Tag Archives: PUC Campus Chronicle

A Conversation with Bethany, PUC’s Campus Chronicle Editor

By Becky St. Clair

Bethany greets everyone who enters her office with a warm smile and an enthusiastic handshake, immediately establishing herself as a confident, approachable professional. You may never guess she was only a freshman when she was elected to the position.

Many characteristics set Bethany apart from other students, not the least of which are her thoughtful eloquence, competent leadership, and gracious demeanor. One of the few non-seniors to serve as the editor-in-chief for the Campus Chronicle, Bethany filled her role with gusto and poise, framing a vision and skillfully guiding her team as they made that vision reality. Here, Bethany reflects with us on her year serving PUC as its lead student communicator.

What inspired you to pursue being the CC editor?

Since 2015, I’ve intentionally taken a yearly risk or challenge to learn a new skill, travel somewhere new, or understand a subject. So, selfishly, I had so many ideas and plans for what the CC could become it was impossible to resist the challenge.

What did you find most rewarding about your CC work?

It is incredibly rewarding to see writers hone their craft, learn to edit and critique their work, and publish articles with which the campus resonates. It’s a really special thing for the CC to be the platform from which to affirm students’ hard work and accomplishments. As a campus, we’re stronger when we support each other, I believe, and I love that the CC can be a part of that process.

You’ve talked about growing your team and your vision for building the CC; tell us about your own personal growth as editor.

I’m a very evidence-based person and I like to know something is certain. Being editor is very uncertain. Last-minute things happen, budget changes, writers drop out, deadlines are missed. Having faith that things are possible even through uncertainty makes it possible to achieve a desirable outcome.

I have also gained a sense of self-assurance in this job. Being pushed to do something foreign and difficult shows me what I’m capable of doing, and I see my team members experiencing this as well.

Who is someone who has had a major impact on your leadership?

Professor Lynne Thew, as the CC faculty advisor, is a stickler for details and holds herself and our editorial team to a very high standard. Through example and mentoring, she’s taught me that a leader sets vision but also steps into the nitty-gritty process of seeing that vision through. I’m deeply indebted to her, both as a friend and role model.

What are some things you’d list under “accomplishments” as editor?

  • Growth of editorial team: from 5-10 members to 20-25 members
  • Consistent schedule this year: 12 issues
  • Competitive in the David L. Apple Awards
  • Transitioned to traditional newspaper format
  • The majority of stories published are on-campus news
  • Recognized by faculty in Letters to the Editor
  • Increased social media recognition on campus
  • Increase in both alumni and on-campus donor support

In what ways would you say this position gave you confidence and strength as a person and a leader?

It’s not easy to take on opportunities that look too enormous to manage, but as a result, I have a greater dignity in and understanding of my capabilities, as well as a greater measure of self-respect. So, as a female leader, I’ve also felt more empowered to inhabit a space of leadership without feeling like an imposter.

This experience also taught me the power of a hard-working team. We have incredibly talented students from many departments working on the CC, and as a leader I recognize now that our strength lies in unity and common vision.

Why do you think it is important to allow student voices to be heard—even when those voices may be challenging the status quo and making some people uncomfortable?

Freedom of speech is an incredible privilege Western journalism has had a right to for some time. In the age of “fake news” and constant ideological propaganda, I think it is important for students to develop an ability to think critically, compose an evidence-based argument, and approach an issue from a valid angle. Proverbs says, “in a multitude of counselors lies wisdom.” I like to think that a variety of opinions, albeit sometimes uncomfortable ones, helps us collectively to arrive at a measure of truth.

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Stay humble. Leadership is not a status symbol but a call to serve. You’re there to make your team shine and call out their potential to accomplish a worthy goal. Admit your mistakes, seek advice from trusted mentors, and don’t recklessly dismiss their wisdom for the sake of novel theory. Also, be kind and love your team. If you care about your team members beyond what they can do for the team, that’s the definition of love.

We’ve come a long way in the last couple of decades toward gender equality in the workplace, but there are still some challenges women in leadership positions face. Which challenges do you think are the most crucial to address?

It is crucial to address the imposter syndrome many women feel in positions of leadership—myself included. Especially if women come from a religio-social conservative background, they feel their position of leadership is not valid, is not recognized by their spiritual community, or is tangential to their expected social role. It will be a continuous challenge for women to boldly inhabit their space of leadership, and serve their team with poise.

Life as a C.C. Sports Writer

By Andrew Kim

When I think about sports, sports are more than physical activities that occur for entertainment purposes, keeping people healthy, and building character. Sports serve as one of many crucial elements of everyday life that keeps athletes, fans, and society energized, emotional, motivated, and inspired in life. When journalists report on sports stories, they share the same passion with sports fans and athletes. That’s the main reason why I am a communication major here at PUC with plans on becoming a sports journalist so I, too, can share my passion and enthusiasm of sports I follow on a daily basis. In addition, I knew to continue to build towards my future path, I needed to gain experience in learning and writing about sports. That all was reaffirmed when I joined the staff of the Campus Chronicle, PUC’s student-run newspaper.

The first time I heard of the Campus Chronicle here at PUC was during my first week as a freshman, when I visited the Chronicle offices at the Campus Center to gain an idea of what the organization was like and how they reported on story ideas on a weekly basis. It was not until the following year as a sophomore, where I spent my freshman year attending meetings but not proposing any sports stories then, where I decided to write my first sports article, which was about NASCAR and a racing event that recently occurred. Because of my childhood obsession of NASCAR, I knew a lot about NASCAR and I thought writing about it for the Chronicle would be perfect enough for me to do on a regular basis. Little did I know I had a lot more about sports writing and reporting to learn.

There were mixed emotions after my NASCAR article was published in the following Campus Chronicle edition. Part of me was happy with what I wrote and published for the first time for the Chronicle, but there was another part of me that felt like the Chronicle would not be overly excited about me only writing about NASCAR on a continuous basis. I knew for my next assignment, I would have to learn more about other sports. That was when I decided to learn about the PUC Pioneers, the college’s sporting teams from volleyball to basketball, and familiarize myself with their code of language, names of the athletes, the rules of the game, and what highlights to mention when writing.

I decided my first PUC Pioneers article I would write about would be a preview edition for the Pioneers heading into the 2017/18 season. I visited the Pioneers website and analyzed the Pioneers’ stats from last season, among which included how many games they won or lost and how close they came in making the Cal Pac tournament. I then turned my attention to the roster to know who represents the Pioneers in what sport, mention any newcomers to the Pioneers family, and break down the schedule for the upcoming season. Researching online and communicating with key Pioneer staffs that included coaches Greg Rahn and George Glover along with Brittany Brown, the athletics director, provided for me a clear background on sports that included basketball, volleyball, and cross country. After turning in the article, I felt both relieved and pleased with my first completed task as a Campus Chronicle sports writer, but also knew that this was only the beginning.

The next task I took, when writing about sports for Campus Chronicle, occurred on January 15, 2018, where I participated and reported my first Pioneers men’s basketball home game against UC Santa Cruz. Throughout the first half of the game, I kept track of the number of points made by each team, who contributed to scoring a point, and thought it would be a piece of cake. Then, someone gave me an official report sheet that covered the shots and stats of each player. By the time the game ended, I left with mixed emotions, one feeling happy for the Pioneers winning the game and having a lot to recap and write about the game, but also disappointed and felt I came unprepared and did not know what some of the stats meant. On the bright side, the game provided a general overview of what specifics, stats, and top plays to cover throughout an event and the importance of writing based on my knowledge of sports. The first game encouraged for me to participate in more games to familiarize myself with the Pioneers’ environment and the significance of their endless fight in making championship runs as underdogs. The more I went, the more I came back having more to write about the Pioneers and their top highlights from each game, along with including interviews with coaches and featured athletes. Even in times where I did not travel out to a Pioneers game, I spent a majority of my spare time following sports, both at PUC and out in the world, chronologically and familiarizing myself with what to cover or mention as a sports journalist.

Working for the Campus Chronicle as a sports writer has and continues to be a great learning experience. For starters, I am more familiarized with the PUC Pioneers and know more about their accomplishments compared to not knowing anything significant about them on my first day as a PUC student. Looking at the big picture, being a Chronicle sports writer provides for me a general view of the work sports journalists and broadcasters cover across the globe along with the resources, code of language, and overview they need to familiarize themselves with before, during, and after an event. Learning about different types of sports has lead me more in analyzing how to write and report on sports stories in a way where I can share the same enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion about sports.

My Year as Editor-in-Chief of the Campus Chronicle

By Daniel Grigore

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!