Student Journalists Prepare Back to Campus Bachelor

by Gary James '10

August 22, 2007

For the past week, the Bachelor staff has labored diligently to complete the special Back to School edition of the college’s student newspaper.

The issue is produced and coordinated with the Crawfordsville Journal Review. It will be distributed on campus before noon Thursday. The Journal Review will insert the Bachelor into the full run of its newspaper Friday morning.

The eight staffers who returned to campus early received their assignments via email in the last full week of July.  Most of them arrived on campus last weekend.  The staff began working on campus August 13.  They finished completely early Tuesday evening..

The assignments covered the five sections of the newspaper: news, opinions, stuff, sports, and photography. The news section would focus on updates about campus construction, the new freshmen class, the national act, new tenure-track professors, and the college’s strategic plan. The opinion section would focus on friendly advice to the college’s newcomers and set the tone for the year. The stuff section would focus on new visiting professors, summer reading, and students’ travels abroad, while the sports section would preview soccer, cross country, and football.

Photo Editor Clayton Craig ‘08 managed the bulk of the pictures used in the special issue. Finding all the people he needed was hectic, he said.

"It’s like you have five seconds to take a breath, and then you’re back at it," Craig said. "I didn’t expect to have to contact professors and have them send me pictures, but it’s rewarding at the same time. I was pleased with the paper and how the pictures came out."

Sports Editor Chuck Summers ’10 was the only writer in his section for the special issue. Although Stuff Editor Pat McAlister pitched in when he could, the responsibility of contacting sources, interviewing them, writing and editing the stories, and laying out the pages for the section rested solely on Summers’ shoulders. Even so, he was positive about the experience.

"I’m the only sports writer as of right now," Summers said. "It’s hard to get students to come back to school early. It’ll get better. I sent an email for sports writers last year, and I got a ton of replies."

Newswriter Rabin Paudel ‘10 interviewed new visiting professors but found it difficult to pin down a time to meet them.

"It was difficult contacting everyone," Paudel said. "I had to wait until last Friday to track down everyone. They were busy getting settled. It was fun, but there was a lot of work even though I only did two stories. It’s all about teamwork. In Nepal, I had actually worked in the entertainment section for a newspaper, but things were very different. It is easier to work here because I get responses from people. It’s easier to approach people."

As the week drew to a close the focus shifted from writing to laying out the pages for the stories and ads. Editor-in-Chief Patrick Smith ‘08 created the master plan for the arrangement on sheets of paper to which the other editors could refer. It showed where and how ads and stories would be arranged. With the assistance of award-winning graphic designer Dave Windisch, who started his career at the Journal Review, editors worked determinedly at executing the plan over the past three days. The end product turned out to be 32 pages long.

"I came in a day early for an hour and a half just so I could get a good start [on layout]," said News Editor Rob Fenoglio ‘09. "I set up five pages a day before to save some time."

"It was a lengthy and difficult process," Smith said. "The guys on staff are really good guys and committed to the newspaper. So from my end it was only a matter of coordinating their schedules. This issue is a great window for the community into the life of the college and a great way for people in the Wabash community to catch up with each other. "

Although the special edition of the Bachelor was put together by the students, Advisor Howard Hewitt made himself available virtually everyday to guide, to edit, or whatever else was needed. Like the students, he valued the experience.

"I'm really quite proud of the effort the guys put into this issue," Hewitt said. "It's asking a lot to get eight or nine students back on campus more than a full week before classes resume with no pay incentive. The Bachelor men tackled the task of a 32-page paper with enthusiasm and real professionalism. While the Bachelor is normally a weekly 16-page paper, this experience gives the guys a taste of real-world journalism. They are here for a week working like full-time journalists. While they may not pursue a career in the newspaper business, they are getting a feel for the fast-paced world of the print industry.
And, it's been great fun for me and the students."

In photos: Top left, from the left: Patrick McAlister, Chuck Summers, Rabin Paudel, and Rob Fenoglio busy working on the special issue. At right, a sneak peak at Thursday's front page! On homepage: Sports Editor Chuck Summers interviews Little Giant football player Kyle Grand.


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