Editor’s Note: The Chronicle’s semester in review

By Kendall Polidori, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In August when the Chronicle management team was preparing for staff training week, the idea of the fall semester coming to an end felt so out of reach.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, time—which is always constant and reliable—has felt unpredictable. Before, I always felt as though I was looking ahead, planning weeks or even months in advance. Now, I find it hard to think just a few hours forward.

I have come to expect the unexpected—to roll with each day as it comes. This, as someone who finds comfort in routine and planning, was hard to acclimate to. In a way, I am grateful that the pandemic has pushed me out of my strict daily habits.

I had become too familiar with what I was doing, and I now realize that I was not growing or learning—everything was just stagnant.

While everyone can relate to these changes on some level, the Chronicle as a publication was also forced to step out of its comfortable nook and adapt in ways we never thought would be possible.

Mari Devereaux and I took on our roles as co-editors-in-chief in June with big ambitions and ideas—and not the slightest clue as to how the semester would actually pan out.

But with just a few weeks left until the semester ends, looking back at the Chronicle’s work reveals we have accomplished much of what we hoped to do.

Even before we were hired as co-EICs, we worked together to create a pitch for a college media project through the Poynter Institute, a non-profit journalism school and research organization.

Our pitch included ways in which we wanted to improve and develop our reporting at the Chronicle: to hold the college responsible for living up to its liberal reputation and adhering to its own rhetoric on diversity, equity and inclusion; to report on issues of bigotry that cause tension when people from different backgrounds come together for education in a creative, urban environment; and to engage with our audience directly for feedback and story ideas.

Although we were not chosen to go forward with the actual Poynter project, we put it upon ourselves to pursue our pitch in our own way—while also adapting to a fully remote work environment.

In the past few months, the Chronicle has made an effort to: hold the college accountable in instances of ransomware attacks and web monitoring, report on the college’s response to mass civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic, follow the college’s part-time faculty union, cover a student tuition petition and protest, inform readers about the college’s Title IX procedures, unwrap its financial struggles and even help drive the installation of touch-free sinks in campus buildings.

The Chronicle has also conscientiously involved its audience in every aspect of what we do as a publication. From crowd sourcing in daily newsletters and Instagram stories to conducting polls on social media and encouraging story tips, the Chronicle strives to report on and cover stories that are important to those who are reading them.

And in the midst of various changes due to the pandemic, the Chronicle has served as a key source of information for many.

As the semester nears its end, I am tired but immensely proud of the work the Chronicle has done to continuously question information and those in power while seeking transparency.

The ways in which the publication has adapted will only improve in the upcoming months, and I know I speak on behalf of the entire staff when I ask you, our readers, to continue questioning and pushing us to be better in our work.