A Soft Spot for the paper : Melody’s Perspective on Her Time With Us

She learned a lot and she moved on.

by Melody Knight-Brown

Opinions Deaditor

When I first joined the paper it was an eclectic group of individuals who although different in many ways (race, political orientation, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) were alike insofar as they were incredibly kind, thoughtful, and generous to each other, to those of aspirate opinions, and especially to those seeking some sort of family here on campus. Like a family we supported each other in our individual lives and endeavors as we branched out to explore other parts of our college careers and then twice a month, we’d come “home” to the print shop to spend an, at times miserable but for the most part enjoyable, 72 hours locked together in the McGinley basement.

When we graduated Mom (Zoe) and Dad (Ali) and the rest of who I still think of as my seniors, I thought this community who continue in the same vein only with new people, and it did to a degree. The paper still provided a home for those searching for one but it also became cliquish and insular. If you did not give your life wholly to the paper you were in many ways not part of the “group.” If you did not have the same beliefs about things and people, if you did not subscribe to the new paper clique, you were judged and rejected. It swallowed you entirely or not at all, and I having always been busy with other things felt myself slowly pushed out. The final straw was when I started hearing people were being explicitly excluded from so-called paper parties or paper events. Because they weren’t paper people. Whatever the hell that meant. It was a different group that the one I joined and I wanted nothing to do with this new creation. So I left.

But I still have a soft spot for the paper I remember and the one I know it can be. The one of free speech on a highly censored campus. The one that despite being of free speech took a stand against certain viewpoints that were intolerant or hurtful and worked with those writers to try to find less offensive ways to express themselves. We need that more than ever in this social political climate and I’m sure the paper has always been the only space I’ve seen on campus where that is even a possibility.

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