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Saying good-bye to the ‘Lycourier’
April 23, 2012
By Aliza Davner
Well Lycoming, here we are — the end of the road. I like to think of it as the end of an era, but I’m afraid that might come off as a bit too pretentious.
In all seriousness, though, I consider my time at the Lycourier to be time well spent. Rising from staff writer my freshman year, to College Life Editor sophomore year, to Editor in Chief, this paper has become an integral part of not only my life, but of my grad school applications, as well as of my very being.
I do not believe that the majority of students on campus understand exactly how much work goes into putting together the Lycourier. Over the past few years the editing team has spent countless nights in the Lycourier office, silly with sleep deprivation and high on a combination of caffeine and pizza grease. While I will look back on these moments with what I suppose can only be called “amusement,” at the time they were the furthest thing from amusing. To write, edit, and layout a paper is not an easy task, and often the editors found themselves doing all three in one night, which left us exhausted and bitter, but ultimately proud of our accomplishment.
Last year the Lycourier and I got off to a rocky start in our newfound relationship. An awkward academic schedule made for an almost unbearable printing schedule consisting of two back-to-back issues separated by a two-week-long break. As such, the staff scrambled to find article ideas, leading to the production of issues which were less-than-perfect.
This year, however, we at the Lycourier hit our stride. After receiving comments from students that the paper was reporting old news, which was affecting readership, the staff attempted to remedy this problem by being proactive and seeking out stories, as opposed to waiting for people to contact us. This semester, in particular, we produced several top-notch issues with breaking campus events. For me, Lycourier highlights from this year included the Buildings and Grounds fire and the ARC’s AT&T grant, both of which made for engaging and relevant front-page stories.
I regard the Lycourier as my baby and producing 15 of them per year makes me a very busy mama. Over the past few years I have seen the paper grow from being irrelevant and unimportant to the majority of students, to flying off the shelves. Every time I see someone taking, reading, or carrying one of “my” papers, I can’t help but feel a swell of pride, and also a bit of discomfort knowing that I’m creeping on people I don’t know over a newspaper. Nonetheless, I thank the Lycoming students and faculty for supporting us in our endeavor.
However, don’t think I’m too disillusioned; I’m well aware that the paper is not only being read, but also used as fodder for end-of-year homework bonfires, in which case I am happy to provide a large supply of free burning materials. I try not to take it too personally, telling myself that it is convenience which draws pyromaniacs to the Lycourier, not a personal dislike of our journalistic endeavors.
Not only has the Lycourier provided me with an outlet for writing outside of class, it also has given me an office with a desk and computer all my own (which is only because there would be serious consequences were someone to touch my space), a couch to nap on, and a staff which I consider family.
While we abide strictly by the motto “what happens in the Lycourier office, stays in the Lycourier office,” I urge you to let your imaginations run wild and attempt to understand the hilarity that ensues when you place six people in a claustrophobically tiny office with only four (extremely temperamental) computers and a looming deadline. Take it from me — Monday night can only go downhill from here.
Speaking of Monday nights, Janice Ogurcak, the most amazing, fantastic, wonderful woman in the world (and the Lycourier adviser), has been a big part of mine for the past two years. Jan and I have what I can only suppose normal people would call a “special relationship.” For example, we bicker and banter like an old married couple, filling the office with my exasperated exclamations of “Janice!” and “dammit woman!” Hey, to each their own.
If you ask any of the editors on staff, they’ll probably tell you that Jan and my relationship is based on the consumption of pizza, as opposed to a mutual love of journalism. While it is true that Jan treats us to the occasional pie, it is always under the terms of our pizza rule — no food unless we’re stuck in the office until after midnight because Papa John’s doesn’t deliver after 12:30. As much as I appreciate the late-night brain food, I’m fairly certain that Jan only continues to buy me food in an attempt to fatten me up so she can slaughter me and roast me on a spit. But I digress…
What is almost grossly adorable about the end of my time at the Lycourier is that Jan is leaving with me. For me, Jan’s presence at Lycourier meetings and on layout night made this job tolerable at its lowest points and downright fun at its highest. As much as I wish our time together wasn’t coming to an end, I’m sure her husband is happy that I’m not keeping her out late once a week.
Anyway, I’ll stop rambling about the recent past and look to the future instead. Big changes are in store for the Lycourier next year, which I anxiously await with the same kind of anticipation as a nauseous child on a rollercoaster. As of right now we have a fabulous line-up of editors arranged for next year, with Cody Marshall attempting to fill my shoes as Editor in Chief, Tory Irwin as Opinion Editor, Julia Cuddahy as Entertainment Editor and Justin Ossont as Sports Editor. However, we are still in need of a Business Manager and a College Life Editor, leaving the paper slightly understaffed. Perhaps the scariest part of leaving the paper is knowing that we have not yet secured a new adviser to wield the mighty red pen.
All I can say is that I left the paper in the best possible shape that I could. With this issue, I relinquish my claim to the desk by the door and leave my baby in the hands of next year’s editor.
“Live Long and Prosper.”