By Graig Graziosi
This is my final Jambar editorial.
Not only that, but this is the final editorial of The Old Jambar. Next year’s Jambar will print less but produce more, and it’s very exciting.
Traditionally, this letter would be a goodbye letter to all my friends at The Jambar. I’m not going to do that for two reasons; first, I’m not leaving. I’ll be back next year in some capacity. Second, I can tell them how much I like them in person. Rather than offering my unsolicited opinions on my co-workers, instead I’ll offer up my unsolicited opinions on Youngstown State University and the insights I’ve gathered thus far.
Working as the paper’s editor-in-chief means I see a lot of stories about a lot of different campus issues. We’ve covered everything from the smell outside of Cushwa to the experiences of adjunct professors and black students on campus. I’ve had someone dressed as Deadpool writhe around in front of my camera during a YSUnity Diversity Prom, and I’ve sat through eight hour Board of Trustees meetings.
So here’s some thoughts, advice and rants rooted in my experiences covering the campus.
Board of Trustees Meetings
Sitting through a Board of Trustees meeting is an endurance match of responsibility for all involved. No one — not the board, not the committee members, not the journalists, not the public — necessarily want to be there, but everyone goes because they know it’s important to participate in the administration of the school.
If you’re reading this, you likely either pay to go to YSU, you pay for YSU or you work at YSU. So while yes, it can certainly be extremely dry — especially now that Sen. Harry Meshel is gone — it’s important for the public to attend and keep an eye on how the school is being run.
One of the most attractive aspects of journalism is that — if you’re doing it right — you get to act out your problems with authority on a professional level. For that reason I was frustrated by this year’s Student Government Association. They acted with benevolence and managed to get quite a bit done to improve the student experience at YSU. They gave me no machine to rage against.
If you’re a student, don’t ignore their emails. Go talk to them and tell them your honest thoughts about the school and the direction you want take your student experience. You’ll find them irritatingly receptive and willing to work with you.
Don’t be a dick to your professors, especially the adjuncts. Sure, everyone has that one professor that probably actually deserves it, but just remember they’re humans with lives too who are trying to do a job, and most of them will bend over backward for you if you engage with them.
You should be especially nice to adjuncts, as they make barely any money but still have to put up with your bullshit. Engage in your classes. No one thinks you’re cool because you brood silently in the corner. Most of us are going into substantial debt to be here, so you might as well squeeze as much out of your professors as you can.
People that cross Wick Avenue without waiting for the light
You are the absolute worst. For those of us that live in the neighborhood, your unwillingness to wait a minute to cross the street is infuriating. If I could strap mattresses to the front of my car and knock illegal cross-walkers around on Wick I’d drop out of school and make it my mission. Lucky for you, I keep forgetting to buy tow straps and can’t afford a new mattress, so for now I’ll just honk my horn while gesturing wildly as I wait for you to drag your tuba across the street during my green light. Hopefully when Poppa Tressel reworks Wick Avenue, he’ll install Indiana Jones style pressure traps in the road to combat these societal tumors.
I spent about 21 years in Boardman. It took leaving the country and traveling to the literal opposite side of the planet before I was old enough and experienced enough to begin appreciating what Youngstown had to offer. Everyone has that friend who is dead-set on getting the hell out of Youngstown the moment they graduate so they can go “really learn who they are” in Brooklyn or trim pot plants in Portland.
Maybe it’s you, dear reader.
There’s nothing wrong with that. But a mentor once advised me “wherever you’re at, be all there”, and I think that’s especially applicable to the YSU student.
The editorial board that writes editorials consists of the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, the copy editor, and the news editor. These opinion pieces are written separately from news articles. They draw on the opinions of the entire writing staff and do not reflect the opinions of any individual staff member. The Jambar’s business manager and non-writing staff do not contribute to editorials, and the advisor does not have final approval.