The year 2016 has seen a lot of action. Donald Trump securing the Republican nomination, thousands of leaked emails at the Democratic National Convention, and the murder of Cincinnati’s infamous silverback gorilla, Harambe. What a time to be alive. If you’re returning to campus this fall you know that SOU was not immune to the political drama this past year. The ASSOU presidential election alone gave us more to write about than we asked for. To wrap up our biggest stories, Colin Davis barely secured his seat as Student Body President, Dr. Linda Schott stepped into office on Aug. 1 following former SOU president Roy Saigo, and Greek Life attempted to make a comeback, essentially failing after being denied recognition from the school.
There’s one student group however, that succeeded in their comeback, despite some obvious doubts. That’s right folks. The Siskiyou is alive and well and stronger than ever. If you haven’t heard the news, we have made the transition into a fully funded organization after being dropped as a class by the communications department. With approved funding we now have the ability to pay our writers. Yes pay them. With real money. Want to know what it feels like to be a paid, published writer? Join the Siskiyou and find out.
Unfortunately many of the students who helped make this possible are no longer here. For they have either graduated or transferred to a university that can offer them a journalism degree. Eli Stillman, Ryan Degan, Michael Brock, Logan Stanley, thank you for helping us keep the dream alive. While every campus should have a newspaper, it’s clear that having a student run publication may not always be an option.
This past year I have learned that freedom of speech is one of the most vital aspects of a community, no matter how small your voice is. As long as there is democracy there will be media, whether it be in the form of a recognized newspaper, or through social media outlets. Maintaining the Siskiyou as a valid news source on campus shouldn’t just be my personal goal but a priority of the faculty, administration, and the students.
This paper gave me a voice as I’m sure it has for many others. Not only that but it gave me the answer to a question everyone in my family has been asking me since I was twelve. Because of the Siskiyou I can tell them that I want to be a journalist when I grow up. For those who are skeptical about diving head first into a writing career, the paper still has its benefits. It’s not always about perfect reporting but about making an effort to stay engaged and involved in the world around you. Now I know I’m starting to sound like your professors, but just hear me out. No one wants to end up like Gary Johnson asking “what is Aleppo?” on national television.
This year I challenge all of you, freshman, transfers, and returning students alike, to step out of your comfort zone and make your comeback, whether that be getting more involved on campus, staying better informed in national politics, or excelling at something you already do. We are all writing our own stories here. Decide which story you want to write and don’t look back.