Our student body is relatively small compared to the standard non-liberal arts college. That being said, just looking at our student organizations we are incredibly diverse, while not in skin color, in interests and passions. However when I open The Pioneer Log every other Friday I see the same writers, the same perspectives and the same visual styles. A student newspaper should be representative of our community, and when we fail to meet this goal, it becomes an antiquated echo-chamber.
To breathe life back into the PioLog, I want to see students, staff and faculty engaging with us in ways they previously have not. Whether you think the PioLog is fine as it is or that it only reflects a niche portion of the student body the fact remains the same: The PioLog is not an accurate representation of the student body and it can only to be fixed with your help.
Lewis & Clark is a small school, so it is easy to think that news would travel quickly and we would all be in each other’s business. To some extent this is true: Certain events do travel through the grapevine. However, the pandemic really did a number on an already fairly introverted student body. I know that there are stories people want to see written, but due to a deficit of contributors, we can not get anybody to write them.
The PioLog, as all local papers, should act as a public forum for our community. We had 13 staff writers for the last issue. I would love to see our paper reflecting the issues, opinions and news of our school, but there is no way we can do that goal justice with how few people show up.
You might not consider yourself a writer or visual person. I can not stress this enough, but ability level is not an issue. We would love to showcase your work and give you edits.
The PioLog is not just about the content we produce. We have a website that needs managing. We have social media that needs to foster engagement. We have ad space that needs to be filled, and there are plenty of places that would love to partner with us.
Not only will your work be published, but taking visuals or stories for the PioLog gives you the opportunity to engage with parts of LC you were previously unaware of. This is a great opportunity to make connections with students and faculty from a wide array of majors and minors. This is your way to make inroads with administration and community members that could lead to much more than just an interview.
Writing for the PioLog benefits the student body as they will get to engage with alternative perspectives, but it also helps you. Any writing practice is good writing practice. There is no avoiding it. You are going to have to write something important later in life if you are not right now. Whether it is in academia, your job, a wedding speech or a funeral somewhere, you are going to be writing.
Get ready for this though, you do not have to write or contribute visuals to still be a vital asset to the PioLog and, in turn, your LC community. I know it sounds crazy but we have an email, email@example.com, you all have access to and we would love to hear what stories you wanted cooked up. We also have a website, piolog.com, and if an article really rubs you the wrong way, you can give us comments.
I like to think of the people who contribute to the PioLog as enjoyable people, and at the very least entertaining. Maybe you find out that truly the PioLog is not for you, but I really encourage you to try it out.
Take it for a test drive; contributing is a soft commitment and you can write as much or as little as you want. No matter what your opinions of the PioLog are, taking the time to engage with us will only make our school paper stronger, and through that, will strengthen our community.
Editorial Board Member