This year has been a year of figuring it out as you go for everyone, the Campus Times included. Next year will be, too.
My Publisher predecessor, An Nguyen, wrote that the Campus Times would return to print, “Because the physical is not yet obsolete.” I think everyone has learned this at some point in the past year. Maybe it was when you zoned out of the 100th Zoom lecture, maybe it was being unable to perform music live, or maybe it was just not hugging your friends.
We’ve done our best to cover both the events that have continued through the pandemic, and the events of the pandemic itself. The University’s response to it (both in spring 2020 and throughout this past academic year). The toll it’s taken on the student body. We’ve covered the changes to life on campus, and what it’s like to be a college student right now.
If I’ve learned anything about CT as Publisher, it’s that when we do our best work, we represent the memory of the student body. In a decade, anyone who was a student during this pandemic will be long gone. Hell, almost no one on campus will remember the University’s response to Trump being elected President next year. But our coverage of it will still be around. Want to know what UR students thought of Obama’s election? Or Reagan’s? Look at our archives. There are PDFs of Campus Times print issues going back decades.
Next semester the school plans to return to normal as much as possible. Whatever normal is. The reality is that next year we will have to figure out a new normal, as cliche as it sounds. Professors will have to relearn and replan their courses for the second time in two years, clubs will have to go back to figuring out how to run in-person events, students will have to readjust to studying together. As much as I welcome the return of a noisy iZone, I also recognize that it may be jarring for many who aren’t used to it.
CT is going to have to figure out how to get back to normal, too. Normal weekly meetings, with a handful of college students trying to wrangle two dozen others into a coherent assembly. Normal production nights, with fun and distractions and a little bit of chaos in the Graphic Arts Suite. And normal reporting, with writers actually being able to go ask questions and observe events beyond what we can see through a screen.
A lot of the new normals of next year will be newsworthy. Changes to academic, residential, dining, and other policies will need to be covered. New hires, new clubs, and new programs will pop up, and the Campus Times will be there to cover it.
A lot is going to change next year, and we will spend a lot of time documenting it. If you’d like to help us do that by writing, taking pictures, illustrating, or editing, let us know.
None of us are going to forget this year, but the students of the future won’t remember it. We can only leave them our notes through old copies of the student newspaper. Hopefully that’s enough for things to keep improving.