Michael O’Brien ‘23
As I began reflecting on the near completion of my first semester as Editor in Chief of The Spire, the first direction my mind went to was gratitude. While Thanksgiving may be far in the rearview mirror as we enter the holiday season, I think that everyone could benefit from a continued sense of gratitude that we expressed just a few weeks ago. The Spire’s tradition of being the College’s official student-run newspaper is approaching the century mark; truly a remarkable achievement for every student journalist that has contributed to the paper as a way to keep our community informed. And this storied tradition of The Spire has held strong this year thanks to an almost unbelievable amount of people that have given their time to it. So, before I go into how this experience was for me, I’d like to thank some people who played a paramount role in making sure The Spire continued to serve our campus.
First and foremost, thank you to every single person who contributed an article to the paper this year. No articles, no paper; it’s as simple as that. If I’ve counted correctly, 43 different authors have written a piece for The Spire this year, which is a fantastic number that I’m hoping will increase even more next semester. Whether you were a Guest Writer who chipped in one article or an Editor who contributed to each issue, the hard work of every single person who has written does not go unnoticed.
Thank you to our amazing section Chiefs: Joey Abrams from News, Stacey Kaliabakos from Opinions, Nicole Letendre from Features, Michael Vail from Eggplant, Ben Lepper from Sports, Valentina Moran from Visuals, and Sophia Carmenati from Copy-Editing. Some of you served as section Chiefs in the past and continued building upon your leadership and editorial skills, while others served for the first time, and it was just as rewarding to see you navigate through the little things like InDesign and inspire your section from week to week. All of you have made my job so much easier, and beyond that, you have proven to be integral parts of keeping The Spire going; I’m so excited to see what’s next for you all.
Thank you to the professors who have shown to be friends of The Spire, such as Professor Gettelman and Professor Torres, who graciously gave their time to tell us a little about the fascinating work that they’re doing on campus. Thank you to Professors Reed and Stoddard for inviting members of The Spire into your classes to express the importance of journalism. In a college without a journalism major, incorporating these kinds of lessons into the classroom is such a great way to show that student journalism does matter.
Thank you to the administration and staff of the College for their transparency while speaking to The Spire on issues that impact our campus. A special thanks to Richard Perna from Dining Services and to President Rougeau himself. An open, honest relationship between the administration and The Spire is an integral part of keeping students up to date on big picture issues at Holy Cross, and I’m looking forward to continuing this relationship.
And last, but certainly not least, thank you to my fellow members of senior leadership: Julianna Mariani, my Co-Editor-in-Chief, and Grace Bromage, the paper’s Senior Advisor. Spending three plus hours every Wednesday working on final layout isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but I’ll cherish the long nights spent laughing through it and everything else that’s come with the labor of love that is overseeing The Spire with you both. I’m not only grateful for the great things we worked on together for the paper throughout this semester, but likewise for finding two incredible friends in the process. Although Julianna may be going abroad next semester and Grace and I will be graduating soon, I’m confident that the three of us will continue to be friends for a long time.
Coinciding with Julianna being abroad, this means that we have decided to name Joey Abrams Co-Editor-in-Chief for the spring semester, which also means that Sarah Carter will be our new section Chief for News. I’m confident that both Joey and Sarah will continue to contribute greatly to the paper and use their experience to their advantage.
So, I think that’s about everyone I had to thank (hopefully I didn’t miss anyone!) From a personal perspective, this has by far been the most rewarding experience with The Spire going all the way back to when I first started writing my freshman year. As the former editor of the Sports section, one of my favorite things about being a section Chief was seeing the growth in writers over the course of the year, and that’s only been amplified by now overseeing the entire paper. Nearly every single writer who has consistently contributed to The Spire has improved their journalistic skills with every issue; it makes me feel an incredible amount of pride to see this type of improvement.
Especially this year, I’ve had so many incredible opportunities to use my position as Editor-in-Chief for some great experiences, between interviewing a Nobel Prize winner to a future lieutenant governor. But these experiences aren’t something that are or should only be available to me. With enough hard work and determination, it could be you interviewing the President of the United States down the road; as long as you tell yourself you can. So if you’re thinking of ways to seek the truth and/or convey your passions to the world, don’t waste anymore time. Start your own political blog. Launch a podcast talking about music. Or, perhaps best of all, come write for The Spire! Whatever you think your calling is, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my position so far this semester, it’s that action is the first step, because who knows where writing one article will lead you.
Thank you for reading The Spire, and I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season. See you in the spring!
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