The Grand Finale

What a difference a year makes. As I sit here and write my final column as Editor-in-Chief of the Cynic, I think back to when I wrote my first column as Editor, a year ago. I took out the old column, and remembered that I wrote about my experience as a first-year at UVM and my hopes for the campus community for this year. I challenged everyone to get directly involved, because it’s the only way to experience the great aspects of the UVM. As I found out this year, it’s also the only way to truly experience some of the worst things about UVM at the same time. For every great comment/email/phone call I got from people thanking me or complimenting me on the Cynic, I would get one saying that I was a horrible editor, I ran a horrible production and that it was a rag. Unfortunately, those comments would not come from people from the greater Burlington area-but from staff in our own campus, people whose jobs are to help student groups, not insult them. It’s been unfortunate that my tenure at the Cynic has been tainted by people whose “positive criticism” doesn’t help, but only hurts. I also have witnessed some of the most hard-working people on this campus, and they’re not faculty or staff-but full-time students involved in a thousand activities, including our own organization. Those students are amazing examples of how to truly get everything out of a UVM education. But at the same time, I witnessed some of the ugliness involved with being part of certain student organizations: nepotism, backstabbing and general ill-will towards other students trying to accomplish the same thing you are-making a difference at UVM. Remember-just because you’re in a position of power does not mean that you should choose your fraternity brother over some student who has worked harder and has more experience. Acts like that show the entire campus why they shouldn’t get involved. I used to think that students at UVM were lazy, and they weren’t getting involved because they’d rather smoke pot all day and watch Half Baked. That’s not the case at all at UVM, and that image has tainted our school’s reputation across the region. I believe that UVM students want to get involved and be active members of a community-or else, why would they have come to college in the first place? I think there is a severe lack in communication on this campus, and that students would be more involved if they were given a true opportunity to become involved. Not everyone who wants to get involved walks down to Billings looking for a group to join-the groups need to come out and get people to work for them, because they will be just as much of an asset to the group as anyone else. This is why I have enjoyed being Editor-in-Chief so much; because I want to, as much as possible, get information out to the larger student population about the things that affect them-what is going on at their own campus. Like any other student leader, there were times when the negatives of the position-the long hours, the criticism, the damage to my grades, social life and health-seemed to outweigh the positives. I thought that I would be excited to pass the baton on to our next Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Woods, as I pack my bags for jolly ‘ol England for the next year. But I find myself having a hard time writing this (a rarity, because, as many know, I always have something to say), because I know this is the end, and it’s a bittersweet one. Even though the times were rough and I sometimes wished to be the slacker that spent all day watching soaps and relaxing, I know that the benefits of becoming so involved on campus will stay with me forever. I have learned many skills, made great friends (some of my best friends) and important connections on this campus that I could have no other way. As the Editor-in-Chief before me said, “You know, there is only one Editor on this campus. This will be something you will tell people that you did for the rest of your life.” He’s right, I will. I will tell them of all of the hard work I put in, all the tough times, but how in the end, it was well worth it. As I end this chapter and begin a new one, I wish all of you the same chances to do great things in your college experience as well. Believe me, you’ll regret it if you don’t grab the prospect that is staring you right in the face.