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Forum Seniors: One Last Goodbye

Cami Mondeaux

Editor-in-Chief

Anyone who has known me for the last four years – or talked to me for more than five minutes – knows at least one thing: I love The Forum. I started as a contributing reporter my first semester of college, and ever since I’ve lived and breathed for this tiny newspaper. I’ve served in an array of different positions for The Forum, but none have meant so much to me as working as the editor-in-chief over the last two years.

Being given this position was a huge responsibility, and I’d be lying if I said I thought I could handle it – I didn’t even think I was qualified to take over. But after covering tuition increases, the COVID-19 pandemic, a presidential election and everything in between – I’m proud to say we made it out alive. I’m so proud of the work my staff and I have accomplished over the last few years, and I don’t regret a single moment. 

Sure, we’ve made mistakes along the way and we’ve suffered occasional growing pains. But we dedicated ourselves to informing our community and I call that a success. I want to thank you, our audience, for trusting us. I want to thank our adviser, Matt Baker, for his wisdom and advice. I want to thank my editorial staff for their fearless leadership. 

It’s been a wild ride.

Marisa Cooper

Managing Editor

Westminster’s been wild. I’ve had plenty of pros and cons in the past four years, but my biggest regret by far is that I didn’t join The Forum earlier. 

But I’m so glad I worked up the guts to apply last summer, to take on the role of Managing Editor for our final year. It was a weird one, don’t get me wrong, but still so worth it. We made it through this year in a pandemic and have come out of it better journalists (I’d like to think). We swapped out production night dinners for DoorDashed ones, a lot of meetings for virtual ones and a lot of inside jokes for texted ones. 

We’ve done our best to keep our campus community up-to-date on all the goings-on, even for those of us rarely on campus this year. We’ll be here on the news racks for incoming first-years in August, hopefully running around campus again doing all those first-year scavenger hunts and meet’n’greets. 

Graduating is a real bitter-sweetness, as I’ve realized lately how much I will miss and have missed about campus life for the past year. What stands out, though, is The Forum’s funny little basement office with that weird hum of Shaw up above. It’s so endearing, in its own way. 

Kudos and good luck to next year’s team. Y’all have got this. 

Huge thanks to Matt Baker, our Forum wrangler and the best adviser we could’ve had. 

Thanks, Westminster, for all the ups and downs. They mean a lot. 

Marina McTee

Video & Podcast Director

Looking back on the last four years, there were many things that made college great. But the one thing that I will always remember was my time at The Forum. The Forum may just seem like a tiny, unimportant newspaper, but the last four years have proved journalism is vital at all levels. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served you during these difficult times and am a better person for it.

My first experience with The Forum was four years ago when I was a bright-eyed first-year just trying to figure things out. The Forum was having an open house call for contributors and I decided to go. 

For those that don’t know, The Forum office is in the basement of Shaw and walking down there for the first time definitely made me think I was going to get murdered. To top it all off, there was a massive leak in the ceiling right in front of the office doorway so I had to scoot between a bunch of large garbage cans collecting water to even get in the office. All of this made me think of one thing, “This is perfect.” 

Well, four years, two more leaks and one massive flood later, here we are. I, along with many of my fellow editors, will be graduating and our time at The Forum will be over. I would like to thank not only The Forum but all of the Westminster community, for letting me serve you as both managing editor and video and podcast director. It was not a responsibility I ever took lightly and I hope I served you well. 

The Forum is here to serve the Westminster community, and as it is given to new hands, I have every confidence they will rise to the responsibility this holds. 

The truth is something you deserve of your world. Don’t forget that.

Gwenna Salazar

Online & Social Media Manager

I applied to work at The Forum because faculty expressed it was a good opportunity. However, it quickly became more than something to add to my resume. As the Online and Social Media Manager, I was able to read each story and I realized I wanted to do my job well because I wanted those stories to succeed.

Working with The Forum, I learned that being an “independent, student-run news organization” is special. Students at Westminster College get to decide what The Forum publishes, which, during my time here, has included everything from campus protests to pandemic regulations. The Forum also gives students who are not on the staff a space to connect with their peers, be it starring in a video or writing an op-ed.

In addition to a new appreciation for student journalism, The Forum also gave me a chance to learn a new skill in a safe and rewarding environment. I am leaving this job with a much better understanding of how to maintain a professional online social media presence. (Not to mention I actually understand SEO now! Woo!)

Best of all, working with The Forum has been fun. Before college I didn’t anticipate ever saying that about a job. I enjoy collaborating with the staff and team of editors. I think we all rely on each other to make The Forum function, and that is a great thing to be part of. 

Thank you Forum readers, thank you staff writers and thank you to the other editors. I am so grateful for this experience.

Shaylie Johnson

Business & Advertising Director

As I reach the end of my time at Westminster College, I can’t help but reminisce about my time here. My college career began on the one fact that I wanted to be some kind of writer. I joined a short story/poetry course my first semester and soon realized I was drawn to a different kind of storytelling.

I joined The Forum in January 2020 as a staff reporter covering events in person to interviewing students over Zoom. A few months later I was offered the opportunity to stick around as the Business and Advertising Director, up there with the editors!

Of the many late nights that I’ve had over the last four years, I can honestly say that some of the best nights were spent producing the newspaper with my Forum friends. Seeing the paper and knowing how much care goes into it makes it all the more exciting to see them in your hands.

Thank you for not only engaging with my stories but allowing me to tell them. I have met some incredible members of our community and it has been a privilege to share their experiences with you.

So, thank you, to The Forum, to our Westminster Community, and to our Forum dad and adviser, Matt Baker, for believing in us.

Thank you for the memories.

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The Forum is Westminster College's only student-run news organization since 1946. The content published does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Westminster or its administration.

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