Read our first print issue of the year, including stories about SUNY’s new chosen name and pronoun policy and Stony Brook’s lack of period products, concert coverage of Tyler, the Creator, Brookfest and WUSB’s Bash, reviews of Elden Ring and FKA Twigs’ CAPRISONGS, opinion pieces on post-Roe America and subway safety and more.

Letter from the Editor

By Keating Zelenke

When I joined The Press in the fall of 2020, I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I would never pursue an editorial position. Like many people at the height of the pandemic, I could hardly be counted on to take care of myself, much less other people’s work — the Cs I earned in Intro to Mass Communications and Foreign Policy testify to that fact. But when the former exec, Deanna Albohn, encouraged me to run for graphics editor, I reluctantly did it. And every semester after that, I kept on running for positions and I kept on getting them. 

There’s a lot of things to love about The Press. For one, walking into our office is like walking into a dumpster diver’s garage museum — spray-painted shoes hanging from the ceiling, laces tucked in between the ceiling tiles; Post-it notes on the walls declaring things like “BIG MEATY CLAWS” with absolutely no context; a red plastic spoon hooked to a Command Strip by an old shoe lace; a sandwich shop sign that no current student can explain the origin of. Every person who walks in here leaves something behind, as evidenced by the names of long-graduated members carved into the table at the center of it all. 

So I walked in here two Octobers ago and I never left. Yeah, the artifacts that decorate our office brought me in, but something else made me stay. Like most people, I’ve spent the last 21 years of my life running away from responsibilities and obligations, and when I first walked into SAC 307K, I couldn’t imagine what would possess me to voluntarily take those things on.

This is what I think it really is — through working at The Press, I discovered meaningful work. Not the work that will (hopefully) deliver my degree to me in May, and not the work that keeps the tiny roof over my head in Port Jeff Station. How do I put it? It’s not something cheesy, like the work that “gets me out of bed” every morning. Admittedly, I’ve spent a number of days dreading coming into the very office I sit in now, dreading looking at that stupid Mona Lisa portrait on the wall, her small, obnoxious smile taunting me, telling me that I have no ideas, that I should never have run to be exec, that I’m not cut out for this. I think about how the person who spray-painted over her face with devil horns was right — what a bitch!

Really, the magazine has been like a thunderstorm for me. It’s shaken the ground I stand on. But every once in a while, a bolt of lightning straight from God comes down and I swear I can feel those bright-white branches shock me straight through every vein and capillary in my body. 

It’s electrifying.

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