This article marks my final contribution to the Creightonian as a student (because, of course, I plan on subscribing for $8 a year after I graduate). In preparation for this conclusion to my career in the realms of the Creightonian’s Opinion section, I looked back through all the articles I’ve written since my freshman year. The headline of my first article in 2015 maintains the essence of the political whirlwind that has endured during my four years at Creighton: “CNN’S GOP Debate mainly focuses on Donald Trump.”
One article in particular from my portfolio captured me, entitled “Newspapers offer student perspective.” Without the intention of putting the spotlight on an article I wrote in November 2016, the gist is this: I picked up a newspaper from every college that I visited as a high school student and it helped me decide to attend Creighton. I’ll allow my sophomore self to provide you with the encompassing sentence: “Even though students would give me tours and faculty would explain their departments to me, I found that an institution’s most authentic voice – the one accumulated by those who comprise it – could be found in the newspaper.”
The Creightonian has provided a mouthpiece for me for four years. The staff has given me with an outlet to comment on politics, culture, education, art and sports, all topics in which I do not have expert status. Yet, they have nevertheless appreciated the integrity of my opinion, a sentiment that has encouraged me to look for the value in diverse viewpoints. The Creightonian has showed me that varied perspectives on the human experience hold innate merit.
Since this is an opinion piece and not my own reminiscent journaling, I could try to persuade you to support funding for the Creightonian, to subscribe as alumni, even to write for the paper yourself. While all remain noble endeavors, the greatest propeller of a newspaper is the readers. Whether this is the first or hundredth Creightonian that you’ve picked up, it is you, the reader, that makes any of it worthwhile. From my amateur brush with journalism, I have noticed that aside from the occasional online comments, there is little evidence for a writer to know whether or not people are reading. Part of a writer’s motivation must come from some kind of faith and trust in people.
I have faith that there are readers who’s eyes not only see the words but who’s minds devour the thoughts, allowing them to exhibit maximum potential if only for a moment. Even if that has only happened once, it is enough for me. It is enough to know that while my articles in the Creightonian alone will not insight global change, they will receive due ponder and concern. I do not feel as though my words rest only on the pages of the Creightonian, because the engagement of readers with the paper has shaped its content and purpose into its current state. Whether through letters to the editor, talking about an article on the mall, or by simply picking up a copy, readers have made themselves known and influence the foundations of the Creightonian. Every article in this issue relies on the integral connection between creator and critic to exist. Whichever category you fall into – and most of us belong to both – I hope that you notice this bond while reading and see the validity of your ideas. Writers and readers engage in a symbiotic relationship with full reliance from both parties. Critical reading requires the same kind of courage as thoughtful writing. By reading a newspaper, one becomes involved with the narrative of the human experience, and in this case, the experience of Creighton University.
This article is a note of gratitude, to those who have read any of my words, to the editors, advisors, and writers I have worked with, and to the institution of the Creightonian itself. To reference my 2016 article one last time, I cited a quote from playwright Arthur Miller: “a good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” Thank you for talking with me.