Reflections on Four Years at Goucher College: The Q

"The 2010-2011 Editorial Board of The Quindecim poses in their newsroom on Monday, May 2, 2011."

My reflections about my time at Goucher College are not complete without some closing thoughts on The Quindecim, the institution that gave me a sense of purpose on campus and defined me professionally and personally. 

After being voted Editor-In-Chief of the newspaper, I led an extensive revitalization of all aspects of the publication. These efforts transformed The Quindecim from an inconsistent and unprofessional newspaper to a reliable, recognizable, and revered institution on campus. You can read about what we set out to accomplish at the start of that process here

We did a huge service to the Goucher community, one that unfortunately has been taken for granted and has gone largely unrewarded. You’ll get a sense of what I mean if you read here

What I didn’t refer to much in those articles, though, is the impact The Q had on my life at Goucher, and subsequently, in the professional realm. I joined as a photographer at the start of my sophomore year, and despite quickly developed frustrations about the editorial leadership of the paper, I was shooting every day. I was now more than just a photography student in a class. I had deadlines to hit and events to cover. Knowing that my photographs would be seen by more than just one professor, I forced myself to do better work. 

I was named Photography Editor soon after, and because Goucher is such a tight-knit community, I donned a “the kid with the camera at every event imaginable” type persona. It was this visibility that led to countless photo opportunities for the Office of Communications, The Quarterly, The Sports Information desk, the Dance and Music departments, Goucher Hillel, and other various student clubs. My newspaper portfolio was also good enough to land me my Photography internship with the Baltimore Orioles. 

As I started reporting and writing more as well, my involvement grew and grew. Serving as Editor-In-Chief was the most grueling task of my college years, but was without a doubt also the most gratifying. I learned about ethics, tough decision making, working alongside others, organization, time management, attention to details, the risks of making mistakes, and recognition and lack of recognition for good work. These are lessons that reach far beyond a newsroom. 

I view joining The Q as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. As silly as it seems, those first photography assignments about bed bugs and campus housing shortages remain just as important to me as any assignment for a more well-known publication. Without those assignments, I never would have gotten to The Baltimore Sun or The New York Times. Those first photographs ignited a passion that I hope will turn into a career, and for that, I love The Q.

Issue 13 – The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College

"The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College - Issue 13 - April 22, 2011 - Front Page"

Our second to last issue of the year was a collaboration of current editors, soon-to-be editors, and staff, which is what I’d hoped it would be going into it. 

It’s a nice issue overall, although there were several sloppy mistakes that shouldn’t be acceptable on any publication, let alone ours. These were mainly logistical in nature rather than content-related.

There was one mistake, though, that taught us a good lesson: whatever material you publish, no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be, will get read and can be used against you if done incorrectly.

That being said, we’ve got a strong head of steam going into production week of our final issue! I’ll have much more to say when that time comes along. 

Issue 12 – The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College

"The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College - Issue 12 - April 8, 2011 - Front Page"

Congratulations to Missy Ballinghoff and Shay Kettner, next year’s Co Editors-In-Chief of The Quindecim, for successfully putting their first issue to press! 

It’s a complete, twenty page issue full of solid articles. Unfortunately, the pages came out a little light, which was out of our control.

“It’s always a lot of work, but once you have it in your hands, and you see other students reading it, it’s worth it,” said Kettner. “We bonded as Co-Chiefs and we were able to prove that we could keep The Q alive,” added Ballinghoff.

 Their trial work over the past several weeks has proven that The Q is, without a doubt, in good hands next year.

Issue 9 – The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College

 

"The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College - Issue 9 - February 18, 2011 - Front Page"

It’s hard to believe, but The Quindecim published it’s second issue of the semester last Friday. As a whole, we didn’t do well with deadlines, which made for a rough week with little sleep. I’m taking it as a reminder that we’ve all got full schedules and lots of other parts of life to balance, so we can’t let missed deadlines take over our week.

That being said, it’s weeks like last where it’s easy to feel severely under appreciated by this College for the work that we do. Administrators and trustees are always quick to remind us of what an accomplishment this transformation has been and what a boon The Quindecim has become for the school.

Yet there’s nothing there for us.

News is always happening. It doesn’t stop over Mid-Semester break, Winter break, Spring break, or Summer vacation. Being an editor on The Quindecim simply requires significantly longer hours than just about any other position held by students. It is a round-the-clock, round-the-semester, round-the-year responsibility. It’s not just one meeting per week, or one event per semester.

Every two weeks, editors spend entire nights producing the newspaper so that it meets our deadline. On top of academics, athletics, and the trials of the college experience, editors pull consecutive all-nighters cooped up in a room above the Gopher Hole to ensure Goucher gets its newspaper on time.

Working on the newspaper is a grind, one that our editors endure on a biweekly basis.

For that work, we are unpaid and receive no academic credit. What’s more, at the end of this semester, our reward for publishing 14 comprehensive, lengthy issues of the newspaper this year will be a significant pile of debt.

Here’s the truth: Until another group of editors as enthusiastic, motivated, and crazy as we are comes along, which I doubt will be soon, The Quindecim will never be this good again. Until an infrastructure to fund this newspaper – not as a student club as we’re currently considered, but as a necessary and vital institution on this campus – is created, it’ll regress to what it was before: dead in the water.

I could go on and on, but this is The Q‘s next big moment. We’re making moves to see that change happens.

Valentine’s Day 2011: Friends, The Q, and Red Hot Blue

I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but there’s been lots of student spirit for the holiday at Goucher through yesterday and today.

The Junior class is raising money by running around campus delivering bags of Hershey’s Kisses to people. The Ultimate Frisbee team was selling chocolate covered strawberries and cookies in the library last night. And Red Hot Blue, Goucher’s Acapella group, surprised students in their rooms yesterday with singing candy gram performances.

In this first video, you’ll find them in The Quindecim office serenading our Editorial Board with Beyoncé’s “Halo” before our weekly meeting.

In the second one, you can see them surprising our friend Andrea in our apartment with Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.”

Fantastic singing and a beautifully mild Monday has made for a great start to the week!