We went with you

Ryan Loew

Right now I’m taking one of the biggest sighs of relief I’ve ever taken in my life. Classes are over, I only have a couple finals and summer is approaching.

And it’s my last day as Daily Kent Stater editor.

Not that I haven’t enjoyed the job. Quite the opposite in fact — this has been the most challenging and exciting semester of my college career, and I’m sure I’ll remember it as such for the rest of my life.

But this column isn’t just about me. It’s about all of us.

I view a newspaper as a crucial part of any community. When done right, a newspaper is a mirror of its readers — a story teller and instant historian. We’re also, at the risk of sounding slightly highhanded, protectors of democracy, in that we hold those in power accountable.

Simply put, a good newspaper knows its readers and is its readers.

I hope the Stater has done that this semester.

This has been a long 15 weeks for all of us, and at the same time I know I’m not alone in saying it went by unbelievably fast.

You went places this semester, and we went with you.

When the Kent State men’s basketball team won the Mid-American Conference regular season championship and went on to MAC Tournament play in Cleveland, we were there. And when the team progressed on to the first round on the NCAA Division I Tournament, we were on the sidelines in Auburn Hills, Mich., shooting and reporting.

Our reporters and photographers had a blast, too, and I hope you enjoyed their work. My sports editor Kali Price was certainly happy to see men’s basketball on the front page.

Later in the semester, some 400 of you traveled to a disaster area for Spring Break, forgoing the traditional sand and sun of Panama Beach to help rebuild hurricane-ravaged Biloxi, Mississippi.

We were there, too.

From March 25 through April 1, student affairs reporter Aman Ali and assistant photo editor Gavin Jackson traveled with the Kent State United for Biloxi volunteers as they helped residents in the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Through StaterOnline.com we provided daily stories, photographs and blogs about the volunteers’ experiences in the region.

Our goal was two-fold: to cover the trip, one which we’ve never heard of at Kent State, and to help readers gain an understanding of what life is like for those living in the wreckage.

Those Stater staff members who shared the experience also learned a great deal from the trip — namely that many Kent State students do care about others. Enough so that they’ll pick a disaster area over Daytona.

As you read the last issue of this semester, it’s my sincere hope that you see the Stater as your paper. We go to great lengths to make it that.

And if you’ve read this far, I have a feeling you’ll continue doing so.

Ryan Loew is a junior newspaper major and editor of the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]