Editor’s note: The end of Volume 1

Caity Healy | Editor-in-Chief

I’m going to be entirely real with you all — I’ve been sitting here, staring at a blank screen and wondering how to write this piece for a ridiculously long time (ugh, illusion shattered — I write my stories on a laptop just like everyone else, rather than on the gorgeous 1930s typewriter that sits on my desk). And this is not for lack of words; in fact, it’s the opposite — there is just too much that I want to say. Roughly 12 months ago, I was hired as the Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal. One year later, here I am: writing my final Editor’s note of The Western Howl, Volume 1.

It’s been… a year. A really interesting, difficult and amazing year. In this 10-month period, so much has changed at the paper. In Fall Term of 2018, a group of eager students made their way to Terry House. Of the 11 students who sat around the table, three of our staff members were returning from the previous year — one being me — and the rest had never been involved with our organization before.

I’ll be honest, I was terrified. I first joined Student Media as Lifestyle Editor during Fall Term of 2017. So, with one year under my belt, I made the shift from Lifestyle Editor to Editor-in-Chief — let me tell you, that alone was a challenge. But, as the Editor-in-Chief, I had to train an almost entirely new staff on what they should be doing… while also learning what I was supposed to be doing… while also undergoing a rebrand. I would be the first editor of the newly titled “The Western Howl.” Oh yeah, and my Sports Editor graduated at the end of Winter Term, a role that is notoriously difficult to fill, and I had to take that on with my little-to-no knowledge of sports. So, yeah, I was scared.

But now, as the year comes to a close, I realize I have so much to be grateful for. I’m grateful for my staff, as they are the ones who made this transition possible for me. I couldn’t have done this alone, and they were all so quick to learn that it made me feel so much more comfortable than the first day I walked through the door.

I’m grateful for our adviser, Rhys Finch. Without him, we’d all be lost. Like, J.J. Abrams lost. He’s helped turn us into the student journalists we are today; he was always willing to be a mentor, a teacher or even a friend.

And lastly, I’m grateful for you, our dear readers. Seriously — thank you so much for bearing with us during our transitional period, and into our first year as The Western Howl. We do what we do for you; your input is always welcomed and valued.

I didn’t think I’d feel as emotional writing this as I do right now, but Student Media has by far made the biggest impact on my college career. So, once again, thank you all for sticking around. As for next year, I know our new Editor-in-Chief will do an amazing job, and I have faith in the future of this organization as it approaches its 100-year mark to continue creating a high-quality product designed to deliver information that you, our readers, should know. And, with that, I say goodbye, and thank you, once again. We’ll see you next year.


Contact the author at chealy16@wou.edu

Photo by Rhys Finch