College is Temporary but Family is Forever: the paper and Siobhan

A love story chock full of tear-jerking and questionable moments

By Siobhan Donahue

Spring 2014, I was a second semester freshmen. I showed up to the last production weekend of the semester because I rarely went to them and just wanted to be more involved in my favorite club on campus. I remember being taught photoshop and made my first image: a rhino with Rihanna’s head. A rihannaceros if you will. Also, I was tasked with copy-editing deadits.

Those deadits were weird to me since I had just literally started my college career. I wasn’t even an editor at the time, so I didn’t fret the possibility of writing one. Also, the deadits that year were overshadowed by a minor controversy which resulted in that issue being pulled from circulation.

My sophomore year, I was actually an editor. So, spring 2015, when I read those years deadits, I realized that someday, specifically today, I would be writing my own. Yet, I find myself at a loss for words about how to express how transformative the paper has been.
First, the paper managed to evade the clique contagion. Many times, clubs start out as one unit, and end up being several factions under one name. There’s nothing inherently wrong with different friend groups developing within one club. However, in my experience, the paper has mostly been populated with positive people who genuinely try to be mindful and inclusive of all members. Not only did I gain friends through the paper, but I was always comforted by the fact that every week, I would have a wholesome social interaction where one can just let loose on political strife, school issues, and meme trash and somehow not be ostracized. On top of that, there was the tradition of ordering Estrellitas on Sundays. If you’re keeping score at home, the paper has covered the very least, two layers of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Second, the paper has actually been very helpful career wise. It gave me skills that I can put on my resume in an attempt to seem “experienced.” Seriously, I learned Photoshop, InDesign, and different ways to improve my writing. Honestly, I was president of a student government, and I assumed that would be most impressive to employers. Yet, in my experience, interviewers cared more about my experience as Editor-in-Chief than as Executive President.

Lastly, the paper has been a great family-planning resource. When co-deaditors-in-chief, Zoe and Ali, told me that I was one of their replacements, I not only inherited a free speech publication but I gained a wife and ten children. We became the The Paper Pals.
Being a father has taught me what matters most in life. For example, when throwing a party, it’s not about the drinks, but the snacks. Also, Twitter fights are fun when they are contributed to by everyone! Moreover, it’s okay to roast your own children and leave said roasts taped to the New Student Orientation auxiliary closet. Finally, when everything’s on fire, stay calm, send a Snapchat of your screaming children to Kelly, and email VP Grey.

In typical dad fashion, I have lessons to share which I’ve learned over the years due to the paper. One: when you’re tired and don’t feel like copy-editing, just say you’re releasing a themed issue and make up a theme which incorporates editing mistakes. Two: be considerate of how your actions affect others. Remember, every late article means some editor is staying entrapped in a windowless basement for another hour. Three: be flexible because life is unpredictable and sometimes Adobe will change on you and only work on two computers.

Finally, have confidence in your choices. This might not seem like a big deal, but think about how many decisions one has to make in a single day. Now, what if none of those decisions got made because you got too nervous about making your choice. Obviously, one should always look at the facts of a situation and make a rational choice. Still, for some people, making decisions, even a reasonable one, can be daunting because of the fear that it’s wrong, you’re wrong, and everything is wrong.

However, the paper, has forced me to trust myself. For example, we are a free speech publication. Sometimes though, people send in objectively bad articles. It’s one thing to correct an article’s grammar and word structure. However, sometimes the badness of an article lies in its content. So, do you publish it anyway because you don’t want people to think you’re biased? After all, we always promote the free speech aspect of the paper. Or, do you publish it contingent on if Warra Chan writes a rebuttal? Or, do you just say no? Then there’s the other editorial decisions where you have to be careful about not making choices which can result in being contacted by administration yet at the same time not erase the paper’s personality. Some of these decisions are harder than others. However, I’ve learned that you really can’t doubt yourself when you’re on a deadline. If a choice feels right to you, then you just have to go with it. Sometimes it’s the wrong decision but I believe you lose more inhibiting yourself due to a fear of mistakes rather than making mistakes in the first place.

I graduate on May 20th. In my opinion, the true climate change has happened at Fordham. The relationship between key college actors-admin, faculty, students-has gotten more tense in a multitude of different ways. What this means is that the next few years will probably involve a ton of transition. This will affect the paper not only in terms of OrgSync requests (do those early) but in content since I guarantee some group will be protesting and necessitate coverage. I’m confident though that the paper will be able to tackle these issues while maintaining a meme-filled, inclusive atmosphere. In fact, I’m more than confident. I’m completely arrogant in my trust in the paper. That’s because if you ask me, Kelly and I made the right decisions when we chose our children.

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