I’m sure at this point you’d meet the question “How was your break?” with a bland sigh. You’ve probably been asked the question enough times to justify making up a story with enough drama to rival a New York Times Bestseller.

I enjoyed break, but I’m glad to be back in the swing of things. I’m looking forward to the classes I’m signed up for this semester ? despite the fact that there are lots of them and the required texts have drained me of cash.

Among the classes I’ll be taking is a four-credit independent study that I put together with the help of professor of journalism Jim Memmott, entitled Journalism and the Arts. The knowledge I’ve gained working on the Campus Times for the past year as Eastman editor will help me expand the Eastman page into a two or three page section. Will it expand from there, or will the interest be so small that Eastman coverage will disappear? I have no idea.

Junior music education major Sarah Kohrs and sophomore viola performance and Spanish double degree student Kirsten Swanson have tentatively agreed to be my partners in crime, sharing the editing workload and contributing their writing talents when they have the time.

As a UR student, this is your newspaper. As an Eastman student, this particular page or set of pages is your personal corner to publicize, interview, highlight, ask and complain. What would you like to see in it? How can I help? In the words of pop singer Joe, “I want to know what turns you on so I can be all that and more.”

I got involved with the Eastman page of the paper so that I could feel more involved in Eastman campus life as a double degree student living on the River Campus. It’s led to many great conversations with musicians and faculty members, good friends, lots of learning and even an interview for a summer internship with the RPO administrative team.

Roughly 5,000 issues of the Campus Times are distributed each week, to places like Strong Hospital, Spot Coffee and River Campus residence halls. It’s an amazing little packet of newsprint, especially when you consider that it’s a student-run publication. Our newspaper has won awards and has been a staple on UR’s campuses since 1873. 1873!

However, Eastman’s news, concert events and student voice have only been covered on and off in the past. If you don’t get in touch with me more frequently this semester, my motivation to spend the hours this job requires will probably evaporate in a semester or so.

My biggest wish for this semester, besides more time to sleep and an A in music history, is that more people will get involved in the Campus Times. Where else can you publicly rant about what’s been driving you crazy lately? How else can you use the First Amendment of the Constitution to spark controversy on issues that mean the world to you? When else are you going to get the chance to have writing, editing or photography experience added to your resume before you head off to bigger and better things?

If you’re interested in doing more publicity work for your upcoming recital than adding another sign to the sign-plastered walls, drop me an e-mail or put your concert program or bio in my folder in the basement.

Want free tickets to a normally pricey Eastman or RPO concert? Let me know, and I’ll get them for you and a friend as long as you write up a review or take some pictures.

Tell me what upcoming news your peers should know and what events you’d like to either get or give Rochester students the scoop on.

At the risk of sounding like a psychiatrist in a bad movie, help me help you.

Even if you can’t be convinced to write an article or snap a photo, your feedback would help me tremendously. What other features would you like to see in the Eastman section? Would it be smart to include ads for instruments or old books people are trying to sell? Should we highlight the great community service projects Eastman students are doing around the city? Should we have a section to mention especially noteworthy seniors who are traveling off to become successful, famous musicians and educators?

Being a part of a newspaper team can be an extremely rewarding experience. If you’d like to learn more, come eat pizza at the interest meeting Thursday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the main building. If you can’t attend but would like to learn more or make some suggestions, drop me an e-mail or talk to me if you see me around campus.

Weiss can be reached at jweiss@campustimes.org.



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