Respect the Spartan: To us it’s more than a club

Copies of The Castleton Spartan are displayed at a journalism conference in New York City.

Attending Castleton University was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

When I first started at Castleton, I was a lost 18-year-old girl that didn’t really have any friends or know what she was going to do with her life.

But after a few months, I was able to find true friends and my true passions, all because of what Castleton had to offer.

And I also found The Spartan.

I took professor Dave Blow’s Intro to Journalism class the second semester of freshman year because it sounded interesting, and I needed to fill up my schedule. At this time, I was an undeclared major without any idea of what I wanted to do. But after a few weeks of being in Dave’s class, I found my true love – journalism. It was like in a movie, the way I fell into journalism. The first story I had ever written was published in The Spartan, and I immediately declared as a media and communication major with a concentration in journalism, with Dave as my advisor.

The following semester, I started writing for The Spartan full-time and attending meetings. I found some of my closest friends there, some that have gone on to graduate and work for newspapers straight out of college.

I think the reason we all bonded so well was because we all cared deeply for our college newspaper.

Now, here I am, the second semester of my junior year of college, currently serving as the managing editor.

I care so much about this newspaper. I treat my position as if it’s my real job. This isn’t just an extracurricular activity to me; this is my future.

And I know the same goes for other Spartan staff members. That is something that will never change, Spartan staff caring about the paper so much because they genuinely love it.

But, since I started writing for the newspaper, I’ve noticed a specific trend amongst staff and faculty on campus.

For two years, I’ve noticed the adults on campus not taking The Spartan seriously.

It’s funny, because when I tell people I’m the editor of the paper, they shower the paper in compliments, saying how good it is and how proud they are. And then a Spartan reporter reaches out to them for a comment, and they either get ignored, get told their being a bother for reaching out to them at an “inappropriate” time, get told how to do their job by someone that is not our advisor, or find out that person responded to the Rutland Herald, and not them.

Trust me, I’ve seen it all.

As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t just a club to us. We dedicate hours of our personal time to make this newspaper as good, maybe even better, than other newspapers you’d find on the stands. And then we get disrespected by the people who are supposed to be supportive of all of their students.

We treat this like it’s an actual newspaper. We were taught extremely well by not just Dave Blow, but by writers and editors around Vermont. My staff is constantly doing everything right only to be told they’re doing something wrong by other people.

And that is hurtful.

Sometimes stories are going to have to be put out fast, which means that we might reach out to you late for a comment. But we know how to properly put facts in stories.

And we definitely see if you’ve ignored our request for a comment, but gave a comment to an “actual” reporter.

All I’m asking for is that the adults on this campus support The Spartan staff, and give them the respect they deserve.

We take this seriously.

I mean, so far we’ve put out five printed papers, virtually.

When we didn’t have to.

We do a lot more for this campus than you think.


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