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A Senior Send-Off from the UNews Editorial Board

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Though my time with UNews has been brief, it has certainly been sweet. I worked on the high school newspaper years ago, and when the opportunity for me to join UNews was presented, I had to take it. I love visuals and design, and UNews has given me the chance of working with both.  Not only have I been able to refine my design skills before entering the “real world” but also I have had the great pleasure of being a part of something important, where passionate people live. The nights can be long, but the finished product is always worth it. I am grateful to UNews for letting me join their team, and for them trusting me to make the paper pretty.

-Mary Kate Fitzpatrick

In August 2013 I began my tenure as Opinion Editor. I can thank the UNews for being an outlet through which I could grow in my understanding of justice and oppression. The UNews helped me grow more confident in myself and my voice. I recognize now that this position is a platform and a privilege.

I hope I was able to amplify the voices of the marginalized and facilitate discussions this university is in dire need of having. I hope my words challenged others’ convictions and perceptions of the world and promoted critical thought. If I have done those things, I think I can consider my tenure successful, and I look forward to the way future editors define their own success.

The most important advice I can give anyone at SLU is to find and keep people in your corner, people who will have your back, respect you, challenge you and affirm you. There will be times in your college career and in life when you clearly see an injustice, and you stick your neck out to challenge it.  Vulnerability is vital to have that group. I’m so thankful to John Schuler, Jessica Winter and the rest of the UNews team who had my back during the difficult times this year brought.

Thanks for making long Wednesday nights bearable; thank you for the Boston accents; thank you for the fun; and thank you for the growth.

-Ryan McKinley

Throughout my junior year, I exhausted my list of excuses of reasons not to attend the weekly debauchery at Humphrey’s Restaurant & Tavern. I grew precariously close to actually drinking watery beer and making awkward small talk over thumping bass music. Mercifully, college students continue to mix up “their,” “there,” and “they’re,” and autocorrect fails to acknowledge the Oxford comma.

Thankfully, a wise mentor recognized my love of grammatically correct stories and knew my eccentricities would fit in with a small, but exclusive group that met on Wednesday evenings.  Luckily, SLU and St. Louis continued to stir up news for a declining method of communication to cover. Fortunately, I discovered peers who remain dedicated to late nights of hard work, insightful commentary, movie quotes in character, satirical one-liners, stupid YouTube videos, camaraderie and friendship as much as I do.

If only I had discovered this legitimate excuse to avoid Pennies earlier in my collegiate career.

-Deirdre Kerins

One experience that is quintessentially “college” is the endless ritual of meeting new people. Every person you meet has the capacity to become your closest friend or remain a complete stranger. While begrudgingly participating in that rite with another freshman, the topic of newspapers came up. I naively asked, “Does SLU have a newspaper?” Their answer was “Yeah, it’s a piece of shit.” Four years later, that person remains a complete stranger, but that “piece of shit” is as close of a friend as an organization can be.

I started as the guy in the corner responding to the name “Photos” and somehow find myself leaving the newspaper as editor-in-chief, a transition few expected and even fewer predicted.

While SLU is far from the perfect school, having an organization like the UNews has made my experience here much more tolerable. It has forced me to witness, document and participate in many different sides of this school that I would have never seen. These experiences have been worth every sacrificed Wednesday evening and countless other hours of my life. The long nights went by quickly, as I worked alongside a surprisingly diverse group of dedicated students and allowed me to see the world a little differently.

While I gladly say goodbye to being an undergraduate student, it is with sadness that I say goodbye to the UNews.

-John Schuler

Greetings from your beloved Associate Arts Editor!  In the wise words of Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” I can certainly compare those profound words to my time as the Associate Arts Editor for the magnificent University News. Wednesdays have been my favorite day of the week, all year, and not only because Dr. Meyer provides us with delicious snacks. One production night was never like the last; some were filled with occasional Kendrick Lamar sing alongs, while other nights consisted of debates over controversial issues.  Working with such a talented group of writers and editors, who share my passion and delight for a well-crafted story, has been nothing short of a privilege. I would like to sincerely thank all of you who read the paper each week. Thank you for taking an interest in the happenings of your University. Thank you for helping to expand my horizons while writing about the various cultural elements of this fine city. Peace and love my friends- take care of yourselves.

-Katherine Kelliher

At 22, I am already a veteran of endings: years and semesters; journeys; periods of sadness and happiness alike; states of mind and unforgettable nights with friends. I have seen some lives end, too. I believe, however, that you know you have grown once you realize that these endings usher in new experiences, outlooks, challenges and opportunities. The earnest yet directionless Tim I remember from freshman year seems vaguely foreign to me. If the occasion ever arose, I would like to tell him that he would encounter stress, doubt and loss, but also new friends, a life-changing trip to France, lessons learned and a clearer understanding of himself. Senior Tim has a better sense of where he’s going; he is happy and grateful.

Tim Wilhelm

Soon after my first opportunity writing for the UNews came the opportunity to become Religion Editor for the paper, and I quickly seized it.

What commenced was the best year of my college experience. The long Wednesday nights working on Adobe InDesign, racing to edit articles to send to the copy desk before the other editors; the stress of getting staff writers to cover various events; and most importantly, attending Editorial Board meetings as a sophomore to discuss serious matters with the mighty seniors, such as SLU’s president and SGA.  Fast forward to this year, when I returned as Online Editor. It has been a little different this time around, but being in the newsy atmosphere and working with the paper’s social media accounts made it great anyway.

I am glad to have been able to come back and hangout with editors both old and new. The experiences I have gained are great; this space is not big enough to list all that I have learned. My parting advice is that the best learning occurs outside the classroom, so push yourself to try new things!

-Adnan Syed

When I first told my mom as a freshman that I would be joining SLU’s newspaper, she said, “Oh, just like Rory in ‘Gilmore Girls!’” And I’m not going to lie, becoming an editor for the UNews may have begun partly as a step toward fulfilling my pre-teen dream of becoming Rory Gilmore.

However, my “Gilmore Girls” fantasy did little to prepare me for my time here. I fell into the position without knowing anything about running a newspaper.

As I prepare to leave the newsroom for the last time, I know that I have learned so much. I’ve learned how to lay out pages and how to manage a staff of writers. I’ve learned how to work with deadlines and collaborate with the other editors.

I know that these skills will help me in the future, and I am grateful to have learned them here, but they are not what I am going to miss most about the paper.

I am going to miss the newsroom: the rhythm of my Wednesdays, to which I have grown so accustomed; the witty banter and laughter, which sustained us through late nights working; the conversations, which ranged from “How can universities address racism in student organizations?” to “What is your fourth favorite breakfast cereal?”

So I’ll take this moment to be sentimental in the way college seniors are allowed: Thank you, to everyone I have worked with on this newspaper, for making my time at SLU just a little more like Rory Gilmore’s at Yale.

-Maggie Needham

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A Senior Send-Off from the UNews Editorial Board