As I finish my fourth year on Rank & File and second year as Editor in Chief, I find myself reflecting on when I began journalism in my freshman year. As a transfer student, I knew very few people in the community. I was nervous, not to mention unsure of my skills and what exactly a field like journalism demanded. I observed, I practiced, and when my editors offered me an editor position at the end of that first year, I felt for the first time that I was truly working toward something important.
Flash forward to the present, and I’ve dedicated my time in leadership to not only trying to maintain the level of quality set by my predecessors, but introducing new concepts for coverage and style in an effort to keep Rank & File modern. As the days until the final print cycle dwindled though, my attention began to turn toward the future. Rank & File gave so much to me. It gave me a welcoming environment to practice my skills in writing, design, and photography. It gave me some of my closest friends and most memorable experiences. I wanted to make sure that environment remained available to people who felt like me that first year: nervous yet excited to learn and develop. Thus, my final goal as an editor was to set up the leadership system in a manner that would allow my successors to continue Rank & File’s mantra of quality reporting and its reputation as a positive environment to develop individual identity.
I can say with full confidence that the new leadership for the next volume will carry on this legacy. Though some of them have only a year’s experience, all of them have shown a marked understanding of the amount of effort Rank & File demands and the welcoming environment it should represent. I am especially proud of my immediate successor as Editor-in-Chief, Gwyneth Murphy. Over the three years I have worked with her, she has not only deeply impressed me with her work ethic and writing skills, but has also inspired me with her wisdom and kindness to try and be the best sort of leader I could be. I wholeheartedly believe the publication will flourish under her leadership.
This newspaper’s potential has always stemmed directly from the people who contribute to it. It is the sum of its parts, a product of the cooperation of numerous exceptional individuals dedicated to the continued accessibility of information. I am extremely thankful for the wonderful people I had the pleasure of growing and working with through these past four years and I look forward to following Rank & File as it continues to evolve alongside its membership.