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Friday, Aug 12, 2022

Notes from the desk: This team’s hard work was not inevitable

Subtlety has never been my strong suit. I think all my people on The Campus know exactly how I feel about them because I tell them, often, in a way that sometimes makes me feel like an overbearing grandma who can’t stop pinching her grandchildren’s cheeks. But they are always loving and supportive right back, so that the mutual respect and friendship circulating our poorly-circulated Hepburn Office (or Zoom meeting) is palpable.

Rarely, however, do we get a moment to thank everyone for what they put into the paper. And lately, writers and editors have been putting in more than I could have ever imagined. In March, Bochu, James and I were prepping for a melting-away once we all left campus, for some editors and writers to step back because they were overwhelmed or because they no longer felt connected to The Campus. We were prepared to rethink our organizational structures and produce less content each week so that those involved would not feel too much of a burden. 

That could not be further from what happened. When we left campus, our board stepped up, hard. Members worked to produce a special issue, a crowdsourced storytelling project and podcast, and in-depth news and feature stories week after week that brought a geographically isolated campus together. We endorsed a candidate for SGA president, weighed in on the grading debate and cranked out the results of our student-wide survey. All this while navigating our new world and managing academics from home.

Last year’s Editor in Chief, Will DiGravio ’19, recently told me that although The Campus covers its fair share of crises every year, the rough parts of editors’ jobs are often somewhat softened by the structures of school and the supportive, in-person social networks of close friends. You all have had none of that since we’ve left Midd. There were no parties to release all that steam after tough weeks of editing, and no Campus gatherings (we were less than a month shy of our first formal of the year when we were all sent home). At the end of a long Tuesday night, you could not go home and snuggle with your friends or finish homework in the cozy confines of Davis Library.

Yet, you all wrote and edited your hearts out and, when you weren’t feeling up to it during a given week, you communicated openly about wanting to take a temporary step back. The smoothness of such an adjustment was anything but inevitable, and you all made it happen.

I don’t know if I’ve ever met a group of more motivated, nerdy, hard-working people. You built a loving and powerful virtual community this spring.

If you can do that, you really can do anything. I’m sending you the biggest virtual hugs I can muster.

Sabine Poux '20 was this year's editor in chief of The Campus.