Another school year comes to a close, sending 30 more issues of The Columbia Chronicle into the archives.
But what has The Chronicle done this year? Actually, quite a lot.
In September 2017, The Chronicle reported on the closing of three open computer labs and the shock of many of the labs’ employees when they abruptly lost their jobs without warning from the college.
In October 2017, the paper highlighted an accusation of racial discrimination against the college by a former professor.
In January 2018, we reported on how the Student Veterans Society lost recognition as a student organization and its space was merged with the Student Diversity and Inclusion Office.
In April 2018, The Chronicle campus desk detailed the upheaval and property damage University Center dormitory residents experienced during room renovations, which led to a student-initiated Change.org petition, demanding compensation for losses.
Without our diligent fact-finding and insistence on accuracy, students would be reliant on the rumor mill or official communications for campus news.
But like many student publications across the country, The Chronicle is too often seen as an expendable resource because it’s a student activity.
Kicking off on April 25, the Save Student Newsrooms movement, started by the University of Florida’s Independent Florida Alligator, has emphasized the important work student-run newspapers have done in a time of financial crises.
Dozens of college newspapers had to cut down or even discontinue their print editions for lack of funding. Others, including The Chronicle, annually confront the prospect of sharply reduced staffing, even though we serve the school by readying students in multiple disciplines.
In fact, The Chronicle provides learning opportunities and hands-on experience for students in the schools of Fine and Performing Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Media Arts.
Because we are so immersed in the school’s inner workings, we’re frequently surprised by the number of classmates or professors who don’t know about The Chronicle or its coverage. How many of your friends still believe common misconceptions on campus such as how the new student center is funded? It’s not tuition; it’s building sales and donations.
This has been a year of change for Chronicle content as we stepped up our video production and social media output and launched a series of weekly podcasts and radio shows. We endeavor to stay timely and meet you wherever you are, which means we will make sure you’re both entertained and informed.
Because our staff of 40 reporters, designers, photographers, editors and media sales reps works so hard and is so committed to excellence, we’re surprised when the college fails to adequately acknowledge the publication while touting all the college has to offer to high school applicants. We are happy to have some of our awards noted in the college’s recent “2017 Year in Review” booklet but frankly, the paragraph was a little late.
At The Chronicle, we know we are not the only student resource that deserves wider recognition of what we can provide to incoming Columbia students. The English and Creative Writing Department’s literary magazine Hair Trigger as well as the college radio station WCRX are interdisciplinary projects that have been pushed to the sidelines of what the college decides to celebrate and highlight.
This is the last issue of The Chronicle for the 2017–2018 academic year, but in the future, we hope to see the campus media outlets be appreciated for what they contribute to the campus community.
Maybe then it would be harder to view us as disposable.