Heartfelt goodbye from current editor-in-chief

Photo of Venus
Courtesy of Devon Freeman

As graduation looms closer, Venus Edlin reflects on time at Lewis & Clark, The Mossy Log newspaper

Four long years at Lewis & Clark are coming to a close. Through it all, The Mossy Log has been one of my main constants.

In my college search, it was imperative that everywhere I applied had a newspaper, if not their own journalism department. Since working on my high school newspaper, The Bear Witness, and becoming the editor-in-chief my senior year, I had dreamed of a professional career in journalism. This is still my dream and I anticipate going into the field post-graduation. 

Suffice to say, I knew from the beginning that The Mossy Log would play a part of my collegiate journey, though when I started here, it was called The Pioneer Log. In fact, I have been through many changes of this paper, which is now in its 80th year and 100th volume.

As a first year, I started regularly contributing ever since the first issue of my first fall on campus. I became well acquainted with the editors, including former Editor-in-Chief Hanna Merzbach. When editor applications opened up for Spring 2020, I was eager to apply — though I did not initially get an editor position.

However, I knew I would be a damn good fit so I continued contributing, waiting for another opportunity to open up. Shortly after, it did. On March 9, 2020 I was offered the position of news Editor, mere days before those on campus were sent home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. My first issue as an editor was the Coronavirus special edition, which was released on March 20, 2020.

The following year, I served as news editor for an additional two semesters under former Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Nerli. This was a turbulent time, as COVID restrictions were varied and disaster after disaster affected the paper. However, I pushed through and applied for managing editor for the following year. It was a tight election, and I lost to my competitor by a margin of one vote.

Again, I remained persistent because I knew that I was good at what I do, even though I knew many people underestimated me because of my neurodivergence and transness. Under the leadership of Ihsaan Mohamed, I became a very involved copy chief, who proved themself by taking on additional responsibilities. My peers saw this dedication, as well as my expertise, professionalism, talent and persistence. 

Finally, in an election that was not without drama, I was elected editor-in-chief. I have spent the past year in this role working hard and, of course, facing many challenges. However, I am proud of my work. During my tenure, The Mossy Log changed its name, dramatically increased its social media presence, continued to uphold its journalistic standards of excellence and broke some of the biggest stories in the college’s history.

After graduating, some of my most important and fondest memories will be associated with this newspaper. I have learned so much about this institution — for better and worse — through my journalistic pursuits. I will also forever cherish the late nights designing the paper with those who share the same passion.

Most importantly, The Mossy Log has been a personal test of persistence and a pivotal example of the success that will bring. Given my position in this society, I know I will need to continue embodying this trait in order to have the kind of life I believe I deserve, as well as bettering the lives of others.

Thank you to Ihsaan, Nic and Hanna who served as my editors-in-chief; and to Lexie Boren, Jacob Muscarella and Isabel Rekow who were my section co-editors. To Amelia Doyle and Noah Reese-Clauson, thank you for supporting me as my managing editors and ensuring that The Mossy Log continues. Not to mention, Molly Robinson who has served as the number one supporter of The Mossy Log and the best faculty advisor we could ask for.

Thank you to my partner of nearly three years Negasi Brown for your ever present support and love. Thank you to your family who has taken me in as their own. 

Thank you to Access Services at Aubrey R. Watzek Library, especially Robin Anderson, Tallie Bocci, Jenny Bornstein and Jen Jacobs. Many professors have also had a strong impact during my time here: Heather Ashley Hayes, Melanie Kohnen, Kundai Chirindo, Susan Davis, Eric Nordstrom, Therese Augst, Rebecca Lingafelter and Štĕpán Šimek. 

To anyone else in the community, whether we were close friends, classmates, co-workers or readers of my articles — thank you for playing a role in my time at LC.

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