In the second week of September 2007, I walked into the Lamron office and shook the hand of one of my best friends for the first time.
His name is Matt Dubois, and he was the opinion editor when I was a freshman. The next week, my first column – a rant about censorship that doesn't actually exist – was published in the paper that has since become my home. The rest, as they say, is history.
It's been my very, very great pleasure to work so hard at this publication for so long. I've seen editors and writers, friends all of them, come and go for myriad reasons and now, with both great regret and excitement, it is my turn to leave.
I've been thinking a lot about the whole theory behind this ongoing project that we call a newspaper: What's the purpose of a student-funded tabloid published on wood pulp and delivered for free all over town and campus in this age of television and Internet media? Why should the Student Association fund something that so many "experts" have deemed outmoded and a dying institution?
Technical arguments in favor of a continued future for newspapers have been made by people smarter than I am, so I won't even bother. But there's something deeper at play here, something that television and the Internet can't ever hope to match, as much as they try: timelessness.
The other day I was poking through the archives that we keep in the office and I found the paper with my first opinion section in it, the first one that I edited and compiled and designed after I was elected section editor. I held it, felt the absolutely unique and irreplaceable sensation of rough newsprint on my fingers and said to myself, "This is mine."
The Lamron will always have a place in Geneseo, because it's mine. And it's yours. It belongs to everyone on this campus and in this town because it's all about us, a timeless record of everything that's great and everything that's terrible about Geneseo. It's an institution, an institution that is constantly changing but, at its heart, remains the same: "Geneseo's student newspaper since 1922."
I feel so deeply honored to have been afforded the opportunity to become an integral part of such an esteemed institution; when I started writing in 2007, I had no inkling that I'd spend two and a half years on the opinion section. I hope I've managed to make it fresh-to-death.
The experience of writing a weekly column has been one of the best I've ever had; it taught me organization, forced me to learn about parts of the world I'd never heard of and helped me to understand intricacies of politics in a way that I don't think could be taught in a classroom. It instilled in me a deep addiction to news (and cigarettes) and, most useful to the weekly writer, it taught me the fine art of bullshitting on the fly. We are editorialists and we can write about anything.
Most important, though, are the great friends I've been privileged to make over these years. We share a bond that I can't really explain but that I think can only be forged over cold pizza at 4 a.m. while staring at a computer screen and making sure that everything looks exactly right, down to the pica.
What it all comes down to is very simple: I love The Lamron and I am incredibly glad that such a thing exists and will continue to exist long into the future. I have nothing but the highest confidence in next year's staff, and I hope you'll join me in welcoming them and congratulating them on their achievements.