A Final Word from Your 2018-2019 Editor in Chief

The Marist Circle newspaper saw the beginnings of its recent revival on the ground floor of the James A. Cannavino library. Spring semester 2018 had just kicked off, and I found myself huddled around a computer with Tara Guaimano, our then-news editor, at around midnight on a Sunday. We had been working for at least five hours that evening to lay out the print edition using Powerpoint—an undertaking that proved quite difficult for a graphic design novice like myself.

At that point we did not have an office, any copy editors, or a full team of graphic designers. We just had Goodman Lepota ‘18— our former Publisher—backed by a small team of student visionaries.  But we pulled it off— a few days later, our second print edition in three years hit campus. It garnered a great deal of attention, particularly for Tara’s article on Bill O’Reilly’s honorary degree retraction debate.

That edition—which followed the inaugural Marist Circle print paper that the editorial team released during Fall of 2017—was arguably our silver lining.

When I took on the role as editor in chief, I was inheriting a paper with a lot of potential. But it did not yet have its own, independent website, a print edition, a flow of regular content, or many resources to propel its platform to relevancy on campus. My predecessor, Bernadette Hogan ‘17, and her managing editor, Gabriella Gamba ‘17, began to address a number of these areas during their time as editors. They brilliantly created, produced, and executed For The Record—a project that still resonates with the school today—while also publishing some remarkable pieces and pioneering our expansion into multimedia. They were both the type of leader that inspired writers like me to think big. I wanted to honor their legacy and continue the paper’s growth with a single yet lofty goal of making the Marist Circle undeniably significant.

Today, it has been just a little over a year since we released the inaugural print paper. In that short time, in addition to our print revival, we’ve expanded our staff tenfold, incorporating copy editing, graphic design, photography, advertising, multimedia, and political and business writing contributors. We’ve launched a website that now attracts anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000 views per month. We’ve made our print edition a staple of the Marist community. We’ve generated a conversation on critical topics ranging from sexual assault, to campus diversity and inclusivity, to Marist affordability, to salary negotiations, and more. We’ve documented the accomplishments of a number of students, faculty, administrators, and the school at large. We’ve enhanced our multimedia coverage with podcasts, video, and our partnership with Marist College Television. We produced the second For The Record exhibit and are currently in the thick of producing our latest documentary that explores the concept of love, sex, and relationships on a college campus.

Photo Courtesy: Chun-Li ‘Ken’ Huang

Photo Courtesy: Chun-Li ‘Ken’ Huang

importantly, we’ve positioned the newspaper as a cornerstone of Marist culture. Our once small team has developed into a larger network of motivated students looking to make a change.

It goes without saying that much has left to be done. We have a great deal of improvement opportunity, and many more topics to explore. But I am confident that, with the rapid strides we’ve made to date, the Marist Circle, under this new leadership, will reach groundbreaking levels.

On behalf of the editorial board, I want to thank everybody that has supported us through this process, notably our faculty advisor—Professor Kathleen McNulty. We would not be where we are today without Professor McNulty’s guidance and encouragement.

Thank you also to the numerous faculty, students, administrators, and parents for simply reading and engaging with the paper. Your feedback contributed immensely to our growth.

I am both proud and humbled by the work our team has accomplished under my leadership. (Though I could not have operated without Marist Circle’s managing editors, Brian Edsall ‘17 followed by Hannah Kirk ‘20).

Student journalism is perhaps one of the most important facets of any college. It enables critical thinking, allows us to progress, to address crucial problems, to celebrate achievements, and most importantly, to connect as human beings. Marist as an institution is nearing a cultural turning point. The school newspaper is an important driver in both documenting and initiating these changes, and it should be regarded as such.   

Thank you for letting me be your 2018-2019 Editor.

Alyssa HurlbutComment