Everything, everywhere, could be better.

The University, the College, the students within the College would all be better. You know the phrase.

It certainly applies to the Campus Times as well, but just as certainly, we’ve been getting better. Before I started as opinions editor in 2006 back in the days of the real Meliora Express, back before UR President Joel Seligman was a household name, back when ‘Halo 2″ was still a big deal I needed something to do (besides playing ‘Halo 2″).

In high school, I had no enthusiasm to join the school newspaper. Maybe it was the poor writing. Maybe it was the adviser. Maybe it was the editor-in-chief that I utterly loathed (screw you, Karl). But in college, I felt like writing, and I liked politics and I had a Freshman Fellow who worked for the CT so, it made sense. And I also thought, scanning through the newspaper, that this was a product that could benefit from some innovation.

So there it was, my mission for the year: ameliorate the Campus Times. Leave it better than it was.

As an editor, I poured over the design of my section, and for the heck of it, the other sections. The news editors, the sports editor and I overhauled everything. It felt good. It looked good. A lot had been accomplished in a year.

But I wasn’t ready to leave. We were overhauling the managerial positions, and I wanted to be part of the restructuring, to help implement it smoothly. I didn’t want to see all of our hard work the year before torn asunder, either. I wanted to keep things on course.

This is the 115th issue of the Campus Times I will have worked on as a member of the Executive Staff. I probably should have stopped sooner (I’ve had friends yell at me for not having done that) but there was always something else that needed fixing. The school motto got to my head. The feeling is still there.

I, however, won’t be. Not to write ‘It’s a Pun!” (you’ll miss it). Not to argue with dumb editorial decisions that I’m less than happy about (that’s happened once in a while). And most unfortunately, not to write stories. There are so many things I’d love to have written a story about, but either didn’t have the time, the opportunity or the access.

Freshman year, I lobbied President Seligman for a tour of the Witmer House. That never quite worked out. But anyone who’s ever gotten the chance to step inside it would be nothing less than amazed. I still think it would be a good story. Headline: ‘Our President’s private museum.”

As a resident of both Anderson and Wilder Towers, I longed to write a story about why UR and the Office of Residential Life fail year after year to renovate two buildings that are not even architecturally sound (they’re being held up by brackets in every room). The Towers seem far from safe, and every year we’re promised renovation, but it doesn’t happen. And there’s not even wireless Internet! If the building is going to collapse, it would be nice if everyone could e-mail a short will out first. It would be a good story. Headline: ‘Your dorm room wants to kill you.”

I would have loved to write a story on the rumor that if you’re being investigated for disciplinary action, the school could legally read all of your e-mails sent through your school account to find evidence against you. Headline: ‘Private University doesn’t mean private e-mail.”

There are about 200 student groups with interesting stories. Where does the Stingers Trombone Ensemble disappear to after Meliora Weekend? Why haven’t we seen ‘Messenger Magazine” in a year? Who came up with the acronym ‘ADITI” (Association for the Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinent) and why do they hate the English language?

There are stories out there, and I won’t write any of it. But I’m leaving behind a number of competent, thoughtful writers, who very well might be interested in whatever topic that you, the dear reader, wants to propose as an article.

All you have to do is send a letter to editor@campustimes.org. And publisher@campustimes.org, too just for good measure.

Meliora.

Brenneman is a Take Five Scholar.



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