What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been in the McGinley Basement

Shoutout to Kelly for making us cry in the basement this weekend

By Kelly Tyra

For me, the paper has always been about the people.  I came to my first meeting because Will Speros looked fine as wine in that lil’ Pugsley’s Pizza hat but I kept coming because the paper staff made me laugh almost as hard as they made me think.  This trend continued as I sat perched in a corner of the print shop proofreading during my first semester as a writer. I didn’t say much but I was constantly listening, desperate to absorb anything from the upper classmen who were so clearly cooler than me.  During production weekend’s I learned how to use Photoshop and InDesign but I also learned what poppers are, how to pronounce ‘constituents,’ why Fordham sucks, and why I would never go anywhere else or write for any other publication on campus.

The students and staff at Fordham constantly challenge one another to think critically about the world around them even when the gates make it seem far away. As Fordham’s only free speech publication we often hold those conversations in print. We have a responsibility to amplify the voices that are too often stifled at Fordham and a tendency to overuse the f-bomb while doing so. But even still, the paper is essential. Fordham will always need the paper because there will always be something to improve on our campus and that something may not always be willingly publicized or discussed. We are beginning to see this more and more and while it may be discouraging for some to witness our campus in a state of transition I remind you that change is necessary, natural.  Though it is often hard to process, the pages of the paper are your place to think out loud. In this regard, we are Rivaled by no Ram.

I was asked to be an Arts Editor because I had purple hair at the time but I was asked to be an Editor-in-Chief because Siobhan Donahue is an angel.  When Zoe, Ali, and my future husband brought me into the dark room to ask that fateful question I was pretty wine drunk and pretty sure it was a bad idea considering I’d be spending the next semester abroad in London like so many paper alums before me.  Siobhan waved all my worries away and printed my name on the first page of five issues I had little to do with while I started twitter beef from my bed in Britain.  When I returned I did so timidly, after all half of the staff was unfamiliar to me and had every reason to be annoyed with their absentee mother. But I came home to a family as strong and silly as ever.

You paper kids have no idea how much I love and learn from you.  I’m not sure anyone could have fun sitting in a basement for 30 hours but somehow we’ve managed every other weekend (or at least I have, aided by your company).  We have laughed together, cried together, and sang Christina Aguilera songs with the lights turned low.  We share food, shade, and spots on Rachel’s floor. In the fluorescent light of the McGinley Basement, I’ve watched each of you step out of your comfort zone with the pride of a mother watching her child take their first steps.  I’d do anything for any of you and for every roast listed on our wall I have a ten-page honey roast waiting to sweeten even your worse days. We are a family and it is always hard to say goodbye.

So, instead I will say thank you. In alphabetical order because momma doesn’t play favorites: Thank you, Anna for your poise and power. Thank you, Claire for killing the game and cracking the whip when you need to. Thank you, Colleen for sharing your kindness and creative spirit with us on the days we’ve needed it most. Thank you, Declan for always finding time to make the paper shine with your wisdom and wit.  Thank you, John Looby for embracing that last name and every obstacle that’s been thrown at you already in you editor-in-chief-ship. Thank you, Luis for your persistence, patience, and passion.  Thank you, Matthew for having a meme ready no matter the occasion. Thank you, Meredith for lending your thoughtful and thought provoking perspective. Thank you, Michael Jack for resurrecting our website and our smiles. Thank you, Michael for your flexibility and ferocity. Thank you, Nick for standing up for what you believe in and standing down when we poke fun. Thank you, Rachel for your openness and for allowing us to make a home within your own. Thank you, Reyna for keeping us woke and watchful. Thank you, Scott for your consistency and endless competence. And thank you, Siobhan, my husband, for everything you’ve done for me, the kids, the paper, and this school. Even though you are afraid of the flames, you are the fire that lights up my life.

I’ll end the best role of my life with this: On September 26, 1995, the 50th Anniversary Edition of the paper hit the stands.  Less than 20 miles away on that very same day I was born.  This prophetic coincidence almost reduced me to tear when I pulled that fateful issue from our archives. I looked at the names and stories of people I’ve never met who share a school I know all too well. The staff has changed but the paper is ever the same. Like a single sheet, it has the potential to become almost anything if inspiration strikes. For some it’s been a soap box, for others a spring board but for no one is it a satire rag so stop spreading that rumor and pick up a copy, you losers. And most of all, thank you for reading.


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