Two years ago, I walked into Dave Blow’s office to meet my new advisor, just days after switching my major from social work to communication. Among the many things he said about The Spartan and the department, he mentioned a trip to New York, which I could go on someday if I worked hard.
Flash forward to today. My second semester as co-editor is half over and I have gone on said trip to New York twice. While being editor of The Spartan – with the editing, designing, writing, managing staff and handling reader complaints – can be frustrating, Dave, our staff, the administration and the opportunity to go to this conference, make it more than worth it.
A huge part of this conference is the opportunity to see other schools’ newspapers. Some large institutions produce papers on a daily basis, which would be impossible with our small school and staff, but even so, our bi-weekly paper looked just good if not better than the other papers on display (although I may be a bit bias).
My most proud moment of the weekend (besides finding our way to Krispy Kreme and taking the subway by myself) was when the critics told us how professional our paper looked. It’s one thing for US to like our finished product, but another entirely when someone who has never heard of Castleton likes it.
The staff we have this year is one of the best teams I have ever been a part of. When you get so many people together there is often a divide, but the group of nine that went to New York is a very cohesive team. We went to meals as a group, hung out in the hotel, talked about ways to improve The Spartan and laughed. A lot. It didn’t take long before “Where’s Jordan?” and “The Yam” became inside jokes we’ll remember for a long time.
It was hard this year deciding who would come on the trip because we have so many hard working writers and photographers who are dedicated to the paper, who are also just fun people to be around. There is no one trying to be the star and no one pushing others down.
I had also never realized how supportive Castleton’s administration is of our student media until this trip. During our critique session, we were asked about our school’s attitude toward the paper. In my experience with The Spartan, we have had minimal issues with administrators and professors and although there are isolated incidents, we are supported by a majority of the campus and community.
For that we owe a big thank you to the administration, faculty, staff and students for supporting our work and making it possible to produce the paper.
Most of all we have to say thank you to Dave for guiding us on our writing and designing, supporting us even when we don’t believe in ourselves and reminding us to relax and have fun when the hard work is done.