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Letter from the Editor

The calm after the Volume 2 storm

Cora McClain |  Editor-in-Chief

It’s strange, Western, I’m sitting at my desk at 11:58 p.m. and all is peaceful and quiet. Why is that strange? Well, the past 10 months acting as editor-in-chief has been anything but. From acting without an adviser in the fall to maintaining operations in the wake of a pandemic, it felt like I never began with a foothold and even when I got one, it slipped away. To be frank, my year has been a frightening one and I have learned a few lessons from it.

In my last letter, I wrote about how terrified I was to take the leap from copy editor to editor-in-chief. That terror never really ended. I constantly felt as if I was doing everything wrong. At one point I felt as if I was never doing enough, like I was letting everyone down. I wasn’t fit for the position. However, when I looked back at the goals I had made in the beginning of the year, I found that my team and I had completed almost all of them. I found some clarity. Perhaps I was being too hard on myself. Maybe I did do a good job. 

Don’t lose sight of your goals Western, so you have something to work towards, something to track your progress and something to feel accomplished.

Part of why I completed so many goals was thanks to my amazing staff. Despite the difficulties juggling classes and their own lives, they still managed to produce The Western Howl each week. I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated and passionate staff to help me acclimate to the role of EIC and build my confidence. Graciously adjusting to new writing procedures, accommodating to staffing shortages and adapting to the production online issues — they did it all. Without them, this would not have been a successful volume of the Howl.

You can’t do it alone Western, make sure to surround yourself with people you can depend on. You’ll need them. 

One of the reasons why I was so terrified was because I had no adviser to guide me. Since then, we hired Jeff Robischon, who has lended a helping hand in navigating the uncertainties in the past months. Beyond that, he has been a great aid in pushing each of the medias to innovate. Currently, we are looking into further integrating with one another under the name Wolf Den Media and setting up a rentable podcast studio.

I urge you Western, find people who will keep you accountable and push you. They will know that you can do better, and sometimes that’s all the motivation you need.

Lastly, I would like to thank you, our readers. You have made this year of reporting worth-while, especially when the Howl received so many letters to the editor in the winter. Creating a platform for your voices is what the Howl is meant to do, so I implore you to keep utilizing us. And thank you for adjusting along with us in the wake of the pandemic to interact with more online content. I can assure you that we will be expanding upon our online presence next year and I hope you will enjoy the new mediums we will be trying out. 

I am happy to say that I will be returning in the fall, once again, as editor-in-chief. While this year has had many ups and downs and challenges, I plan to take all that I’ve learned and work towards an even better Western Howl next year. With my dependable staff, motivating adviser, and of course, you, the wonderful readers, I have a good feeling about Volume 3. See you soon, Western. 

There is another reason why I find this quiet and peace strange, Western. As I sit here cozy in my desk, with nothing but the distant train horn to disrupt the quiet night, our country is ablaze. Peaceful protesters responding to the unjust death of George Floyd, reigniting the #blacklivesmatter movement to end discriminatory police brutality, are being met with tear gas, strict curfews, and baseless arrests. As the seventh night of protests comes to an end, I feel helpless to aid in this historical discourse on human rights. If you are feeling similarly, know that there are other ways to get involved if you have no streets filled with people to protest with. Sign petitions, make donations, share information and talk about it. Change only comes when enough people care, so care, and do something about it.

If you would like to sign a petition or find other ways to get involved visit https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co.

Contact the author at cmcclain17@wou.edu

Photo by Stephanie Moschella