Editorial: Community support is crucial to Chimes

Photo+by+Matt+Lesky.

Photo by Matt Lesky.

For the Chimes staff, the school year is defined by Wednesday nights. We spend the first half of our week interviewing people and writing stories, and the second half thinking of new story ideas for the next week and recovering from our loss of Wednesday night’s sleep.

Although our routines are the same every week, the stories we write and the people we meet are always very different. Every week we learn something new.

We encounter new problems, write pieces we never thought we could and form relationships and memories that will stay with us for life. We do this to the best of our ability, and it is my hope that this year we have served the community well.

Chimes is, after all, inherently tied to this community. Part of our mission is to provide a platform for Calvin to discuss important topics and share the work, research, teaching and excellence that its members are achieving.

We have also enabled people to voice their opinions on topics Calvin students may not have otherwise had a platform to share. This year, these have included a personal experience with sexual assault and a reaction to posters about abortion.

As we work in the community, it is my hope that the community continues to help us, as an organization, to thrive. No matter who you are, we always appreciate feedback.

Whether it is something that we missed or something that we should do differently in the future, the only way we can get better is if people let us know how we are doing.

For students, we encourage you to be more involved by becoming a weekly staff writer, graphic designer, website designer, cartoonist, editor or photographer. Chimes isn’t just ours, it is Calvin’s.

Faculty members, we ask you to encourage students to submit their writing or ideas — no matter what department.

Administration, we ask you to truly view our work as valuable and to make decisions about our organization that reflect that. I can assure you that the Chimes staff are some of the hardest working people at Calvin.

Almost everyone manages a full course load, internships, part-time jobs and yet, we still sacrifice our free time to write about the amazing things other people are researching, investigating and exploring.

While we have always been assured that our well-being is a priority, we have not always felt it. We are now located in the basement of Commons Annex, a place many students have told us they do not know exists.

The decision to move us here was made without our consultation. In addition, we were rattled this spring when we realized— through the discussion about Dialogue’s budget — how easy it would be for Student Life to simply cut our funding without consulting us.

As a result, we have spent the past few months working on a proposed new governance structure to provide some stability to the future of student publications at Calvin.

With the administration’s support, we hope to be working next year to disperse our funding among Student Life, the Academic Division and a pool of money from alumni donors.

We will ask you, alumni, to tangibly support the work we are doing here at Calvin. In this way, we hope to maintain journalistic excellence and freedom.

Calvin College is currently in a time of transition. The past few years have been marked by reductions, staff changes and difficult decisions.

While we are not always sure what will lie ahead, this time of transition provides Chimes with an opportunity to become stronger and to speak louder. With your support and involvement, I believe this community can continue to keep this publication on a reputable path.