Editorial: Even with coronavirus shutdowns, The Whit won’t quit

A copy of The Whit sits on a stack of newspapers. - Editor-in-Chief / Miguel Martinez

While Rowan’s spring break has been extended another week, make no mistake: The Whit will continue to publish both online and in a physical print issue during that week.

This decision was made for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, The Whit staff believe that an emergency and a sense of community panic are exactly the time when quality truthful reporting is needed most. Making information easily accessible is the entire purpose of a newspaper. In order to fulfill our responsibility to our Rowan and Glassboro communities, we are dedicated to reporting the news that matters most to them.

Meanwhile, this decision was also made with the context that The Whit often serves as a historical record of Rowan University. While official documents are kept for the same purpose, The Whit can do what official records cannot do; it can amplify student voices, ask questions that administration may be ignoring and share the concerns of those who are most vulnerable.

When future students and faculty look back on how Rowan University handled the coronavirus outbreak, they will likely look to The Whit’s archives for readable and relevant news stories. The Whit thus has a further responsibility not just to the Rowan community of the present, but also to the Rowan community of the future.

Note that no one on staff is required or pressured to attend the on-campus publication meeting for this upcoming physical issue. This is to address and meet the practical needs of staff who live far from the campus or who have other extenuating circumstances. Thus, everyone who works on the next print issue will be there because they want to be there, because they can be there — and because they value the reasons stated above.

It’s worth considering, as well, whether the university will actually be safer than many students’ hometowns with so many people gone. Regardless, The Whit newsroom will be buzzing on that Wednesday, March 25, the way we always have.

If you have a coronavirus-related university shutdown story that you would like to share with The Whit, feel free to reach out at editor@thewhitonline.com. If you have been affected in any way from changes in travel, cancellation of plans, cancellation of events, changes in classroom procedure or any other facet of university life, sharing your experiences is the best way to raise awareness and help your needs get met.

As always, stay safe and healthy, Profs. Take care of yourselves.

For comments/questions about this story, email editor@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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