I can still remember the excitement I felt a year ago. Entering our year of leading The Lawrentian, my partner in crime, Amaan Khan, and I had irrepressible passion and drive to accomplish near-impossible goals. We can now reflect on the past year with pride in our accomplishments.
Throughout that time, much of our important work was done behind the scenes. Most notably, The Lawrentian now spreads all aspects of operation over three days, rather than a single 12-hour production session. Consistent all-nighters are now relics of the past, leading to a more careful editing and layout process. This improvement will show its full effects in the coming year, as all significant changes experience growing pains.
We also localized two key aspects of our operation, shifting to Lawrence University Information Technology Services for web-hosting and Appleton-area Gannett Company, Inc. for printing. These moves helped us improve our system of layout, editing, printing and publishing.
The application timeline has also been completely reformed. By appointing the Editorial Board leadership early in Winter Term, we enjoyed greater efficiency in the hiring and training processes for new editors and managers.
Beyond these broader achievements, each section accomplished a great deal, individually. News provided unbiased and sensitive coverage of transformational events on campus. Variety became a platform for collaboration with other student organizations. Sports cast a wide net of coverage due to a strong writer base. Features pushed the limits of avant-garde layout and challenged the pillars of traditional journalism. While improving event coverage, Arts & Entertainment highlighted creative endeavors outside conventional academic realms. Opinions & Editorials demonstrated a commitment to promoting a broad range of opinions—both popular and controversial.
Throughout the past year, I have constantly been reminded of the value of collegiate journalism and our school newspaper. The Lawrentian serves as a vital archive for life on campus, a platform for student voices and an important university tradition.
I will not ignore one unfortunate truth, however: we must publish higher quality content. Internal improvements, pursuit of operational efficiency and conversation within the Editorial Board can only change so much. Ultimately, our student publication will never reach its full potential unless writing quality is consistently worthy of dedicated readership.
My greatest source of excitement is that the new leadership team is prepared to take on the challenges ahead. With Lizzy Weekes as editor-in-chief, Alex Kurki as copy chief and Tamanna Akram as managing editor, Lawrence’s longest-running publication will have exceptional leadership. This new team is already poised to make several massive improvements.
The addition of a new position, marketing manager, is intended to enhance recruitment efforts, establish effective methods of retention and provide greater newspaper publicity. Having shifted to a new printer, incoming editors are also discussing the possibility of printing larger issues, sizing up to a standard newspaper length. In accordance with each of those, the incoming leadership team is reviewing finances with the hopes of creating a more financially sustainable model. I cannot wait to see them succeed in these efforts
Throughout the trials and tribulations of the past year, I found solace in all-nighters of delirious laughter, inside jokes with peers and friends, and meaningful discussion at ungodly hours. Thank you to the entire Editorial Board, especially the copy chief I loved, but never deserved. I am honored to have served as editor-in-chief and ecstatic at the possibilities ahead.
— Zach Ben-Amots, The Lawrentian editor-in-chief