Alumni Voices: A reflection on The Lamron

Laura Vitto was the managing editor of The Lamron from 2012 to 2013

Almost two years after my Geneseo graduation, I still think of my time on The Lamron. On Tuesday nights I think of the current executive board, determining layouts and splitting up advertisements among the paper’s various sections.

On Wednesday nights I wonder how late the editor-in-chief and managing editor will stay in the office, finalizing Thursday’s issue.

And on Thursday nights, I think of the entire paper’s staff gathering in the mailroom and poring over the newest issue.

I also remember The Lamron throughout my workday at a general news and tech website where I blog about pop culture, food and lifestyle. Though much of what I blog about is fun and silly, I still use the newswriting and reporting skills I picked up in college often.

As a news writer—and later, as associate news editor—for The Lamron, I spent my Mondays and Tuesdays tracking down professors, school officials and even government officials, begging them for quick interviews. And thankfully, they almost always obliged. While I’d love to pretend that my polite email manner was their only reason for agreeing to an interview, it’s The Lamron’s excellent reputation (both on campus and in town) that convinced them.

I still remember my first newspaper interview at the start of my sophomore year in 2010. Distinguished teaching professor of English Gene Stelzig had written a book, and I was assigned a story on it. I nervously sat down in his office and furiously took notes, terrified of missing a key quote or screwing up important details. Ultimately, the article turned out well and I soon discovered the virtues of carrying a voice recorder along to all of my interviews. Years later, I can hardly imagine doing a planned interview without one.

After spending my sophomore and junior years writing for the news section, I made a leap to the position of managing editor. The night I was elected, I experienced a brief moment of excitement before the, “Oh shit, what have I done,” fear settled in.

In the following weeks, I trained under the outgoing managing editor, before taking over completely for the last issue of my junior year. I still remember leaving the office at 7 a.m. and walking home to change clothes before heading back to campus for an 8:15 a.m. humanities class. These late nights turned to early mornings, though absolutely exhausting, were hands down my favorite nights in Geneseo. There is no greater bonding experience than sharing vending machine snacks at 3 a.m.

When current editor-in-chief senior Chelsea Butkowski asked me to write this article for The Lamron’s special issue, I immediately said yes. There are a lot of things I regret about college (drinking Odesse vodka; losing expensive coats at the Inn Between Tavern), but writing for and eventually editing our newspaper isn’t one of them. It forced me to write something new every week, to continuously strive for more and to avoid sitting on the orange couch if it can be helped. Seriously, don’t sit on the orange couch.