At times, my college experience feels like a tumultuous, fogged memory—the late nights, painful essays, and crammed studying. But one thing has always remained especially clear: my role within and undying love for this paper.
So, here it goes: this is my final note as Editor-in-Chief of The Sandspur.
I joined the staff three years ago, writing sports and opinion with little understanding of what sort of impact a student newspaper could truly have.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to hold the editor-in-chief position for two years, and each one of the 48 issues I helped produce taught me an invaluable lesson.
If I had to name one point of advice for all students, especially my staffers, it’s this: If you never try, you’ll never know.
As student journalists, it is our responsibility to ask the questions nobody else wants to. We owe it to our fellow students to feel uncomfortable asking administrators difficult questions. If we do not, who would? Maybe the question would lead nowhere, but if we didn’t try, we would never know. And if we never knew, we would never be able to give the students their needed information.
My reporters and editors tried everything they could to make an impact these last two years, and it has paid off. Some thought it was impossible to turn the short-staffed newspaper at a college with no journalism major into something that was impactful, but we did it. We tried.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Student journalists don’t ask for much, especially recognition. We do this work for the good of our community, often receiving harsh criticism, late-night phone calls, and little sleep with little pay. We know our role, and we love every second of it.
So, thank you, Rollins for letting me take on this role for the last two years. Thank you for reading our stories, for being our sources, and for supporting our journalism. Without your support, The Sandspur would be nothing. And without The Sandspur, I would not be who I am today.
To the dedicated few who helped me get to this point, I would like to say thank you:
To Christina, who is one of the strongest people I have ever known. You experienced immense emotional pain, but stayed there for me, for our staff, and for our community. From the moment you stepped in the newsroom, you had my back. You are brave and courageous, and I could not have done this without you.
To Alex, who I know will keep fighting the good fight. You can and will lead this paper to more greatness. Believe in yourself, ask more questions than necessary, and always stand up for your reporters.
To Maura, who I know will do more than she thinks she can. You were always a calming voice when my emotions were high. I know you will continue to be that guiding force for the rest of the staff next year.
To Dana, Greg and Leslie, Who trained and supported our staff, and provided the resources to get us to the next level. Your advising and support made me confident in my leadership.
To Lya and the design team, who put up with my incessant last-minute design changes and always made things look better than I envisioned. Without you, our print product would be half of what it is today.
To Henri, who always called me “boss” and whose phone call explaining why his story was late could be cued on the dot every Sunday night. Thank you for taking on the role as a sports writer with open arms and a full heart. P.S. Do your homework.
To Heather, Zoe, Caroline, and all my other reporters, who I know will never give up on their stories. You have a responsibility unlike any other person on this campus. Keep giving a voice to the voiceless. Do it with love, passion, and humility.
To the rest of the newsroom, I love you and I am so proud of you.
To every Sandspurian before me, thank you for keeping this paper alive so that I could experience its greatness. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
Former Sandspur Editor Ellie Rushing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. After graduation, she will intern for the Philadelphia Inquirer. From there, keep in touch to find out.