I have served as The Torch’s Editor in Chief for the past three semesters. Through this time, I have learned more about not just journalism, but about Wittenberg and life, in general. I have learned how to be patient, how to lead, and how to stand tall in times of conflict.
In my last issue as Editor, I wanted to take the time to be on the other side of the writing process, and share with you what I have found to be important through my years at Witt and as Editor in Chief of this paper.
The first – and most significant – thing I have learned is that the truth is difficult. The truth can be messy and complex and uncomfortable. The truth has the power to make people fearful or devastated or completely alone. However, nothing is more important than uncovering the truth.
By seeking truth, you seek the ability to grow. With the messy unearthing of the truth, you set free an opportunity: an opportunity to step foot into the future armed with an invaluable weapon at your side.
That is why I have spent the last year and a half at the helm of this 100-year-old paper: to seek the truth. I do so not because I want Wittenberg to fail. I do so because I see the untapped power in the truth. I do so because I never want Wittenberg to become stagnant. I do so because I want to push Wittenberg, and all aspects of its community, to be greater, stronger, and more influential than it ever has before.
When we enter Wittenberg as naive and trembling freshman, we constantly seek a place into where we fit. We try on new identities through membership in clubs and fraternities and sororities. We picture ourselves as anthropologists or psychiatrists or lawyers when we leave. We look at ourselves in the mirror that is our Wittenberg and wonder who we should be.
I leave Wittenberg confident in who I am and how I have spent my years at this institution. I know that I have found a hole at Wittenberg in the size of myself and filled it with my time, and efforts, and passion. I have taken on leadership roles and responsibilities that have bettered my student organizations, my sorority, and my academics.
But the most important role I have fulfilled while here is the one that concludes today. I do not mean to sound narcissistic when I say this; I only mean to explain to you why I have done this job for so long and why I have worked so hard. I have pushed through hours of work, formed a few enemies, and responded to endless angry emails because I truly believe the work I am doing is the best way I can help Wittenberg.
I chose to spend four of the most meaningful years of my life at Wittenberg University, and I chose to serve as Editor in Chief because I believe it was the best way I could give back to this school. I hope that every Wednesday, something in this paper is read by someone who is ready for change. I hope that with each new publication, someone is inspired to embrace our tradition and propel our school towards progress. I hope that each time my name is on the masthead of The Torch, someone sees how much I truly do love Wittenberg.
So my question to you is: what do you do for Wittenberg? Do you, like me, want our school to become better today than it was yesterday? Do you yearn for change that benefits all aspects of this campus? Do you want to look at this school in 50 years and be proud of the progress it has made?
If you do, then my message for you is to seek the truth. Release the truth from its muddled hiding spot and let it into our world, our community, and our campus. Do it for the betterment of this wonderful place we call our home.
Do not be afraid.