Illustration by Elisabetta Paiano / Production Editor

I never actually applied to be the Arts and Culture Reporter, I got here mostly by accident. I applied to a few other positions on staff, but when I got a phone call from our Editor-in-Chief on a windy summer day to offer me a job, it was for A&C Reporter. I didn’t even know it was a paid position for another month. 

McMaster isn’t my first school, I went to Western for two and a half years before coming here. In my first year at Mac I didn’t know very much about the school, and to be honest I still don’t know where Thode is and at this point I’m too afraid to ask. But the Silhouette gave me a home on campus (our little office in the dungeons of the MUSC basement, untouched by natural light), and a group of friends that I didn’t have before. It made me feel like I was a part of a family, and a part of campus. 

As Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” 

One of the best parts of working at the Silhouette is being able to give a platform to community events and organizations that matter to me. I’ve had the privilege to write about sustainable fashion, body positivity, local businesses and charitable organizations in addition to exciting arts initiatives. I was gone from Hamilton for a few years, and the Sil helped me to see my hometown in a fresh light. My magnum opus is my article on a local meme page The Hammer Memer. Don’t let your memes be dreams, folks. If there’s something happening in the arts community in Hamilton, don’t hesitate to contribute something to the Sil. It’s worth it. 

I’ve also had the opportunity to write for other sections of the Silhouette. Being able to give voice to my thoughts about the Yellow Vests outside of City Hall was something vitally important to me, and the Sil let me do that. If I hadn’t been a part of the team I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to submit something, but I’m so glad I did.

As I sit at my desk at home, I feel a deep sense of loss. This is my final year at Mac, and I don’t think I’ve entirely processed that it’s over now. I can’t chill on the couches in the office and ask Hannah when the desks for the reporters are going to be built (spoiler alert folks: it didn’t happen). I can’t warm up my lunch in the microwave that can’t be used at the same time as the kettle without blowing a fuse. I can’t chat with my friends about the latest tea while munching on the chicken strips from La Piazza. It feels like just as I was settling in everything ended.

In grade 12 English I read the book Stone Angel, which ends mid-way through a sentence. That’s how these past few weeks have felt for me; like an unfinished ending. It’s unsettling and unsatisfying, and I think we’re all feeling that way. Zoom calls are fine, but they’re not the same as sitting in your final few lectures and talking to your friends over coffee. 

It feels wrong to mourn for this when there are people who have it much worse than me right now, but undergrad has been a long and complicated process for me, and I can’t help but feel sad that our end of year festivities have been postponed or cancelled. This is it, this is our last issue for the year, and we can’t have a last hurrah. Oh jeez, I’m crying a bit just thinking about it.

So here it is, my love letter to the Sil. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this wild ride. Maybe this isn’t an ending, but a beginning. At least I can use the Oxford Comma again, thank the lord. Thank you to everyone on the team for being so kind, and thank you to everyone reading this for getting through to the end of my sentimental ramble. This isn’t a goodbye, just an until next time.

 

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Photo by Cindy Cui / Photo Editor

Supercrawl is an explosion of creativity, bringing the arts to life for three days every September. With thousands of visitors amongst live music, food vendors calling out orders, and animated art installations, the commotion can be overwhelming. The Author’s Tent provided a haven away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd. The setup was simple; ten chairs, a microphone and a table piled high with books beneath an open tent. The lights inside made it feel intimate and inviting while still giving passersby the opportunity to stay and listen to stories. Here are a few summaries of events that were offered at the tent:

 

Terrifying reads

The first reading was on the evening of Friday the 13. The moon was almost full and the sky threatened rain. A cool breeze drifted through the tent, enough to make someone’s hair stand on end. It was soon to be a dark and stormy night. This reading featured works — both published and unpublished — from authors Nathan Ripley, C.S. O’Cinneide and David Nickle. Topics ranged from mass shootings and haunted pilgrimages to gin-craving ghosts. Gasps and laughter drifted onto the street and drew a crowd of listeners. Nightmares were promised and delivered. 

 

Writing the city

Saturday afternoon brought about a discussion of writing in Hamilton. The panel included Ryan McGreal, editor of Raise the Hammer, and Taien Ng-Chan, a founding member of the Hamilton Perambulatory Unit as well as a professor at York University. The panel was moderated by Noelle Allen, a publisher at Wolsak and Wynn (280 James Street N.). The panel spoke to the idea of rediscovering Hamilton  — seeing something familiar as if it were for the first time. The panel encouraged listeners to take time to notice the city while walking through it. For instance, they suggested that visitors try walking through Jackson Square along where streets used to be. 

 

Women on the poetry mic

Saturday evening featured poets Natalee Caple, Jaclyn Desforges and Julie McIsaac. Both song and spoken word filtered out into the square. A large crowd gathered around the tent and snapping fingers rang out into the night. The poems touched on motherhood and womanhood, amongst other things. Desforges featured a poem from her book, ‘Hello Nice Man’, provoking thought across the audience. ‘Enlightened Witness’, one of Desforges poems, asks the question: “If a man shouts in the forest and there’s no one to hear, who will help him process his emotions?” Poems such as ‘Enlightened Witness’ allowed for a night of tears,  a few of which were from laughter.

Epic Books (226 Locke Street S.) had a table set up with books from every writer at the event. If you missed out on the Author’s Tent event, you can pick one up there.

Overall, the Authors’ Tent was both welcoming and a welcome respite from the noise of Supercrawl. The focus on local writers and local stories made it feel like coming home. It is my personal hope that this event returns next year and every year after that, so it can continue to share insight with Hamiltonians.

 

Photos by Catherine Goce

This time last year, I was contemplating what my future in the sports industry would look like. I had just wrapped up my first year as the Silhouette’s sports reporter and though I gained a ton of valuable skills and experiences, I was really unsure if I wanted to continue as a sports writer.

Though despite my doubts, I saw the doors that opened for me through this job and I decided to give it another shot in my final year.

I took on this role because I knew that if I wanted to find a job in the sports industry, everything that I did outside the classroom would matter the most. Being a multimedia and communications student at McMaster has taught me a lot of the skills I need, but the practical aspects of the sports industry one can get at programs at Ryerson University or Brock University are not offered here.

So along with writing for The Silhouette I took on four major sports-related extracurriculars. From running women’s football on campus, to helping the men’s basketball team figure out their social media presence, I tried to get as much experience as I could.

This, along with my previous internship experience, allowed me to figure out what exactly I had a passion for. I knew that I could write, I had two articles every week for the last two years to prove it, but I also knew that it was not something I was passionate enough about.

Running women’s football gave me a chance to work out my organizational and operational skills. A major part of the sports industry is game operations. Although it is a bit different to what I am used to as a comms and media student, I have always had an interest in planning and carrying out projects.

This role had me overseeing over 150 students, both student-coaches and players, and organizing tournaments; it was no easy task. In my frustration I quickly came to realize although I once had an interest in sports operation, it was not something I envisioned myself doing long-term.

It was not until I was working with the McMaster men’s basketball team creating creative content that I discovered what I was truly passionate about. It combined the media skills I learned in class, my personal interests and my sports media knowledge.

Giving a team who struggled on the court an online presence that did not just reflect their losses was a fun challenge. We immediately saw the positive feedback in an increase in followers and activity.

Now that I figured out my passion, it all began to seem so simple. Apply to social media positions for different sport teams in organizations? I can do that no problem. Although it was not enough.

Part of looking for a job, especially in the sports industry, is through networking. This is something I have always struggled with, so it was something I challenged myself to do this year. I first met with Camille Wallace, digital media specialist for Team Canada, who reminded me how my job as sports reporter already helps me to build these networks.

As I had started the year before, I continued to interview alumni who work in the sports industry and found a mentor in Vanessa Matyas, Marketing and Media Manager at NFL Canada.

NFL Canada’s Marketing & Media Manager Vanessa Matyas on her journey from McMaster to her dream job, and how hard work and perseverance led her there. https://t.co/TiBu0xd8kq pic.twitter.com/Ln8gt6wVRd

— The Silhouette (@theSilhouette) March 11, 2019

 

Through her advice and help, I have been able to fix up the resume I used to see no flaws in, and even land myself my first dream job interview. Unfortunately for me, due to still being in school, I was unable to move forward in the interview process.

But with positive interview feedback under my belt, I am now ready to take on the job search by storm. I know it will not be easy, but I have been, and I am ready to work hard and use what I learned while at Mac in and out the classroom.

When I look back at the beginning of my journey four years ago, I never would have thought that I would be here today. Although I do not have it all completely figured out, leaving Mac with a sense of what my purpose is something I am grateful for.

As senior year comes to an end, I am extremely grateful that despite my doubts, I gave writing with the Sil another chance. Even though there were many times I felt like I was in over my head, I could not have imagined my senior year any other way.

 

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By: Elizabeth DiEmanuele

The Student Success Centre is pleased to launch the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network (UPTN), a new network for students to access affordable, quality student tutors, both in-person and online. The platform is powered by TutorOcean, a relatively new start-up company that was selected in partnership with the McMaster Engineering Society. Differing from other academic services available, this network is a chance to connect with another student who successfully completed the course; tutors must have received an A- to provide services.

“Through the Student Life Enhancement Fund, all McMaster undergraduate students who access the network receive a subsidy for the first seven sessions, meaning they only pay $9 per hour,” says Jenna Storey, Academic Skills Program Coordinator for the Student Success Centre. “Tutors are available from all Faculties and an important part of this service.”

Gina Robinson, Director of the Student Success Centre, adds, “Providing quality and affordable tutoring is an important objective of this initiative. Finding sustainable funding for subsidy will need to be part the plan moving forward.”

Understanding that there are a number of gatekeeping courses (mandatory courses for students to complete their degree), the Student Success Centre continues to work with Faculties to ensure that these courses are available on the network. The Student Success Centre has also incorporated measures to ensure that tutors are well-prepared, offering a number of different sessions for tutors to become “McMaster Certified.”

As Jenna shares, “Students are encouraged to find a tutor who has a ‘McMaster Certified’ badge on their profile, indicating they have completed the tutor training session in accordance with best practices. This training focuses on running an effective session, ethical standards, and communication skills.”

The Undergrad Writing Centre continues to be another support available for students, and can be used at any stage of the writing process. All Writing Tutors have undergone training through the Student Success Centre, which has been externally recognized by the College Reading and Learning Association (CLRA).

Students can book up to ten appointments per semester for free. This semester, new drop-in writing support is also available Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Undergrad Writing Centre is located in the Learning Commons on the second floor of Mills Library.

Jill McMillan, Academic Skills Program Coordinator of the Student Success Centre, shares, “Writing remains is a key academic and life skill requirement. We are thrilled to have received certification recognition that demonstrates the quality of this peer based service. Students are supported in meeting their writing potential.”

Students looking for quick study tips and other academic support can connect with Academic Coaches, located in the SSC Lounge as well as in the Learning Commons on the second floor of Mills Library every Monday-Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

Learn more about the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network here.

Learn more about the Undergrad Writing Centre here.

 

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This is a shameless self-promotion. You should write for me. Seriously. I’m a nice enough editor and I’ll be eternally grateful if you choose to write. But beyond doing me a favour, writing for the opinions section can be an extremely rewarding experience.

For one, writing an opinion piece is a lot different than simply stating your opinions aloud. When you write an opinion piece, you are forced to confront your own assumptions and really delve into why you hold the opinions that you do. This can lead to the strengthening or even complete change of beliefs. At the very least, writing an opinion piece will force you to understand the nuances of your opinion.

You’ll also have to argue effectively, or at least learn how. No one will agree with your opinions, even important ones, if they are not well-substantiated and well-written. Thus, writing for the opinions sections provides the unique opportunity to format your opinions in a formal and argumentative way that is meant to convince others of your stance. Not only will this help persuade others to think similarly but the ability to effectively communicate your thoughts and beliefs is an essential skill for almost all professions.

Speaking of professions, writing for the opinions section is a fantastic opportunity for students for a multitude of reasons. You’ll inevitably become a stronger writer, an important skill in today’s job market. When you write for the opinions section, your piece will likely go through several rounds of editing before being accepted. You will essentially receive feedback on how to become a better writer, something that is difficult to obtain outside of classroom assessments that have the risk of grades attached. If all goes well, you’ll also be published, which is an incentive in itself.

Writing for the opinions section also allows you to make your voice heard. Do you think that our opinions section focuses too much on certain issues and not enough on others of equal or greater importance? Do you disagree with some or all of the opinions that are published? Are you tired of reading opinions from the same person each week?

These are all valid criticisms but they don’t mean very much without any action. Sure, you can post a lengthy Facebook comment, detailing how much you hate The Silhouette’s opinion section and disagree with all our published articles. But that comment probably won’t reach a wide audience. The only way to actually make a change is by writing opinion articles yourself. Disagree with something we wrote? Write a counter-piece. So long as whatever you write falls within our guidelines, it’ll undergo the same scrutiny and revision process that all other articles are put through.

University is the perfect time to form new opinions. Now is your chance to refine and make these opinions known. If you ever have an idea for an opinion piece, please send me an email at opinions@thesil.ca.

 

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Graphic by Razan Samara

By: Kian Yousefi Kousha

As one word finds itself next to another, the ideas in our mind begin to fill pages. These words have the ability to further our imagination and change our lives. Whether conveyed through the dystopian world created by George Orwell or the sentimental spirits of L. M. Montgomery’s characters, words are powerful and writing freely is an indispensable tool.

The concept of free writing has found its way to McMaster University through a new mandatory writing course; Voice and Vision: Words to Change the World, or Humanities 1VV3. The course is offered in the fall and taught by professor Jeffery Donaldson.

The main purpose of the course is to refine students’ thinking, problem-solving skills and most importantly, improve their writing by providing students with writing opportunities they may not have had before.

While the course addresses the expectations for writing in the faculty of humanities and prepares first year students for their undergraduate education, Donaldson hopes that the course will also address the misgivings students’ may have about their own writing.

“One of my main focuses in the course was to find a way of helping students not to think of writing as an onerous activity that they don’t enjoy [or a] writing style that is not natural to them ... I wanted to find a way of organizing a course that would actually be a celebration of the creative energy that is a part of every student’s identity. At that age, they are full of ideas and verbal energy,” explained Donaldson.

The course is taking another approach to writing at the university level by simultaneously celebrating students’ own creativity and preparing them for formal writing in the humanities program. In fact, the core of the course is a free writing assignment where students are asked to write 30 pages of prose on their own topic of choice, without any specifications.

“Our expectation is that [writing 30 pages] is more writing than any of them has ever done. They are getting used to generating prose without any sense that they have to write in any particular way and our goal was to show them that the more writing you do, the more natural your writing becomes,” explained Donaldson.

Throughout the semester, Donaldson saw improvements in the students’ writing. The final 10 pages of the free writing assignment was a major indication of students’ overall growth over time. Donaldson also approached the course by representing writing as a thinking tool for students.

Nader Nagy, one of the students who was enrolled in Humanities 1VV3 this past fall semester, witnessed improvements in his writing. This improvement was attributed to Donaldson’s teaching and approach towards writing through the course’s exercises.

“I want [students] to think of writing as something that is always going on in your mind and you release that and then gradually, as you learn to work with your writing, you adapt it to these [formal writing] constraints,” said Donaldson.

For example, students are encouraged to use first person pronouns as they make their own arguments, which is an opportunity that is considered counterintuitive for formal writing in other courses.

John Stultz believes that the mandatory course taught him and other students how to properly convey themselves by focusing first on learning how to organize and communicate ideas coherently.

Sarah Woodburn considers her experience with the course as a method to ease the path of first year students into essay writing, without enduring the pressure of formal writing.

“It is definitely a new way and a fresh way of looking at English as well as essay writing in a different light that allows students a little more freedom in terms of their writing,” said Woodburn.

Donaldson is looking forward to tracking students’ progress in their four years of undergraduate studies in humanities. He hopes to observe changes in their quality of writing as an aftereffect of taking Humanities 1VV3. ​

While it will be interesting to observe the long term effects on students’ writing, for now the accounts of individuals involved in the course speak to its unique position within the faculty of humanities. The course focuses on reinventing students’ experiences with writing and giving power back to the students’ voices and visions through words.

 

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Early on in my undergrad, one of my favourite professors told me that the best thing that you could do for your future self is to have published works under your belt.

Sure, he was talking to a class of communication studies undergraduates and sure, having any kind of writing experience in the communications industry is a major asset. However, I believe more than anything else that this holds true to just about everyone.

As a student with a million things on the go, the last thing that anyone is able to think about is spending time writing a piece to be published. I get that. When you’re juggling between assignments, midterms and paid work, you’re spread entirely too thin. There are barely enough hours in a day to do the work that you’re responsible for.

There are many other reasons that you can use for not making the jump. It can be daunting to share a story that you’re passionate about with your peers, let alone sharing it with such a large audience. It can also be intimidating to join a new network of people who are already established.

There are so more many reasons to put yourself out there, however.

Getting work published not only links you to an organization, but it also builds your network, broadens your reach and enables you to connect with a pretty significant range of people. Once you have a piece in your name, you have an edge on other candidates for jobs, volunteer opportunities and have a stronger pool of individuals to network with.

If that scares you, don’t sweat it. When I first started writing for a publication, I would be so nervous to send my piece out for editing with the thought that any criticism would mean that I’m not a good writer. When my piece would be published, I would turn my phone off so that I wouldn’t be able to see any bit of critique.

Over time, I learned that criticism is crucial to becoming a better writer and since then, I’ve been able to leverage myself with my experiences contributing to different publications to become a better-rounded individual.

One of the easiest ways to get your name out there is to contribute to your campus media organization. If you have a story to share, a piece you want to investigate further or even something you want to bring attention to on or around campus, connect with us. The Silhouette is always looking for volunteers.

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In October of my third year at McMaster, I was sort of lost as I entered the second half of my degree. The inevitable end of my degree began to loom large over many of my conversations. Family and friends, either out of genuine interest or idle conversation over the holidays, would inevitably attempt to discuss my post-degree plans with me.

At the suggestion of a close friend and encouragement from my family, I decided to get over any anxiety over my future and take steps into getting some experience that could resemble some sort of future career choice. The next week, I walked into the Silhouette office in the basement of the student centre and finally stepped out of my comfort zone.

Since that day, after countless articles, sports covered, athletes interviewed and friendships forged that I will cherish forever, I can truly say I have loved my time here. And I can owe that — at least in part — to sports.

As someone who has been obsessed with sports since my childhood, I have met many people who do not share in my obsession. Whether they were never exposed to sports growing up or just never found them interesting, a lot of people would not understand my love for watching millionaires play an arguably meaningless game.

But that’s totally missing the point. Sport is much more than goals scored in a season, triple-double records and debates over the best football player of all time. It is a chance to see thousands of people gathered together in a stadium to cheer for the same thing, or a family huddle around a portable black and white TV at a birthday party.

Not to mention the countless Saturday nights begging to stay up for the third period. It is a phenomenon that is truly unmatched in my eyes and has always played a significant part in my life.

Covering sports married my loves for reading, writing and sports perfectly. Contributing to the sports section then eventually stepping into the Sports Editor role this past school year has never truly felt like work.

In the 2016-2017 season, I went to nearly every men’s basketball game in Burridge. In that time, I gained a new appreciation for Ontario University Athletics basketball, and came face-to-face with what I have been hearing hopeful Canadian sports writers say for years: Canadian basketball is on the rise.

That same year, I got a chance to cover a couple of important football games as the team made a push into the later stages of the OUA playoffs. I had the opportunity to interview the coach and players in the hallways next to the team’s dressing room — a lot like every post-game scrum I have seen on TV.

I have since lost count how many times I have interviewed athletes and coaches in either post-game moments like that or at a wobbly table in the David Braley Athletic Centre. Yet, I still get that anxious feeling every time. While this feeling is less intense than in the past as I have gotten better at dealing with it, it has never fully gone away.

That stomach-turning anxiety is really now just excitement from getting to cover sports and continuing to share the stories of athletes that go beyond the box score.

 

Justin Parker
Sports Editor
The Silhouette

However, the only way for me to deal with that anxiety is to continue to put myself out there. And covering sports constantly makes me do that. Reaching out to new people, meeting with them and then writing an article a number of people will read is all part of the job.

Covering the Marauders these past two years has helped me not live my life in the stands, no longer watching everything pass by (and no, it is not not lost on me that I do watch and cover games from the stands). I have personally seen and heard of the many ways in which sports has helped people achieve a healthier state of mental health. Covering sports has actually done the same for me.

Thinking back to my first day of being involved with the Silhouette, walking back and forth in front of that off-putting, long entrance, I am really glad I went in. That stomach-turning anxiety is really now just excitement from getting to cover sports and continuing to share the stories of athletes that go beyond the box score.

From football to badminton, volleyball to cheerleading, there are countless athletes whose stories deserve to be heard — and I am proud that I can help share them.

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Deep breath in, deep breath out” were the words I told myself as I approached the press box to cover my first game as a Sports Reporter for the Silhouette. It was the McMaster men’s football team’s 2017 pre-season game against the Saskatchewan Huskies, and as I tried desperately to blend behind my editor, I stood out. Black skin, big hair and the only woman in the room? In the sports industry, I attract attention to myself no matter what I do.

Despite my discomfort, I knew I was there for a reason. So I shut out my thoughts, buckled down and focused on the action so I could write my first piece.

Don’t bother looking for that article because it does not exist. Although I pride myself on my writing, writing for sports was new to me — I felt like I had no idea what I was doing and it showed. I grew up playing sports, but I was by no means a sports expert. After some much-needed guidance from my Sports Editor, I tried again

As the McMaster men’s soccer team geared up to play against one of their biggest rivals, the York Lions, I geared up to cover their match for my official first article. In preparation for this, I searched up examples of good soccer articles. It did not take long to discover that game coverage was not something I had any interest in reading, let alone writing. But the story behind a player’s rise to success, a coach’s first championship, or why a fan used their Make a Wish Foundation wish to meet their favourite athlete, were the stories I wanted to tell.

So for the remainder of the year, that is what I tried to do. I shared stories of the club teams who worked just as hard as the varsity teams with less than half the amount of funding. I wrote about the importance of family in sports, both on and off the field. I helped athletes publish their experiences as Marauders and I explored how former Mac students got into the sports industry.

As I covered everything and anything sports-related at McMaster, I tried to tell stories that sports fans, non-fans and those who even hated sports, could enjoy. So if that meant taking a risk and hunting down athletes to talk about their style or how many sneakers they owned, stories that the stereotypical sports reader may not read, I did it.

I do not know if I want to write articles on sports forever, but I do know that both writing and sports will forever be a part of who I am and who I will become.

 

Jessica Carmichael
Sports Reporter
The Silhouette

And while I was writing for other people, I was also writing for myself. As someone with a variety of interests, I try to find harmony among them all. Originally the thought of doing this was scary. But my nerves that were present when I pitched some of my original story ideas, are minuscule to the positive reception I received from my editors.

As the Sports Reporter for such a progressive outlet, I have been given the opportunity to explore different areas using sports as a lens. Writing for the Silhouette was my first taste of what I believe my future has in store for me. As of right now, I do not know if I want to write articles on sports forever, but I do know that both writing and sports will forever be a part of who I am and who I will become.

So as the world continues to advance and become more inclusive, I have hope that the sports industry will too. Though it probably will not be the last time I will be telling my self to breathe in and out, in fear of being rejected, this fear alone will not stop me from continuing to break that glass ceiling. I have already made it this far, so why not keep going.

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Every few months, we get a message from a student or alumnus who wants us to take down something they’ve written for the paper. Our policy around removal has always been that if the published article poses a safety risk or creates any other form of danger, we’ll take it down or take your name off the article as requested. Otherwise, we will work with the person to find alternative ways to mitigate their discomfort with having the article published.

Sometimes their requests are unreasonable — for example, requests to take the article down because the writing was bad, the author no longer agrees with an opinion article they submitted or that a true fact published in the paper will damage someone’s reputation. I understand these concerns. Now that all of The Silhouette’s articles go online, student’s writing, or the news about their on-campus activities is no longer just under university-wide scrutiny. Anyone around the world has access to it. This has been great for many of our writers and articles. We get readers from unexpected countries (as far as Australia!), and have expanded our readership significantly. It also means we get more complaints from people who don’t want the articles they wrote or are mentioned in to show up in their Google searches.

Wanting to delete articles you’re not proud of is fundamentally misguided. It speaks to a lack of understanding of individual growth. Whether it’s because your writing wasn’t as good as it could be, or you said something you don’t believe anymore, your acknowledgement of both shows how much you’re grown and improved as both a writer and a person. Publishing a controversial opinion in any online platform is an important decision. You have to be prepared for the backlash and the feedback, and be ready to defend your point of view. If you change your mind later and realize that you don’t even know the person who wrote those horrible things, then it’s up to you to own up to it.

Wanting to delete articles you’re not proud of is fundamentally misguided. It speaks to a lack of understanding of individual growth. 

If you fear a damaged reputation because you reported true facts, all I can say is: that’s too bad. The Silhouette won’t censor itself to help you clean up your public image. These situations can vary in severity, but they all speak to the need to act ethically, kindly and wisely in all aspects of your (public) life. This is especially true for student politicians.

While student newspapers and organizations are less serious and more forgiving than their “real world” counterparts, they’re still no joke. It’s a reality that’s not meant to scare you, but to inspire you to make the best of your time here. Put a lot thought into what you write and how you act. Stand up for things you believe in, but be open to changing your mind. If you make mistakes, the best thing to do is to own up to them. Even if we delete your article from our servers, rest assured that the internet at-large is not such a forgiving place.

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