I never expected to join the Student Association at PUC, never expected to learn “inverted pyramid” writing and never expected to become as experienced at apology emails as I am now. However, all those “never thoughts” became a reality when, last winter quarter at PUC, my best friend persuaded me to run for a then-empty position: Editor-in-chief of the Campus Chronicle.
Now, three quarters into the year—and about three and a half weeks away from graduation—I have finally worked out a smoothly functioning system of production (sort of). Although I am proud of what I and my staff have accomplished, if I had been more aware of the steep learning curve that accompanies the adage “fake it till you make it,” I may have been more hesitant to run for office.
Nevertheless, I do not regret my time spent as editor-in-chief. In fact, I have had the opportunity to learn a great many things. I discovered em dashes, en dashes and hyphens are three distinct types of punctuation. Additionally, notice how the previous sentence is missing, a serial/Oxford comma—the comma that comes before “and” (also, note the hyphen and em dash in this sentence). The convoluted AP Style is really quite simple—if merely ignored and placed on the shelf next to APA, Chicago and Turabian (I am a full-blooded English major: “if it ain’t in MLA, then I don’t wanna play”).
A completely different approach to writing is not my only takeaway. I have learned interviews take planning weeks in advance and just one email is, contrary to my own preconceived notions, not the most effective way to obtain a timely response. Administration can be the biggest help or hindrance (thank you, President Cushman, you make life a breeze!) and faculty and staff are a goldmine when it comes to content.
Above all else, I think this leadership role has taught me communication is a major key to success—along with an enthusiastic and dedicated staff. If I cannot communicate my goals, ideas or expectations, how can my staff expect to produce a quality paper? How can my adviser trust I will be successful? How can I lead without a clear destination? I am very lucky my adviser and Chronicle crew were able to piece together a some sort of vision from my oftentimes questionable instructions. They deserve all my gratitude.
In retrospect, in the first issue compiled under my leadership almost one year ago, the section designated as the “Letter From the Editor” held the characteristic I wanted the Chronicle to most exemplify: honesty. In a world filled with “fake news” and fluctuating morals, the Chronicle was to be a solid and steadfast representation of life on campus as it is. I am proud to say I believe this standard of truthfulness has been met. To be just a little piece of PUC’s long and impressive legacy is an honor, and I am grateful for all the unforeseen schooling I received outside a classroom as editor-in-chief of the Campus Chronicle.
Interested in learning more about PUC’s Student Association? Check out our recent blog post about the 2018-2019 SA officers and start getting excited about next year!