Looking back on a semester with The Daily Campus
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 19:12
I first got involved in The Daily Campus’ opinion page about a year ago when I was asked to provide some political insight, and as an insightful political science major, I jumped at the opportunity.
The next semester I stepped up my role and started contributing to a weekly political debate. I applied for opinion editor primarily because I knew with the election coming up, I’d want to have every opportunity to be the main political voice of the paper and give my opinion as often as I knew I’d want to.
For the first several weeks, I was not very involved, but I enjoyed the work I was doing. Sitting at a cubicle in front of a computer made this feel like my first real job, which was exciting. All of my previous jobs involved physical labor and I was very glad to move on from that to enter the professional world. “My first desk job!” I remember telling my parents in the first weeks after I started the job. “I have my own cubicle with my name on it and everything. I feel like such a grown up!”
Enticed by this new white-collar atmosphere, I wanted to do more here. After rearranging my schedule I was able to devote much more time to the job, and at this point I had definitely caught the bug.
Between covering the presidential debates, live tweeting on election night or working with the rest of the staff on endorsements and editorial board collaboration, I was having a lot of fun. Nothing bonds a staff together like productions that go into the early hours of the night, working on writing that editorial or news brief or looking for the perfect wording.
I knew pretty early on that I’d want to be just as involved in the paper next semester, so I took on more responsibility as opinion editor. Doing more gave me an excuse to stay here and be friendly with the staff longer. I encourage everyone to find a commitment like this one I’ve had, and really give it everything you’ve got. It’s a very rewarding experience in every way you could imagine.
Of course, as a political junkie, nothing excited me more than covering the election. That was the main reason I applied for the job — to make sure that the paper had someone who was knowledgeable about politics controlling its opinion content during the election season. This was my bread and butter.
The best part of the writing itself has been watching the reaction to my articles online. I remember getting some very odd responses to some articles, like words of encouragement on my pledge of abstinence from people I’d never met, or being called naive by some far right conspiracy theorist that was annoyed that I called them out on the silliness of the petition to secede that they had just signed.
So while I’ll be moving to the online editor position for next semester, my heart will remain where it all got started: the opinion page. I’ll still be contributing to opinion on what I hope to be a regular basis, and there will be plenty of political events happening both on campus and throughout the country that I am sure I’ll want to comment on.
But for now, I’m looking forward to finishing up finals and relaxing a bit as I head back home to Massachusetts for a December that will feel like December, and prepare for the next semester.
Keene is a junior majoring in political science, economics and public policy.