By Rosie Alger
Former Opinion Editor
There is so much I could say about my time at The Elm and the value of this beautiful publication. During my time at Washington College, The Elm has evolved and grown both as a publication and as a place for learning. Students have learned so much about the craft of journalism, and our strength as writers has only gotten more refined. I am endlessly proud of the staff of this paper for their dedication to honest, independent reporting, quality writing, and speaking truth to power. I am honored to have been a part of this newspaper’s team.
I started writing for The Elm as a freshman, mostly as a way to get my writing published and start engaging in college writing. I did not know anyone on campus, and reporting for Student Life on school events empowered me to attend programming that I would have been too nervous to go to alone, meet new people, and talk about issues I had never talked about before. In my first year on staff, I made friends and found a small place for myself on this campus which had felt so alien to me at the time.
As I grew, so did The Elm. I switched to Opinion so that I could have more creative power over my journalistic voice, and engage with issues in the world that were important to me. The Elm and I both got better at editing, getting to the point, and talking about things that really impact those around us. So many amazing writers and editors shaped my experience and made me who I am today. I had editors that pushed me out of my comfort zone and into something greater.
In my final year, I was terrified to take on an editorial position. I wasn’t sure that I had what it takes, and by then I was a busy college student afraid of the commitment. Since starting this year, I am thankful every layout night that I decided to give editing a try, because this paper has turned in to a family like I had never expected. I have never been so surrounded by smart, hard working people who want nothing more than to support one another and make something worthwhile together.
I know we are a small paper at a small school, and sometimes we accidentally let typos go to print. We are far from perfect. I also know that this paper is standing up for this school, speaking out for this community, and raising up a new generation of journalists who will go on to document our living history.
The Elm took a trip to the Newseum in Washington D.C. this year, and in that museum, there is a quote that says, “journalists provide the first draft of history.” I am proud to have been a part of a newspaper that is empowering writers to go on and write some of those drafts with integrity and honesty. Thank you, Elm family, for everything you have done for me, and everything you continue to do for this community. As a brilliant editor once said, “goobye.”