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As our editorship comes to an end, it is time to reflect on a fun, stressful and rewarding couple of years. Without doubt, this has been a challenging and wonderful experience, and it has been an honour and a privilege to run Arthur’s 53rd and 54th volume with Leina Amatsuji-Berry. There are a few points I’d like to leave you with before the thank-yous and goodbyes.
Free independent student press is important. Its existence as a platform to share student voices is crucial and magnificent. It has been a true pleasure to witness the dialogue that the Trent and Peterborough-Nogojiwanong communities have been able to sustain and share through the newspaper. It is rewarding to see that one of the aims we had for the organization has grown over the past two years.
When the Student Choice Initiative came into place in the Fall of 2019, it demonstrated the opportunities and work that levy groups do are underrated. Arthur endured a hard hit with the opt-out rates, and the ongoing work of the organization was at risk. However, when the Student Choice Initiative was deemed unlawful, it assured us that the independent student media is in fact “essential”. Whilst it was a relief that levy groups continued to get funded, it still begs the question if Arthur, and other groups which suffered high opt-out rates, is recognized and acknowledged as essential by students.
This brings me to my next point. I urge students and community members to immerse yourself in the community, in the services and opportunities that surround you. My experience as Editor of the university press after graduating made me realize that, while I participated in so much as a student, there was still so much more I could’ve explored. It’s worth noting that the student workload and hardships of life can keep one from exploring to their full desire. What is certainly essential here is to go beyond your comfort zone when presented the chance.
I will always feel like I could’ve done more at university, but seizing an unforeseen opportunity meant that I could become Editor of a newspaper straight out of university with a Psychology degree. It meant I could tell my Trent alumnus high-school teacher, who gave me a D+ average in English, that I ran the student newspaper of the university she attended (then thank her for recommending Trent). Seizing unforeseen opportunities meant I could open up new paths for myself as a student, and so can you. Take advantage of these opportunities, and then you the students can carry on the important work of levy groups and students services yourselves. Thus, opening career paths you would have never considered.
I realize the irony in encouraging folks to seize the day during a pandemic. However, one day things will go ‘back to normal’, and we might all be left feeling… weird. Whether it’s reflecting on life choices, or making new decisions, I hope that the community support and outreach continues past the pandemic. I hope that all services that enrich students’ lives will remain essential, not just on the books, but in our actions and mindsets.
With that, I move on to the thank-yous. I will not elaborate too much, because Leina did a good job with that already, and I second them. Nonetheless, I would like to thank the staff collective, volunteers, board members, and all contributors and partners of Arthur that ensured its survival until now, even in the midst of a pandemic. A special thank you to one of the most important people Arthur has ever come across, and will never be the same again due to the magnificent work done by her: Leina Amatsuji-Berry. No written words can describe the dedication you have for this organization, and how proud I am to have been your partner throughout these past two volumes. Thank you for saying yes to me nervously asking you to run with me for this role. It’s been a blast. I don’t doubt that Brazil Gaffney-Knox and Nick Taylor, the incoming Editors of Arthur’s 55th Volume, will do a tremendous job. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Arthur.
Well, there you have it, folks! Thank you, and goodbye.