I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I believe if we see the need to improve on something in our lives, we can start any time of year. There’s one thing, though, time-specific to 2016 that I need to work on: I need to start caring less about The Minstrel.
May’s commencement approaches faster than anyone cares to admit, and my loved ones gently remind me that I’ll have to move on from the work of this paper. In the meantime, I can take pride in the fact that students here care about us more than I’ve ever seen. Once, when I was a sophomore, I was taking someone’s picture for the “Minstrel on the Street” feature, and when I couldn’t get the photo right, the subject’s friend told me, “It’s only The Minstrel.” In my experience, students don’t say “It’s only The Minstrel” anymore.
It’s not students I’m worried about.
Throughout 2015, I had personal run-ins with several university employees – faculty, staff and administration alike. To be fair, for every worker on campus who’s tried to hurt The Minstrel in some way, I know four others who’ve shown their support for it. But I watched an employee purposely throw fresh copies of the paper into the trash and then call my frustration “ridiculous” when I approached her. Some faculty cautioned me not to pursue certain stories.
Most pathetically, a DeSales staffer personally insulted me and tried to wrest authority over our social media practices after I posted, then deleted, one erroneous tweet. To err is human, but I am not lazy. Did you know that on multiple occasions in recent history, The New York Times has had to issue six corrections for one article? I think we make impressively few mistakes for a group of human beings still learning the fundamentals of journalism at a student paper, but mistakes will happen nonetheless. One low-stakes, isolated incident never requires an employee to browbeat a student.
It’s funny, the word “resolution” comes from the verb “resolve,” and if The Minstrel could make a New Year’s resolution, I hope it would relate to showing the noun “resolve” – firmness of purpose, determination. Without resolve, pressure from adults could harm what I’ve helped build over the last four years. This is why I still take deep pride in this enterprise in the final months before my departure. This is why it will take me plenty of time to accept this “moving on” thing.
Now that we’re settled into the new semester, I am happy to present a review of Heritage Week, brought to us by Kimmie Semiday and Jaci Wendel (the latter of whom I’m excited to have back on American soil). And for a great example of “students who care,” I humbly recommend Catherine Nadeau’s guest piece about Rev. Schubert on desalesminstrel.org. From her personal experiences, Catherine portrays the man better than I can do as a third party, and she told me her mother would cry out of pride for her upon seeing her refection published.
Serving as editor-in-chief of The Minstrel has taught me that leadership involves being humble and proud at the same time, in the right ways. To me, that’s resolve.
Until next time, DeSales,