Typically, every May the exiting executive editor of The Stony Brook Press writes a farewell editorial about where the Press has gone under his or her reign and what’s up ahead. This is not one of those years. Our executive, Nick Batson, will be passing the torch to Jodie Mann, but he will not be leaving The Press entirely. Instead, I will be leaving (or at least abandoning all positions but author of The Boring Rocks). So Ms. Mann asked me to write my farewell. But first, the beginning.
Four years ago, I was a gangly awkward teenager with almost no ideas about what to do with my time. I say “almost,” because I knew I had two usable skills: intense knowledge of English grammar and the ability to draw mildly-humorous talking animals. There weren’t many clubs where those techniques could promote me to a three-year tenure as third-in-command. In fact, there’s only one: The Stony Brook Press. And being part of the Press, though troubling at times, was honestly one of the most fun parts of my time at college.
But as a gangly freshman, I didn’t know that. I suspected that a newspaper would be good to join, but how to choose which one? At the time, the campus had many news organizations: The Press, the esteemed Statesman, the plucky Independent, the quirky Think, the, uh, unique Patriot… But only one told me that they had Nintendo consoles in the office. So I took my talents to the Press. At the second meeting I attended, I basically just played Castlevania. At the third, Tetris Attack. But while doing that, I somehow learned a lot about journalism and management.
You might wonder why I’m telling you this, besides the self-indulgent catharsis that characterizes most of what I write. Actually, this time it’s all essential. You see, The Press was, and is, and hopefully will be a great publication because of its laid-back atmosphere and sense of acceptance. And from this venue can thus come both manic oddities like Stadiums of Shit and important stories like the Lamar/Aoki scandal. With our skills and attitudes, we can review Bubble Tape while still having the integrity to handle stories of death and destruction with the seriousness they deserve.
The Press is an intersection of fun and quality that can only come from people who are passionate about what they do: whether it’s photos, art, features, poetry, reviews, sports, Sportz, opinions, telling jokes and yes, even journalism. And fun and quality is really the most you could ask from a campus paper. As long as there are passionate people here (and I assure you, our replacements have passion to spare), The Press will still be everything you’re hoping for.
Four years ago, in the first printed Boring Rocks comic, Pippin told Fwubo that he needed to stop being timid and stand up for what he believed in. I’d like to think in some ways, I spent the past four years doing the same. Maybe no one cared. But I’m still glad I put my work out there. And if you’re passionate about what you do, I implore you to do the same. Stony Brook needs more folks like you. The Press needs more folks like you. Come down and show us what you’re made of. You’ll be glad you gave yourself the chance.
~Evan Goldaper (former Associate Editor of The Stony Brook Press)