Gaining perspective

Elika Roohi/Sun Star Editor-in-Chief
November 20, 2012

Occasionally reporters approach me with a story about a club or an organization or an event that they really want to write an article about.  And then I find out that they’re a member of the organization or they’re putting together the event.  It’s just standard journalism ethics not to let people report on things they are involved with.  The reporter is too close to the story to have any perspective.

It’s the same with UAF.  Sometimes I think we’re all too close to this university–slogging through endless assignments and frigid days–to have any perspective.

Last week, a few friends from UAA came up to campus for the UA Scholars Reception.  On Thursday, I met up with them in the afternoon to catch up and show them parts of our campus.

We spent an hour walking around the Wood Center, and it was the first time I’d seen the Wood Center with new eyes since I was 15.

The Wood Center sometimes smells strongly of cheap sushi and the Taco Bell always runs out of cheese, but it’s the center of campus life and community at UAF.  It’s always filled with students in the multi-level lounge, upstairs, in the crow’s nest or just walking through to warm up.  Our student union is full of life.

All things considered, UAF has a great welcoming community and enough campus life to keep a majority of students occupied throughout the winter.  I think that’s the point of the new marketing campaign.  We’re all naturally inspired.  Or something.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Wood Center this semester.  The Sun Star office is tucked away between Outdoor Adventures and New Student Orientation in the Wood Center offices.  And I’ve spent way too much time running the paper and drinking Wood Center coffee to have any kind of broader perspective on either The Sun Star or the Wood Center.

Before I took over as editor this summer, I got a plethora of advice from multiple people.  Some of it was useful and a lot of it wasn’t.  But one thing that stuck with me is that the year as editor goes by really quickly.  This is a blessing and a curse.  The consecutive weekends putting the paper together are enough to wear anyone out.  But the endless weekends of work blur together too quickly and all of a sudden the end of the semester is closing in and there are still so many things to accomplish.  After this issue, we’ll have one more left this semester.

As the editor, it’s my job to spend the most amount of time in the office, to catch everything that falls through the cracks and to care the most about The Sun Star.  I’ve spent more than a few Friday nights this semester putting off hanging out with friends to generate story ideas to assign at the Saturday morning staff meetings.  With all the time I spend pouring my energy into the paper, I lose some perspective.

So here’s to spending Thanksgiving break slowing down and getting some perspective.

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