By Aaron Strain / Opinion Page Editor

Well, this is it.

My last column for the Collegian, my home for two-and-a-half years.

It was certainly an interesting time to start a career in journalism, when police violence, election fiascos, a global pandemic, and economic meltdowns flooded our news feeds daily.

I would like to say the craziness of the past few years won’t happen again, but I know that isn’t true. Injustice and inequality have always existed – we just like to ignore them until they boil over or affect us personally.

That being said, this newspaper legitimately brought awareness to the week’s most pressing issues at Hutchinson Community College during my stint; including, campus sexual assault, mental health, the Black experience in Hutch, the college’s COVID-19 response, and so much more. I am constantly amazed by the Collegian staff’s ability to make the world a better place, one four-to-six-page package at a time.

As I’ve written before, the arc of history bends toward justice, but only if we have the will to do so. We, as ethical journalists, play an important role in fairly shaping our history and future. If this staff is any example, we’re in good hands going forward, through whatever medium journalism becomes.

Personally, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities the Collegian gave me to interact with my community, understand its people and experience its history being made. I will never forget covering filled-to-the-brim public forums on earthquakes one semester, then Zoom meetings on pandemics the next.

Finally, I want to share my appreciation for the Collegian staff, who helped me feel comfortable, heard, and loved.

When I first walked into the newspaper classroom, I had no clue where I was going in life and that my thoughts were rubbish. But, the moment I first spoke up and the room fell silent, I felt like I had something good to give.

For my editors-in-chief Brenna, Tabby, and Sam, my predecessor Emily Fehrman, Clarion colleague Emily Branson, radical reviewer Caleb, guy I went to the bookstore for just to say hello to Jared, back row buddy Adam, KJ, Pablo, and all the gracious others, thank you.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it’s true – you all are each individually talented and inspirational to me.

Alrighty, I’ll see you next week!

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