Here’s to posterity

There’s a bookshelf at the Journal house that stores decades’ worth of previous volumes of this newspaper in bound copies. We use them to check facts, to see how much the University has changed (and stayed the same) and, yes, sometimes as footrests, coasters and tables to hold up our laptops.

Maybe it’s because I’m an art history student and I’ve learned to value artifacts, but every time I look at the old Journals, I can’t help but feel that what we do here will last long after we’ve thrown our mortarboards into the air and headed off into the big wide world.

I have no desire to actively create the news I report on. I’m much happier gathering the facts and letting them speak for themselves.

And it goes without saying that this has been an eventful semester, both at the Journal and for the University in general.

With the fallout from racism on campus, the controversy over the intergroup facilitators and everything else that’s gone on over the last few months, we’re more aware than ever of the role we play in shaping how people see Queen’s, both now and decades from now.

The Journal might not have as much clout as the Globe and Mail, but the fact remains that we’re almost always the only newspaper that reports on issues pertaining to the everyday workings of the AMS, the administration and life at Queen’s. This makes our responsibility to get the facts—and get them right—all the more vital.

I completely understand that people are busy or want privacy. But it’s my job to get the story and, though it may be a cliché, people have a right to know what’s really going on behind the ivy-covered walls of the school they pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of attending.

So when senior administrators don’t return our many phone calls or their assistants tell me, “He doesn’t have time to talk to you; just make up some quotes and run them by me,” it just makes me more determined to keep trying.

It isn’t always easy being the bearer of bad news, and there has been a lot of bad news lately. But I believe I can best give back to the University I love by reporting honestly and objectively about what goes on here.

People may not always be happy with campus media, but imagine a campus without one. Media services and publications such as the Journal, Queen’s TV, CFRC, Diatribe and so many others serve an essential role as a check on the University’s governance and on each other.

If you’re unhappy with the administration, the AMS, ASUS, the Journal or anything or anyone else, then I know we’ve done our jobs.

So as we prepare to bid goodbye to a year of destruction, decadence and despair, I feel better knowing that someday, someone will pick up the collected works of volume 136, even if only to rest a laptop on.

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