The Maroon-News Embarks On A Groundbreaking Year

“So, it’s pretty cool how the paper just magically comes together each week,” a first-year said to me in the Coop on Tuesday. “Well, it’s not exactly magic,” I replied, smiling to myself. During this brief interaction, I realized that so much is unknown about what goes into creating and publishing our campus newspaper each week. I figured it was about time to enlighten you all. As Editor-in-Chief, I am extremely excited and enthusiastic about this school year, which is quite a groundbreaking one for the publication. The 2004-2005 academic year will continue to be one of transition, growth and important change forThe Colgate Maroon-News. By the end of this year, our goal is to have created a Division I-quality newspaper capable of competing with any collegiate paper in the country. Even before the semester began, 17 first-year students took part in our Pre-Orientation program. The talents, abilities and inner drive of these new students continue to impress me and make me all the more hopeful and confident with the future of the publication. One of these students, Jill Ferris, has already proven herself worthy of the Assistant News Editor position! In addition to The Maroon-News finally being online again at, we are undergoing enormous changes in the office with our technology improvements and staff development programs. The other Editor-in-Chief, Steve Fair, and I have started a Maroon-News Alumni Association. We, along with Managing Editor Jen Chapski, are also coordinating a week-long visit from Jeff House, a professional journalist from California who will be working directly with the entire Maroon-News staff next week from October 17 to 22. He will prepare us with new tools to improve production, writing quality and the publication’s overall level of professionalism. From November 3 to 7, for the first time ever, six of our current sophomore and junior editors will participate in the National Media Convention in Nashville, where they will collaborate with other collegiate editors and seasoned journalists. In addition to having our newspaper’s layout and article writing critiqued, the editors will learn about the often underemphasized nuances of newspaper writing, such as the importance of interviews, minority perspectives and legal issues in individual, small group and workshop settings. Prior to that trip, the majority of the editorial staff will be visiting a few local newspapers in the Utica and Syracuse areas starting this afternoon to observe characteristics of professional journalism at work that we can take back to the office on campus. Since our current Macintosh computers are severely outdated and inefficient for our purposes, we have devised a specific plan to replace old equipment with new computers, a better printer and other much-needed technological equipment. By January 2, 2005, new computers, a new server, software and hardware will be put in place, including Adobe In Design, In Copy and an updated version of Adobe Photoshop. Steve and I are especially appreciative of the ongoing support of the Colgate administration with all of these new goals and initiatives. We enjoy our bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with University President Rebecca Chopp, who, along with Dean of the College Adam Weinberg, continue to be excellent sources of support and advice for us. Aside from our communication with Denise Upton and Corey Landstrom from the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement, we also have welcomed two new advisors and mentors for The Maroon-News this year, Judy Doherty and Charlie Melichar. Each provides much-needed professional advice for the technological and journalistic aspects of the paper. One final addition of the publication this year is the introduction of The Colgater, which appears in this issue for the first time and will be a monthly mini-magazine between the News/Commentary and Arts and Features/Sports sections. This will be the place for Colgate’s creative minds to display their poetry, commentaries, short stories, cartoons, photos and other original pieces that would not otherwise fit into a particular section. We hope that this addition will complement the new Arts! Initiative on campus and spotlight more innovative student work – done both in and out of the classroom. Each week, I feel an incredible amount of pride and accomplishment in the paper we produce, which reflects the hard work, energy, creativity and countless long hours of so many dedicated – and unpaid! – Colgate journalists. I feel extremely fortunate to work with such an amazing, supportive and committed editorial staff who wants – just as I do – to create the most professional and comprehensive newspaper possible each week. We have an important responsibility to communicate fair, accurate and balanced news, features and campus controversies to the Colgate community. We hope to meet that challenge to our best ability each issue – an often daunting task that is always rewarding in the end. It is impossible, however, for our campus newspaper to become the best it can be without your input. The editorial staff and I always welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions for improvement, be it good or bad. Our website has several interactive sections for Message Board responses, polls and other ways to get your voice heard. Of course, there is always the option of submitting a commentary piece or Letter to the Editor. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard, so take full advantage of it! Together, we can inform and educate this campus community and impassion our peers to action.While it may not be magic that puts the paper together each week, I’d like to think that our hard work does pay off in the end. And each time I see a student pick up a paper around campus, I know we’ve done something right.