Today: Apr 21, 2024

Writing because nobody listens: Goodbye Southern News

Sarah Shelton Photo Editor

I cannot believe I am finally graduating.

I remember my dad sitting at our kitchen table reading the Republican American Newspaper when I was in Kindergarten. Back then, I had dreams of being a teacher or an author, but even little me knew I’d never have the patience to write an entire book. 

I said something along the lines of “I want to write for the newspaper!” Who knew I would actually get here? Graduating with a Journalism degree. 

While I never knew what I wanted to do, and I have had many different ideas throughout the years, I somehow ended up falling in love with journalism. Whether I end up doing layout, copyediting, magazine or something else, I know I am in the right field. 

Throughout my time at Southern News, I have made a family. Sofia Rositani, Roma Rositani, Ali Fernand, Jaylen Carr, Morgan Douglas and more: you were there when I needed you the most. 

Working at the newspaper became very tough due to shortages in staff, my personal life and much criticism of our opinion and news pieces. My SNews family listened to me rant, helped me with articles, and even encouraged me when I hesitantly switched from the features editor to the photo editor position.  

While magazine is my passion, and I loved being Editor-in-Chief for Crescent magazine, coming into the newsroom every Monday to lay out this newspaper was truly a dream job. Finding stories, not getting responses, last-minute cancellations and the criticism, however, is a different story. 

From reporting on the Omega Zeta Pi sorority scandal in 2022 that was all over the news in Conn., to writing an opinion piece on how I was given a dorm with fleas and leaking ceilings, university staff tend to dislike us without looking at our positive stories. Such as my attempt to spread higher education funding awareness and telling students how to get mental health help at the university.  

I really do recommend reading my article “Senior year starts off with fleas and stitches – opinion” on https://thesouthernnews.org/ before choosing to live in North Midrise. Yes, I use humor to cope. 

I even received a mean comment on a heartbreak opinion article I wrote for students going through a toxic situation similar to one I was in. To encourage them that feelings are valid, it is okay to seek help and that they are amazing on their own.  

None of this ruined my passion as a reporter. I am open, I am caring and I am honest. I speak for others who cannot and I speak for myself when I am not being heard.  

I came into this university with a “stay out of the attention” mindset. While social anxiety does not go away and I hate drama, being at the newspaper taught me how to approach people and to speak up, especially about what I believe in.  

Thank you to my Crescent friends: Valeria and Malena Araujo, Hailey Roy, Ty Abdul-Shakoor and everyone else I have worked with on the magazine. I also want to thank my other journalism friends: Tyler Fisher and Bradley Robidoux. 

Thank you to Selena Gomez, my role model since I was 12 years old. I enjoyed covering her albums, songs and her documentary. And obviously, my family: Mom, Dad, Dan and Emily. Also my Mémère for reading our newspaper every week and teaching me about my French Canadian roots. Thank you for choosing New Haven County and not someplace like Florida because the news there is wild and I would not like to cover it. Seriously, look up “Florida News” when you are done reading this.

Finally, thank you to past adjunct professor Ashley Kus. She is the one who initially recommended me for Crescent magazine my freshman year which is how I got involved with Student Media in the first place.

Maybe one day I will write a fiction book, or even cover Florida. For now, I love sharing people’s stories, standing up for what I believe in, and covering music, shows, books and movies.

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