News Editor bids farewell

edited.LoriWysong_RebeccaKanaskieBy Lori Wysong

Outgoing News Editor

I still get raised eyebrows when I tell new acquaintances that I am, in fact, a senior, not a freshman or sophomore.

When I transferred from my local community college to Washington College in the fall of 2017, that was an even more common misconception. But despite the fact that no one knew who I was (and a few people still don’t), I was undeterred. I arrived on campus in full force, wanting to try everything and leave no opportunity unpursued.

Of all the many clubs and activities that I signed up for (and still receive emails from), none helped me adjust here as much as The Elm. I was new to journalism when I first set foot in the Pub House and wandered to the room where the news section met.

After that meeting, whether I knew it or not, I had what I needed to succeed at WC. I was authorized to reach out to random people- students, faculty, staff, administrators, guests, Chestertonians, state and county employees- and just talk to them about whatever the given topic was.

By writing for The Elm, I became familiar with people, places, and events that I never would have learned of otherwise, and I can’t emphasize how crucial that was for me as a student who came here knowing nothing and no one.

I was also required to quickly learn how to interview people, write in AP Style, follow up via email like my life depended on it, and meet a weekly deadline — all skills that I have since applied to realms outside The Elm.

I can’t thank Molly Igoe, the News Editor that fall, enough for encouraging me when I was just starting to write here.

I would also like to thank the wonderful Editor-in-Chief and former News Editor Abby Wargo for nudging me to apply for this position last spring, because I can assure you it would not have been on my radar otherwise.  You persuaded me that I was capable of doing this job, and I am truly grateful for that.

Editing is a whole different ballgame from writing. It is late nights, constant battles with InDesign, writer recruitment, reader feedback, and me singing and making really poorly crafted jokes during layout (sorry not sorry).

Ultimately, it was a very rewarding experience and one I would not trade for any of the other activities I signed up for and continually receive emails from.

It was also an experience made so much better by Cassy Sottile, my co-editor. Without you, the desktop home screen would be covered in files from August. I wouldn’t know right from left if you weren’t here, and that’s the truth.

I would like to especially thank Katy Shenk, who I’ve known from day one at WC, Theo, Erin, Sophie, MacKenzie, Mary, Gabby, and everyone else. And, of course, thank you to Dan for helping us out along the way.

I suppose the last words I want to write for The Elm are that, if a free, robust press is necessary to our society as a whole, then The Elm is especially critical to a small campus like WC.  I hope this paper continues to ask the questions that need answering for another 89 years and beyond.

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