Hi, Reader, whoever you are. We at the Fiat Lux appreciate your quick glances, your five-minute investigations or any time you've spent reading our work, commenting and participating in a community where it's safe to take a breath--and say what you need to say.
Before I try to sell you on subscribing or maybe working for the paper, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to Alfred University, and more specifically, a deep gratitude to the Fiat Lux. I'm an older student, a dropout who's finally finishing up after who knows how many years. At first, I thought it would be kind of awkward to get involved with extracurricular stuff.
Mostly because I'm an idiot, I spent five years in the Marine Corps, deploying three times to places where I believed I could really help people, and nowadays, I carry with me a nice tote bag-full of PTSD-related issues. Needless to say, going back to school was a little sketchy.
Alfred University and its faculty welcomed me immediately and even though I was sometimes flaky, or lazy, or just plain depressed I had several people who looked out for me and tried to understand where I was coming from. A few years later, I feel great. I feel like someone who isn't suffocating on that stuff anymore.
I started out working at the Fiat Lux by submitting a few things here and there and primarily just handled getting all the papers to the newsstands on campus. Little, baby steps, I thought. I quietly wrote a little more and also started helping with the editing. The chance to just keep my head down and try to help out was just about all I was looking for, especially during a time when procedures during the pandemic have forced the newspaper to completely reconfigure itself.
Our editor-in-chief, Talulla Torthe, took on an enormous task of figuring out what the hell to do once the paper had to go fully online. When it was her turn to captain the ship, I felt really good about the paper's potential. Talulla gets it done. It doesn't matter what it is, she solves the problem. She then asked me to be the managing editor, and for the first time in a while, it felt like I could help keep something going, something important to me. For about a year now, operating in this new way, the paper basically blew up into something I never thought would happen. On top of all that, Talulla and another one of our writer/editors, Dale Mott Slater, also run the Alphadelphian, a newspaper focusing on women's and gender issues.
It's an all-encompassing, autonomous operation. We show up every other week, talk a little bit and enjoy each other's company, but other than that – everyone handles their own business. Two years ago, we used to talk about whether or not we had enough copy to print a full issue. We have regular entertainment reviews, a secret narrator who traverses the political realm and regular spotlights and interviews for sports and campus life. Our writers show up to play, covering tough issues that matter to our community.
We don't really like the scores or stats or the grind of information, it's about people--us. Students, faculty and community. We cover as much news as we can, but at the end of each deadline, it seems like what's important to our writers, to this crew, is the way our community lives and learns through difficult times, and how it affects us.
It's really exciting to also hand the keys over to our new managing editor, Isa Hamilton. She'll do a much more professional and thorough job than I ever did and it was always kind of nice knowing that I could count on her editing help.
I've gone through and seen other people go through some really gnarly stuff. A lot of them have nothing to do with being a marine, they're just my neighbors, here in Alfred. You probably have a story too. You, the reader, if you've made it this far, probably has reasons for not writing and submitting, or not running our paper route, or not laying-out simple pages of our website. You probably think those reasons are weird. Welcome to the club. You could never say a word to any of us and we'd just appreciate the company, the suggestions or maybe an hour of your Saturday.
Well, they would. I'm leaving soon, but I appreciated the company. I appreciated the chance to feel like a normal person again, to not feel crushed about missing a deadline, or to maybe give myself a small toast for getting through another edit. I really wanted to squeeze in one more thing, one more piece for the end of the semester so that I didn't feel like I let down a dozen other people who work really hard. The Fiat Lux is a place where you just come as you are, and if the pandemic has really flipped your world upside-down, then come tell us about it. We're figuring it out, too.
By Andrew Wiechert