Student-run media provides more fulfilling experience at Geneseo

After four years, almost 175 articles and countless sleepless nights, this issue of The Lamron is my last. If there’s one thing I learned from that all-too-brief time, it’s how important the mission of student-run media can be. 

The Lamron was founded in 1922 as a monthly four-page newspaper in an age when 90% of students went on to become teachers and 99% came from the surrounding counties. Now it, and us, exist at a time where Geneseo offers every sort of liberal art and science degree (except studio art or computer science) and it’s easy to find people not only from downstate, but from across the globe. 

The idea of a newspaper that explicitly exists with student interests in mind predates the college as students today know it. Its staying power shows how important the idea is. 

Yet, students tend to sit back and let others take up the mantle of representing their voices. All too few students pursue formal opportunities to join organizations like The Lamron, WGSU, HerCampus or informal opportunities through speaking up at Student Association meetings or at student-oriented forums. 

Even on Geneseo’s tailor-made outlet for the student voice—GeneseoSpeaks—the most popular petition boasts only 358 signatures. Either there’s nothing that more than 10% of students can agree on or 90% haven’t bothered to pay attention. 

Although there may not be an easy solution to an overly argumentative student body, student media can help an overly apathetic one. 

Student media allows students to understand the college and the opportunities it offers. By declining to engage with them, you lose out on chances to maximize your own self-exploration while at Geneseo.  

When I joined The Lamron, I was entering the first weeks of my first year, with no practical knowledge about Geneseo or how to produce a newspaper. I walk away from it maybe too experienced in solving problems with faulty Adobe InDesign files or fielding unsolicited reader critiques, but I also walk away as a more well-rounded liberal arts student. 

The Lamron let me talk to hundreds of people over my time here about everything from changing food prices at Fusion Market to the college administration’s revolving door. I explored these topics by listening to different perspectives and I came away with an extra piece of the Geneseo puzzle. 

I also came away from The Lamron knowing more about myself. I could write creatively in different formats, from news coverage to opinion pieces, and on varied topics, from basketball recaps to book reviews. As a reader of the paper, I could see unique perspectives on what to do with a predatory professor at one moment before turning the page to read a beautiful recount of a concert or a riveting recap of a Geneseo comeback over an athletic rival. 

There are only so many moments where students—weighed down with boring books and party plans—can really see outside their own Geneseo experience. Opening a newspaper (or joining one) can make that Geneseo experience all the more expansive. 

Of course, the same could be said for Geneseo’s student-operated radio station, WGSU, its chapter of HerCampus or even the now-defunct Geneseo Student Television station. 

As my Geneseo sun sets and I reflect on my gratitude for The Lamron, I hope readers realize how easy broadening your own horizon can be. Read an article, find student media on Facebook or come to a meeting. Don’t just let others speak for you when you can speak for yourself.