Editor or firefighter?

Nov. 17, 2015

When I started with the Royal Purple three years ago, I admired every Editor in Chief before me. I looked at their jobs as glamorous and easy, and I imagined all the ways I could do things better. I wanted the paper to be some shining plaque that represented me as a person.

It was so easy to sit in the chair as News Editor and judge the job of someone else. I was pretty vocal about the changes I thought should be made.

Commentary by Alexandria Zamecnik Editor in Chief
Commentary by Alexandria Zamecnik
Editor in Chief

I got way more than I bargained for when I applied for the position. The job I signed up for was not the job I got. I look back at my three years with the Royal Purple and realize how jaded I was. The management position I took over was one that required sweat, tears and countless sleepless nights.

When former Editor in Chief, Michael Riley, told me it was all about putting out flames, he wasn’t wrong.  In fact, the managing editor, Vesna Brajkovic, and faculty advisor, Dr. Carol Terracina-Hartman and I, were thrown  more fireballs than we ever could have imagined. These were hurling balls of flame from staff, the Whitewater community, the university and from each other. We fought through it.

I wouldn’t have been able to get through all of the struggles without them.

Through the fire, each week the editorial staff, management, advertising and business side produced an edition I can say with firm belief, I’m proud of.

This ride has not been easy. It was a rollercoaster.  Although I may not have been able to accomplish the goals I would have liked to as Editor in Chief, I am proud of the team I worked with. I’ve watched my staff learn to handle stubborn administration and students. They’ve grown to be leaders and teach their reporters the field of journalism. They’re still learning how to handle my anal-retentive critiques over the simple placement of a pull-quote.

We have been able to laugh with each other through our mistakes and shortcomings. Through all the stress, I will never once regret my decision to apply for the management team.

After what seems like the world’s shortest semester, I will pass on the torch to next Editor in Chief. To my future replacement, dream as large as you can, but make sure you carry a fire extinguisher.