Words from the editor:


headshot_Valerie Royzman

Valerie Royzman

Dear ones,

It’s me — Valerie, Kent Stater editor — again. I addressed one of these to readers 15 weeks ago for the first edition of the revamped Stater, promising my staff would deliver stories that hold the powerful accountable, stories with purpose and stories that move.

We covered everything from the government shutdown to the presidential search to Bev’s final months as Kent State’s president to everything sex to Black History Month to wait times for campus clinics to flu season to medical marijuana to May 4 commemoration planning to sports features that make you root for your favorite athletes all over again. And so, so much more.

It feels like all I had to do was blink, and suddenly, it’s over. I think I’ve been too busy to realize this journey as editor does, in fact, end. Time doesn’t warn you before it creeps up; it is quiet and strange like that. It has been a gift to serve as editor, and I have so many people to thank for making this ending meaningful.

To readers: Thank you for your loyalty. It is so refreshing to walk into a coffee shop downtown and see Kentites reading the Stater. Every time it happens, I cannot wipe the stupid smile off of my face.

To my staff: Thank you for letting me exist in this moment with you. If only it wasn’t so short. If only we had more time together. I am eternally grateful and so proud of our work. This paper would be nothing without all of you. (Especially our adviser, Sue Zake. She somehow finds a solution to every problem.) And to those of you graduating whom I’ve known for a few years now — I still haven’t processed it. My heart can’t handle it. Not right now, anyway.

I also want to extend a special shout out to Rachel Karas, Summer 2019 editor, and Madison MacArthur, Fall 2019 editor. Leaving the Stater in the hands of careful people like you makes me feel better.

And finally, a quick story. On the last production day for the Stater, Connie Schultz — the Pulitzer Prize-winning professional-in-residence I profiled earlier this semester — gave me a pin like the one she always wears. “America needs journalists,” it says. Before we sent our last Stater to the printer, it reminded me of why we do what we do, and why losing sleep and sanity over a newspaper is actually (sometimes) worth it. 

The universe is made of tiny stories. As journalists, it’s our job to find them and breathe them into the world. These stories speak truths about our past and future, bring people together and keep the Earth spinning on its axis. I really believe that.

While the bustle of the newsroom and pressure of looming deadlines has been stressful, the Stater really is the place where I learned how to be still and to create. In the commotion of everyday life, stories have been (and will always be) the tiny treasures that calm me. I hope they calm you, too.