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ISSUE 121 VOL 20 PUBLISHED 5/9/2008

A Word from Our Editors: Two steps forward

By April Wright
Executive Editor

Friday, May 9, 2008

As the year draws to a close, most people feel the pull toward nostalgia and toward wallowing in the memories of the year that has passed. But that's not really for me.

Instead, I'd like to call everyone's attention to next year. I know, it's early, but it's not too early. I'm not going to lie; I've got a favor to ask.

St. Olaf is a creative campus. In the past weeks, we've seen artistic talent writ large in bold and breathtaking senior art shows. The Science Symposium student research poster session showcased our classmate's abilities to think creatively and find solutions. We're a campus full of excitement and inventiveness.

So, why not channel some of that energy over here? The Messenger is a student newspaper -- we live and die by student submissions. From events such as Palestine Education Week and the abundance of environmental movements on campus, I know this is a passionate campus. I'm sure you all have things to say, and I want to extend an invitation to use the Messenger as a soapbox.

As a student newspaper, we're not just here to put out a paper for readers and bolster our own résumés, we're here to help push students to be better writers and better community members. Whether its honing a thesis in Opinions, developing a unique voice in Variety or learning the basics of style in News, we're not just here to serve ourselves, but to serve you too.

This year, we had a solid staff with a huge depth and breadth of expertise. We had writers who really went the distance to write quality stories with a strong sense of ethics and style. This year was full of issues that made me personally proud and, I think, made our school look good.

But at the end of this run, we're losing a lot of our staff and some of our writers. We've replaced our departing staff with worthy successors, people in whom I have the highest confidence. I'm excited for next year. Writers, however, always seem to be in short supply.

Each and every one of you should consider writing for us. As a paper, we catch our share of flak for running boring stories or having a style that isn't interesting. Every time I hear someone say something like that, I want to invite them to write for us (but never do because I don't want to get laughed at). As demonstrated by the response to this year's Lutefest, it's easier to complain about things than to do something about them. Unfortunately for the unmotivated, complaining accomplishes nothing.

Getting involved, however, allows you to make the type of change you'd like to see.

The bottom line is this: We're here to serve the student body, but we also rely on your feedback. We can't function without students volunteering to write. Even if you don't want to put in the time to write a story, drop us a line. Tell us when you particularly enjoy a story -- or when you don't. Use some of the creativity I know this campus possesses to help us continue to be a strong, informative and vibrant newspaper.

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