Sunday morning marked the graduation of two of the Gazette‘s editors, Dougal Sutherland and Will Treece. We wanted to take a moment, in this last issue of the now long-gone semester, to share a few thoughts.
I came to the Gazette‘s editorial board in a very circuitous manner. It all began with a summer job at the Friends Historical Library, where transcribing old Quaker diaries led to an interest in the history of Swarthmore College. I grew familiar enough with the library to write a column on Swarthmore history.
That in turn led to a topic for my history thesis, as well as a new column on secret places at Swarthmore, written with my dear friend Padfoot. This spring, Dougal and co. were kind enough to bring me on board as Opinions Editor.
My experience with the Gazette has been nothing short of spectacular. I am grateful that I write for a web daily that exemplifies the possibilities of online journalism, and that I belong to a college community willing to hold its writers accountable through snarky yet informed comments.
Writing regularly for a public audience has improved my writing skills more than any one class or professor, and I’ll miss micromanaging my word choice at four in the morning. Board and staff meetings have been delightful, and exploring the blurry relationship between news and gossip has been a constant pleasure.
My only regret is that I didn’t get involved with the Gazette sooner. I often think about all the college history I never had time to write. A History of Greek Life at Swarthmore! Alcohol Policies! Top Five Quakers You Should Know! There’s still so much out there.
But of course, the most rewarding aspect of the Gazette has been the people. I’d like to close with a profound thank you to my fellow editors Dougal, Angela, Nick, Monika, and Cindy; Chris Densmore and the staff at the Friends Historical Library; fellow Marauder Steve Dean, and the Facilities staff who let us explore; Argos; and most of all, the readers. Thank you.
Will Treece ‘11
I joined the Gazette more or less on a whim my freshman year, because a CA (not even my CA!) who also happened to be a DG editor was pushing it. I had no idea that it would become such a central part of my life for the next four years, from my friends wondering why I sometimes disappeared without explanation for a day or two (answer: I was writing stories), to spending a summer (and a lot of late nights) working on the website, to spending even more late nights writing stories, editing stories, and waiting for stories to come in so I could edit them.
I’ve had the chance to write stories that are important and in-depth and stories that are silly and brief, to fall off a chair while taking mediocre pictures of one of my favorite bands, to talk to campus bigwigs, former campus bigwigs, and students who did something cool, to worry that I’m going to offend Eugene Lang and to actually offend campus with my “sheer laziness” and awful captions, to fake my way through stories about sports and to fake enthusiasm for some awful weekend roundups, to manually stop the site from sending out issues because they weren’t ready by 5am, to skip class to interview sources and to be interviewed by local media about stories I wrote, to help the Gazette win awards, to defend the Gazette‘s very existence, to get called a “dishonest fraud” by a non-Swarthmorean, and to stay up far too late getting unicorns to dance across the screen and Glenn Beck to glower ominously at you in our very first print issue.
But more than that, I’ve had the chance to work with some incredible people. I’ve been blessed with very intimidating (look at how long that list of stories is!) predecessors and superb colleagues in the top editorial positions, an outstanding cast of other editors, and of course everyone else who has dedicated so much time and effort to making the Gazette great: our amazing reporters, photographers, columnists, op-ed submitters, the people we interview (whether once or once a week), and of course our readers and commenters — an enormous part of why the Gazette matters. DG meetings and impromptu late-night work sessions were always among the best parts of my week.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to single out June, better known in this venue as Jiuxing June Xie, for always having a camera at hand to document the entirety of Swarthmore life. (We’ve had weeks where we’ve published upwards of forty photos by her alone.) For those of you who weren’t at graduation, you might be amused to know that she even brought her camera onstage with her to take a picture of Rebecca Chopp holding her diploma.
Next year’s editor-in-chief position will be shared by Nick Gettino ’13 and Jon Emont ’12 in the fall; when Nick goes abroad in the spring, Monika Zaleska ’13 will come back from France to take his place. (That semicolon is for you, Monika — the only one you can’t make me take out!) They’ll be joined by an array of other wonderful people, both old Gazette hands and new.
When I was in their position, I was completely terrified. But I have absolute faith that they will continue to do great things with the Gazette, and to bring it to exciting new heights. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do, and I hope you are too.
– Dougal Sutherland ’11