Sometimes less is more for a title ok? It’s also a reference ok? Get out.
by Luis Gomez
I honestly don’t know what to say. Like, I’ve had this word document, the one I’m typing into right now, open for about a week. I knew what I wanted the title of my deadit to be before I knew what I wanted my deadit to say. Part of me doesn’t want to summarize my time at the paper, because summarizing it means it’s really over for good. It’s like signing a yearbook eight hundred times, every word a reminder of the time you spent with people you genuinely admire and love making something you deeply cared about, even if (or especially because) nobody else did.
I guess that’s someplace to start. The fact that nobody except the people on the paper really give a shit what the paper means is honestly the most incredibly liberating aspect of the entire publication. That fact alone means that we were ultimately allowed to do things like have fun and make a mistake and photoshop some Mad Max stuff onto our cover. Y’know, all the stuff The Ram can’t do because it has to be the campus’ Proper Journal Of Record. But the paper? We got to do fun stuff!
I think being part of a publication that didn’t take itself too seriously helped open my eyes about what journalism and media could be. I had, like many people, this assumption that the news was made by people who lived in some gilded tower full of Oxford-comma wielding cappuccino sipping editors who probably smoked too much and made vague pronouncements about free speech and America or whatever. But that’s not what journalism is, really. What this whole industry is essentially trying to do is tell stories and advocate for the voiceless. I think that last bit feels more and more important to me as time goes on. Journalism has to be advocacy, by its very nature, or else it risks being the caricature that we so often see: reporters and editors schmoozing with the powerful to gain access at the expense of, y’know, literally everyone else. The fact that the paper didn’t hold itself to that lofty ideal of What Journalism Should Be and instead focused on what we could do in our time together to make Fordham a more open, informed, and meaningful place.
It took me a while to get comfortable at the paper. I think I showed up to meetings for the first three months of freshman year before I felt comfortable actually writing something. Sometimes I reread the earlier stuff I wrote in these pages and think to myself, “Wow. You were awful at this!” Because I was! the paper made me better, at writing and at understanding how a story gets told. It made me think more about how I wanted to communicate the thing I was talking about. As I got better at writing, I picked up other marginally useful skills, like navigating the weird intricacies of Photoshop, or finding the best spots on campus to cry after spending eighteen hours in a horrible basement that you also love.
Becoming co-editor in chief was a bit of a shock. I hope I did okay. It was weird being handed the keys (and by keys I mean two pieces of paper) to this little institution. the paper kinda went from being a major part of my life to being my life, and that’s probably sad but it’s true. I love this thing, and I love everyone who I ever got to work with on it.
Really, what I’m trying to say is thank you. Thank you to Ali & Zoe for giving me my first job on the paper, and teaching me all the weird little quirks that InDesign uses to wreck your evening. Thank you Kelly & Siobhan for giving me my first promotion, and showing me what running the paper could mean. Thank you to every single editor I got to work with this last year – Declan, Rachel, Michael, Matthew, Hillary, Reyna, Emma, Anna, Scott, and Meredith; every single one of you deserve more thanks than I can ever give. Thank you to Michael Jack for doing basically whatever we asked. Thank you to Claire & Colleen – y’all got this. Thank you to John and Nick, who somehow put up with all my news editor bullshit and all my co-EIC bullshit plus all my roommate bullshit at the same time. Thank you to anyone who’s ever written for us. Thank you to everyone I ever got the chance to talk to because of this weird little publication. Thank you to anyone who’s ever picked up an issue of the paper or checked us out online.
Thank you. I love you.
Now let’s go make some weird shit.