Because of the pandemic, many people have taken steps to ensure the safety of themselves and the people around them. The Rowan community is no exception. Classes — for the most part — have been held online when possible, events are being hosted virtually and the majority of students wear their masks around campus.
As far as student activities and clubs go, many have opted for virtual meetings or have decided to wait it out until in-person meetings are a viable option. For most groups, this is fine. A hypothetical club with interests in writing utensils — though it may bring great joy to those who are members — isn’t a necessity for campus life. It would make it through a semester of virtually held meetings, or even none at all.
However, “The Whit” is a vital part of Rowan’s community and we don’t have this luxury. The news never stops, and we as journalists must keep up with the constant news cycle. It is our duty to students, faculty and staff to report what happens on campus and in our community as long as there is news to report.
During any other semester, “The Whit” would meet on a weekly basis to plan for upcoming editions, troubleshoot problems and create our print pages for circulation the following morning. The essence of our meetings hasn’t changed: we still talk about the usual topics we would talk about any other year — and we still need to lay out our pages.
The struggle for us comes with the method of meeting. Due to pandemic-related restrictions, we don’t have access to our office and computers in the Ric Edelman CCCA building on High Street. Without these, we didn’t have access to the files used for creating the print pages, and we had to figure out how to access the programs used for this in the Adobe Suite.
Luckily, with some creativity and tenacity, we were able to access Adobe Suite and create our files from scratch in time for our first issue last week. We were also able to meet in the library — with our masks on, of course — to help each other along with the page creation process, as several of our editors are new and are unfamiliar with the Adobe programs we use.
This week, we have decided to hold our meeting virtually, which presents us with a new challenge of not being able to quickly and easily check the progress of all the editors and to help when needed. But this added obstacle still won’t be enough to stop “The Whit” in its news-sharing endeavors.
We will continue to seek out stories to share with the community, even if that means we have to put all the more effort into finding and reporting on them. This is just part of being journalists. And as the one and only independent student newspaper at Rowan, we will proudly continue our work to be a source of information for our community.
Though this semester brings our publication new challenges to overcome, there are ways you can help us share as much news as possible. Know of an event we might not have heard about? Know someone who should be featured for something noteworthy they do? Let us know! Even better yet, if you’d like to join our team of writers or photographers, we would love to have you. Having writers with different perspectives and who are part of various niches of the Rowan community is the best way for us to diversify our news, especially in times like these.
“The Whit” holds meetings either in person or via Zoom every Wednesday at 5 p.m. Contact the email below if you are interested.
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