As editors and writers for a weekly campus press, we are prompted with two options: to sleep or to write and edit.
We choose (and practice) the latter and we have published weekly without fail. And now this is our 25th and last issue. We never chose the first option because if we did, it would not be a sound sleep, anyway. Our conscience, our adviser, our co-editors and the students would haunt us in our nightmares.
the Weekly Sillimanian’s (tWS) coverage of the recent Student Government Elections speaks greatly of the staff’s dedication and how magnanimous is the role of campus journalism in the University.
The staff, in their maximum effort, updated via online the latest election results. Writers, editors and the creative team collaborated to upload simple yet comprehensive infographics–college per college, precinct per precinct—for the students’ benefit.
We stayed at Oriental Hall until the last ballot was cast and over-all votes were tallied at one a.m. But work never ended there. Due to great public demand (and pressure), the staff continued to work from home to upload all-inclusive SG Election results at six a.m. At 8 a.m. assigned writers interviewed the president and vice president-elects, only a few hours left before deadline of the editors and the press. Amid pressure and time crunch, we still produced this 6-page issue—in the name of our service to the students.
But that scenario is not new to us, tWS staff. Actually, we have been doing it every week in the last eight months.
We share this story not to show off or complain about our responsibility but to let the readers know how tWS and Sillimanians mean to us, and to me as Editor-in-Chief.
This has been a very exciting and fulfilling year, especially for tWS. We started publishing when emotions were heightened in the university due to the faculty union strike. We did not have any campus paper adviser then. We were lost like a map-less traveler. We were clueless like a newborn child.
We were once labeled as puppet of the administration or a “tactless” paper publishing “erroneous” articles. We covered the strike when it was looming and until it was resolved four weeks later. We were criticized for poor printing quality but still produced a magazine for Founders Week issue. We were even accused of labeling the current SUSG administration as “so-so” even though that was an opinion of one person and not of the paper.
For a year, editors and writers’ lives revolved around tWS—juggling academics and personal lives–not because of honorarium or the euphoria when we see our name on the staff box, but because we love what we do and we ought to serve the student body for a greater Silliman community.
Editors constantly fight; writers try to get away from their editors for a delayed article, and that sinister metaphysical being haunt us every time—the deadline.
Yet, we braved through those storms and we have become stronger to reinforce our role in the University and the community.
If there was no tWS, who would explain that we have been incorrectly charged with aircon fee in the last five semesters? If there was no campus paper, who would ask relevant questions about tuition hike and other fees? If there was no tWS, who would give you the chance to air your opinion about cancellation of Cheerdance competition on Founders Week? If there was no tWS, who would publish student concerns like council fees and college dilemmas? If there was no tWS, who would bridge the students with the Administration and the Student Government?
And if there was no pro-student party, who would keep you in the loop about SUSG Elections? SUREly no one, beCAUSE even the SUSG administration is partisan.
We may not see instant change in the university, but we believe each story is an investment towards progress. The results of our persistent publishing may not be immediate, but its effect might prove to be long-term.
Now as we publish our last issue this school year (before our magazine), we do not wish to say goodbye, because journalism is immortal. It should never die. Rather, we want to say thank you for the trust and responsibility. We did not just become wiser and better, but stronger and fiercer as well.
Another school year has passed, now tWS 2017-2018 staff bids farewell. All will be gone but never the purpose paper.
Towards a progressive campus press—long live, tWS.