Internal Investigation Reveals True Cynic

2:39 AM on Monday morning in Billings I-122 with the janitors cleaning the hallways the Cynic Staff is hard at work. One would think at this point in the night the paper would be nearly completed, but it’s not the case on the average Monday morning. The Cynic truly is an independent student newspaper; it is self-supported financially, with the only support from the university being the use of space in the basement of Billings for the Cynic office. Students run the finances, the construction, and the distribution of the paper. The staff is young with all but one of the editors being freshman and sophomores. Leadership comes from sophomore Editor-in-Chief Kristin Dobbs, who oversees the making of the publication. At 4:30p.m.Wednesdays the editors meet to discuss the upcoming paper, they decide what articles will run in given section and stories they want to cover. At 5:00 the general meeting starts where the writers and photographers join the editors. Ideas are thrown around and writers decided which stories they’d like to work on. The deadline for the stories is on Friday. This Friday deadline is usually ignored by most writers causing stressful Sunday evenings for the editors who scramble to find the writers and their given pieces. In describing the average Sunday night, Dobbs said, “It’s chaotic, full of insanity; including crazy janitors, trips to Dunkin’ Donuts, and a lot of WRUV. You see sides of people you don’t normally see and that you never want to see again, yet you see every Sunday.” The biggest problem the Cynic Staff faces in creating the paper is a lack of writers. Most of the articles are written by the editors who piece the paper together. The problems don’t end with the lack of punctual writers, or any writers at all. Computer break-downs, printer break-downs, scanner break-downs, and mental breakdowns all add to the insanity that is production nights. With only one half-window and a dozen fluorescent lights, one can go nutty in the office, often needing breaks wandering down the basement of Billings, searching for coffee and late-night refreshments. “Sunday nights are delirious,” said Kristen Rigney, freshman photography editor. “When something as simple as a typo becomes hilarious and all you can do is watch your fellow editors square dance to Yonder, it’s time to go to bed.” But the Cynic isn’t all about the late-night Sundays. Staff members have the opportunity to hobnob with University officials, and have been known on occasion to attend conferences in both New York City at the New York Times, and Washington D.C. at the Associated Collegiate Press workshops. “The benefits of being on staff outweigh the pitfalls,” said Opinions/Editorials Editor Ashley Lyons. “And besides, who needs sleep when you can spend all weekend in a cave with your close friends?” And to those who say the Cynic isn’t worth reading or that nobody reads it, Copy Editor Nick Rahaim disagrees. “I feel that people are starting to see that the Cynic combines journalistic integrity with fun, wit, and sarcasm. It keeps the campus at large informed, but also gives them something enjoyable to read each week.” It’s almost 6am and the final deadlines are looming. The writers are all snug in their beds while the editors frantically attempt to finish before the sunrises and their production time passes. The time grows closer and closer to the end, they finally pull it off and send it in to the printers. How they do it, that will always remain the mystery.