The Stater: Change you can believe in

Timothy Magaw

As I sit here writing my first column as editor, I’m trying to find one word to describe my vision for this semester’s Daily Kent Stater. I could throw around journalism jargon like convergence or multimedia. Or, like past editors, tell you how I want the Stater to be your newspaper.

But despite my efforts to avoid clichés, I keep coming back to the most overused noun of 2008: change.

There are changes happening at Kent State every day – some for better, some for worse. The university’s administration has been nearly revamped since Lester Lefton took his seat at the helm of the university two years ago. Portions of campus look completely different than they did just months before. The university’s student-led government has expanded from nine positions to a whopping 25. Hell, I can barely keep track of the name of the Chinese restaurant in the Hub anymore.

We’re not going to be reactive in our coverage and tell you about important changes to the university after the decision’s been nailed down. We’ll do our best to report on these plans as they’re happening so you can give your feedback before an administrator has signed off on them.

That’s been our job all along, and admittedly, we’ve failed at times. Even though we’re “journalists in-training,” we’re still journalists, and our job is to hold the university and its leaders accountable for their actions. We pay an exorbitant amount of money to go to school here, and we have a right to know what’s happening in the executive offices on the second floor of the University Library.

But of course, we don’t know about everything. That’s where you come in. We only have so many reporters scurrying across campus, but there are more than 20,000 sets of eyes looking at this campus every day, and we don’t rely on them nearly enough. We’re going to be out there talking to you, but we also want you to be talking to us.

Aside from bringing you more hard-hitting news, I want to tell the story of the people making these changes, especially those for the betterment of our community.

There are so many inspiring people in our area. But if they aren’t bringing the university money or prestige, Kent State rarely highlights them. I hope we’ll be there to fill that void.

So, do you see something you’re concerned about? Do you or someone you know have a story to tell? Let us know. Stop by our newsroom in 240 Franklin Hall and ask to speak with an editor. E-mail me at [email protected] or call the newsroom at (330) 672-2584.

We’re at a pivotal time in our nation’s history, but we’re also at one here at Kent State. Although Barack Obama will continue to spoon-feed us his “yes, we can” rhetoric, and John McCain will continue to awkwardly refer to us as his “friends,” we need to keep a close eye on what’s happening here in Northeast Ohio and especially at this university.

My goal is to leave Kent State in better shape than it was when I came here, and I hope it’s your goal as well. I think we can do it, so let’s get our hands dirty.

Timothy Magaw is a senior newspaper journalism major and Fall 2008 editor of the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].