As my senior year comes to a close, I find myself fielding increasingly abundant questions about the history of the Maroon-News and its current role on Colgate’s campus. While many students may be unaware of the radical changes this paper has undergone in the last four years, faculty members and alumni have slightly broader memories.
The paper has come a long way since the days of headlines such as, “Q: Where My Ho At? A: Between the Coop and Olin,” and our current staff is immensely proud of the professionalism we strive to display each week. Yet beyond these, let us call them mechanical improvements, the Maroon-News has grown to provide a real forum for discussion that Colgate badly needed when I arrived in 2006. I can only hope it continues to serve this function in the years to come.
With due deference to our new website, it surprises many that a newspaper – a bulky, eco-unfriendly relic of a different millennium – can still provide such an outlet. Parents often ask if people “read” the Maroon-News, and I am always happy to answer in the affirmative. Before you roll your eyes at my self-promotion, know that despite a weekly print run of 2,250 copies, we still get calls asking where to find a newspaper in town and on campus. Likewise, maroon-news.com averages some 8,260 hits each week, a increase of 730 percent year over year. My BlackBerry has buzzed, blinked, and beeped its way through the year I have served as Editor-in-Chief, alerting me to your comments, questions and criticism. I believe the sum of this discussion and correspondence is cathartic for a school like Colgate, where a breakneck pace of life and high emotions often allow us to forget to schedule some time for reflection and analysis.
Of course, with a campus-wide discussion comes the need for respect. Beyond obvious issues of libel and ad hominem attacks in our Commentary section, I believe this respect entails equal participation in the campus discussion. When members of our community choose to remain mute on paper, but verbally criticize the Maroon-News or the topics of its articles, I am saddened that legitimate viewpoints are dismissed as part the of campus gossip. This newspaper serves all Colgate students, faculty, staff and alumni, all of whom are quite capable of composing their opinions into a story suggestion or Commentary piece. Silence does not advocate one’s own viewpoint; it only allows others more space for theirs.
In departing Colgate, I encourage you to carry on reading about, writing on, and discussing the issues of the day through our newspaper. While a new staff will produce the paper next fall, I know that the transition will not diminish the energy behind the progress we have accomplished in recent years. Colgate and the Maroon-News have a celebrated history, and I look forward to reading the next installments in our collective story on the pages of this newspaper.