had anticipated.
The Phoenix has made strides this year and many of them have been recognized.
We put out the number one non-daily student newspaper in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, according to the Society of Professional Journalists. We have an up-and-coming website that has changed dramatically both in appearance and content. We’ve made small but firm steps toward becoming a multimedia publication.
Even more, we have been a school, a place where our editors, writers and contributors could learn not just the ins and outs of journalism and production, but also the importance of having a committed team striving for excellence. We’ve made mistakes, but we’ve owned up to them. We’ve done good things, and we’ve built from them.
This week’s issue is a thank-you note to all our reporters, contributors, readers and staff members that have made this year possible. This issue is, in many ways, a love note to Loyola and the people who make up this university. These pages are about both the Loyola we have and the Loyola we want to have.
The idea for this issue represents what we stand for, what we believe is our role: shedding light where questions abound. We asked our followers to pitch us questions through social media. Out of the dozens of questions we got, we selected the most common ones and answered them.
This is a special issue in many senses, not just because it is inherently subject-driven, but also because we got to discover more about Loyola and explore our roots as a publication. We’ve come to see that we stand for the same values now that The Phoenix stood for back when it was called The Loyola News.
This year, we’ve fought to slash the veil of misinformation and secrecy at this university –– we’ve done this at all levels.
Transparency. Transparency. Transparency –– that’s our primordial need, the value we championed and defended.
This is the life we chose –– to shed light on officials, to hold everyone accountable and let this university community know that we can do better, that we can be better.
It’s been an honor to write this column every week. I hope you continue to rise with The Phoenix in years to come.