Weird times, eh?
It feels surreal to still be working during this pandemic, even if it’s just tying up some loose ends at the end of the academic year. I cannot thank you – our membership and readers – enough for being exceptionally patient with us considering the circumstances. I hope that you are healthy, and in a safe and nurturing environment. I hope that you are comfortable at home.
Honestly, it feels odd to say goodbye to the Arthur editorship this way. It’s certainly not the way I had imagined or hoped. And it feels even stranger to reflect on the time that Lubna and I were co-Editors-in-Chief of the newspaper. So many meetings, so many policy and law changes, so many rallies and demonstrations – it’s been a rollercoaster the past two years, even before the pandemic. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, even with the silly mistakes and funny speed bumps – the Student Choice Initiative and a literal global health crisis being noteworthy here. I think we did pretty well, all things considered.
That being said, none of this could be done by ourselves. Arthur is absolutely a community effort, the support from which can make or break everything. I feel so lucky to have so many people to thank (again).
A thank-you to Ryan Sisson at the Trent Community Research Centre, who helped us with writing project proposals and organizing our first Community-Based Research project with the Forensic Sciences department at Trent. Thanks also to Dr. Joel Cahn, and students Lori Branch, Megan Brown, and Laura McCulloch for their wonderful work on our inaugural project.
Thank you to Dr. Liam Mitchell and Dr. Joshua Synenko of the Trent Cultural Studies department for helping facilitate a practical work option for Media Studies students to contribute to Arthur in lieu of an assignment. I actually took this opportunity when I was in my second year of my undergrad, and then I ended up being one of the Editors-in-Chief. Who knew? We’re so happy to have kept this available to students, and look forward to seeing it continue in the coming years in one way or another.
Millions of thanks to the Sadleir House staff and tenants. Shout-outs specifically to Sadleir House’s Matt Jarvis, who always gave me a good pep-talk and perspective when I was running around with my head cut off; OPIRG Peterborough’s Sam MacAndrew for routinely going above and beyond as a colleague and a friend; and PRCSA’s Dwayne Collins, whose technological expertise was of utmost value when Arthur’s website would. not. stop. crashing. I already miss Sadleir quite a bit because of the present circumstances, but I will miss it even more so.
A thank-you to Trent Radio for the facilities to broadcast Arthur Hour. Thank you, Jill Staveley and Rob Hailman, for being excellent teachers in both Studios A and B, but also for being wonderful resources on the cultural history of Trent. I found myself really absorbing what we talked about and thinking hard about what a university could and should be (side shout-out to Dave Tough for his thoughts on this topic, and his guidance, too!).
So many thanks to Arthur’s Board of Directors for stepping up for the organization, and for being mindful and supportive. Arthur as an institution needs to survive, and I’ve yet to know a group of people better suited to make sure that happens in the most equitable way possible. I believe in you, and thank you for believing in us and all who come after.
Thanks are always, always due for our student staff and collective members. Whether you came to our weekly meetings, or participated from afar, your contributions matter so much. Thank you for participating during your already-busy lives, often going outside your comfort zones to make great content for the paper. Hang on to that spirit and keep growing.
Lubna, thank you for being supportive when I’d clearly worked myself into the ground and needed to relax. Thank you for extrovert-ing when I needed to introvert. You’ve taught me a lot about communication and care over the past two years, and I’m very grateful that you asked me to do this with you.
And of course, thanks to everyone who reads the paper. If you’re a Trent University undergraduate student, I hope you’ll continue to engage with Arthur. It’s a great way to understand and get involved with what’s going on in your community. If you’re not a student, I hope you’ll continue to follow along, too! It’s truly never a dull moment, and journalism matters. Storytelling matters.
What’s next for me? Well, it’s about as clear as anyone else’s next steps are in these times. I think I will be around Arthur over the summer just to teach Nick and Brazil the ropes a bit, which will be exciting. They’re going to be great, and they’re going to have so many resources at their fingertips. After that, I do plan on studying for my Master of Arts degree at York University in the York-Ryerson Joint Program in Communication & Culture. It’s uncertain whether that will be this fall or next. Who knows? I will keep you posted, if you care to know.
For now, though, I will thank you all once more for caring, sharing, and participating in the conversations and community that we made space for over the past couple of years. It’s been sufficiently Arthurian, as I’ve learned from past editors and staff members along the way. I’m so grateful for all the skills and tools I now have at my disposal – an Excalibur of my own, you could say. May we all be so lucky as to wield these opportunities with open arms and hearts. And may your fire be the light.