As commencement approaches, I think most seniors, if they’re not too busy writing a thesis, wish to reflect upon their time here at Boston College. With only a few weeks left in my academic career at BC, and the last issue of The Observer published and delivered, I want to share a few thoughts on my time writing for and working as Online Editor of The Observer at Boston College.
As a freshman I regularly read The Observer but never really thought about writing for it until the Editor-in-Chief, Michael Reer, a student I knew from Saint Thomas More Society and other groups, suggested I consider it. I took him up on his offer, and began writing for The Observer, and (at the editors’ request) working on building a new website, the fall of my sophomore year.
Like many writers at campus newspapers, I began writing by covering events and speakers on campus. Armed with a notebook and voice recorder, I took copious notes at lectures and mustered up the courage to cold-call faculty members, administrators, and students for quotations in each article.
As I became more serious as a journalist with The Observer I began to realize that there are certain people with whom you should speak at Boston College if you want to know the university’s position on a particular issue. The most important of these is Jack Dunn, Director of the Boston College Office of News and Public Affairs.
I want to thank Jack Dunn for offering his valuable time to sit down with me and discuss the important issues facing the university. He was never unwilling to talk about a particularly sensitive or controversial issue, and he was always available to offer a comment on a story. I appreciated his candidness and honesty, and his true love for the Boston College community.
As a senior, I had the opportunity this year to write more controversial stories. These included “BC Club Teaches Sex Ed in Boston Schools,” “Res Hall Features ‘Support Love’ Poster,” and “National Group Launches Protest Against BC Law.” I know some students have disagreed with the perspectives offered in these stories, but please know that they have always been written with a great love for Boston College, its students, and its Jesuit Catholic mission.
Of course, in addition to writing for The Observer, I have greatly enjoyed my time as Online Editor building and managing our website. The writers, editors, and section heads have really stepped up and joined in the effort to make our website the best news website on Boston College’s campus. There is much more to do, and I am confident that Ethan Mack, who will be succeeding me in this position next year, will be able to continue to build up this invaluable part of our publication.
I am forever grateful to so many men and women who made my time at Boston College, and at The Observer, so amazing. I want to thank Michael Reer, one of the best Editors The Observer has ever had and one of my best friends, for challenging me as a freshman to become involved with the paper and for providing inspiration and support during my time here. Thank you also to Jesse Naiman, Megan Rauch, and Allie Gallagher, the Editors-in-Chief who I served under over the last three years. And best of luck to Morgan Chalfant as she takes over this exciting position for the coming year.
Finally, I want to thank all of those people who I couldn’t fit in this article who have been inspirations to me while at The Observer. Editors, writers, administrators, students, alumni, friends, and family: your continued support and readership is greatly appreciated.
To our friends and donors: your continued support is what makes The Observer possible on campus. I know my “Senior Gift” will be going to The Observer this year and for many years to come, and I hope our readers, both in the BC community and beyond, will remember the important role we continue to hold here at Boston College.
The Observer is in a unique position to hold Boston College’s administration, faculty, and students accountable to transparency, honesty, and the Jesuit Catholic tradition.
In 1984 it was The Observer that challenged the faculty for self-identifying as more pro-abortion than pro-life. In 1989 it was The Observer that exposed abortion referrals at BC’s Health Services. In 2009 The Observer highlighted professors’ anger when the university dared to place crucifixes in the classroom. In spring 2010, UGBC and the ALC and GLC released line-item budgets only after pressure from The Observer. In the fall of 2010 when BC Law defended a link to an abortion clinic on its website, it was the article in The Observer that prompted them to remove that page.
To love Boston College means to take it seriously and hold it accountable to its values. I hope that The Observer continues to be a catalyst for positive change at Boston College as the university strives to be the best Catholic institution possible.
To conclude, and to offer some advice to current and future writers, I wish to quote one of the early mottos of this paper:
Neminem Recte Faciendo Timeas.
Boston College A&S 2012