Letters from the Editorial Board


Concordy dog in the Concordy office.

Akriti Dhasmana, Co-Editor-in-Chief: I remember meeting up with Daniel, my co-Editor-in-Chief on the day President Harris announced that the college will close early due to the COVID-19 case on campus. We sat in Upper and discussed plans for the Spring. Just a few weeks before this, Dan and I had been making plans to redecorate the Concordy Office to make it more homely. We had planned for everything for the next year except what happened. Now, as the possibility of a virtual term loomed at the bay, we did not know what to do. However, at that moment, we both had bigger fish to fry. Being international students, we had to figure out the logistics of getting back home as countries began to shut down borders.  In the end it turned out alright—we both reached our homes safe and healthy. 

During the spring break, as I sat in government mandated self quarantine in my room, Dan and I discussed our inevitable shift to the website via long Zoom calls. We didn’t expect participation from the editors for the term given that these were extraordinary circumstances and they were new to their positions just like us. However, over the next few weeks, I was surprised by the resilience, adaptability and commitment demonstrated by the editorial staff. The editors went above and beyond all expectations to make this term a success. I’m grateful to work with such a passionate team of journalists. I’m also grateful to Jim Odato,  who seems to always be just an email away with his advice. I’m grateful to Katie Davin from the Student Activities who is always ready to help us and brightens my Wednesdays with her warm smile. More than anything though, I’m grateful that I share these responsibilities of Concordiensis with Dan. He has been very supportive throughout this term, covering base for me even as I sometimes slept through meetings. I think we have discussed everything under the sun during the countless hours we’ve spent on Zoom calls. 

This term was hard and unpredictable. I think my body bid adieu to even the idea of a sleep cycle as I tried to keep track of meetings and classes from a timezone 9.5 hours ahead of EST. But even then, I loved the 2AM Concordy Zoom meetings on Fridays. It allowed me to stay connected even as I was physically away from the campus. Recording and documenting the stories of the campus during this period of history was extremely rewarding for me. As we end this term, we don’t know what will happen come Fall just as we didn’t at the end of the Winter term but come what may, I know I have a reliable team of editors and writers and just as hardworking co-Editor-in-Chief to ensure that student journalism persists even in these bleak times.

Daniel Wilcox, Co-Editor-in-Chief: Like everyone else, this was not a term that I was expecting to have experienced, nor one that I was prepared to be thrust into. Flying home to England at such short notice, especially during a pandemic, was an eye-opening, if also slightly stressful endeavor. I am grateful to all of the editors of the Concordy, with many having taken on new positions with little or no training. Editors have taken the challenges that we have faced this term in their stride, and have shown an exceptional skill and passion for journalism and their sections. I would like to thank each and every one of them! As well, it has been really refreshing seeing the wide variety of contributions from writers, and to the Quarantine Diaries, a unique section created specifically for this term, which we will be continuing to work on with Schaffer Library and the Minerva Program, to maintain a record of experiences during this challenging time. The support from Jim Odato, who has advised us on our journalism, as well as Katie Davin, from Union’s Student Activities, has been a valuable asset to the Concordy. Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow Editor-in-Chief, Akriti Dhasmana ’22, who has been the biggest support of all throughout this term. When I have faced personal issues, or when we have been discussing the future of the Concordy, Akriti has always been available and hardworking. I am extremely grateful that Akriti has been my co-Editor-in-Chief, and has been someone that I have been able to learn from, improving my writing and journalism, but also getting to know in a personal capacity. The number of times that we have been video calling at all hours of the day and night, discussing and planning all things Concordy and more, is more numerous than I care to admit. I look forward to working much more with Akriti and the rest of the amazing Concordy staff over the rest of the year, and continuing the legacy of Union’s student newspaper.

No matter what form our newspaper takes, or where in the world we are, it is reassuring to see the continuing enthusiasm for journalism at the Concordy. Student journalism is vital for maintaining trust and transparency between the college administration and campus community, not to mention the increasing need for independent journalism in the face of increasing attacks on the media and those seeking to hold those in power to account. One of the main tenets in a healthy democracy is a free press, and sadly it appears as if many countries in the West are increasingly turning their backs on such an important institution. 

Sydney Lewis, co-News Editor: This term has definitely been unlike any other. I’ve spent my time outdoors more than ever, reading books I haven’t gotten to in the past and spending more time with my family than I have in years. It’s been weird to meet classmates through a computer screen, and have “group work” due that had to be collaborated over the phone. The Concordy has been a way to keep me in the loop at Union without us all physically being on campus. Of course I miss it, and will never take a second on campus for granted again, but I have learned a lot about myself during these unpredictable times. My organization and time management skills have been put to the test too, and having my first term as an editor for the newspaper be online was not what I expected! Nevertheless, all of us have been pushing onward and doing the best we can. I can’t wait to see everybody back on campus where we belong!

Megan Brown, co-News Editor: This term was challenging in both positive and negative ways writing and editing for the Concordy, with school and in general, as it was for everybody. But, I have found great appreciation in all the challenges I have faced and have used this time to stay present and productive. I think the switch from print to online reporting was very smooth and huge credit to Dan and Akriti and the rest of the staff for making this possible. It was nice to be able to write an article whenever you want, and get it up that same day. It was such a quick process. I was also more prompted to send links to the articles to my friends and family since they’re so easily accessible. I did struggle with connectivity issues, but I was surrounded by lenient, understanding and helpful people that made staying efficient during quarantine possible. I missed doing layout very much because that is one of my favorite parts of being an editor, but I found lots of joy in doing this from home. One of my favorite moments of the paper this term was getting to write the article on the Dutchmen Splash. It’s such an important day for the Union community and I had such a great time collaborating with the committee and my fellow editors. I was amazed at how the fundraiser could raise as much success and comradery as it did, even during this tough times. I’ve learned so much about myself through being a part of this newspaper remotely, as well as doing online class, that I feel much gratitude for this time at home. I’m very lucky and very grateful to be a part of such an awesome team of hardworking, determined, empathetic writers and editors and can’t wait to be back on campus with them! 

Chris Doyle, World News Editor: It’s an exciting time for any world section when the curtains of business as usual are stripped away by a pandemic or an insurrection, exposing depravity in its naked glory. The exodus from campus created a network of foreign correspondents for this section, with on-scene students in India, France and Vietnam lending their voices, experience, and observations to this publication. This section was made this term because of their transnational storytelling. As the composer who had to make the noise into music for our audience, I had a hard time making sense of it all myself. The most common theme I learned from our reporting was the reckoning that has come in terms of inequality. COVID-19 and the Floyd protests did not in any way create the ravine that exists between the few and the many, but it made some people walking blind fall off a cliff. If these tragic events should teach the public anything, they should serve as a wakeup call for the many. A reminder for 99% that they are the majority. A fundamental lack of normalcy was the catalyst for the mass mobilization it will take for a just change in society. So keep the momentum going. Don’t let those being called “essential” today, be automatized tomorrow with no regard for the livelihood lost. Keep marching on, and ensure that the agents of duly elected authority figures are held accountable by the electorate. Returning to normalcy won’t halt the growth of inequality that the virus has instigated. It will only lead to the next pandemic.

Isabelle Yee, Sports Editor : Writing for Concordiensis this term was much different than if we were on campus. In the beginning, I struggled to find topics to cover for the sports section since not only was NCAA athletics canceled but so were professional sports. I found inspiration by following professional sports leagues’ plans. Also, the factor of not being on campus made me realize how much I miss the Union community, so I incorporated Union athletes in some of my articles as well. I felt that the focus on Union athletes was a way to help bring the campus together even though we are so far apart. Overall, the COVD-19 pandemic allowed me to have more freedom in managing the content for the sports section. 

Dante Sasso, 807 Editor: This term has certainly been a strange one for me. I never thought that my first year of college would be so strange and chaotic! Living at home while doing large amounts of work was no easy feat, and I am sure a lot of others would agree with me. Even with the chaotic nature of the term, I found that writing for the Concordiensis was a useful way to de-stress. I could write about things that weren’t just the issues I was addressing in class, and I could use it as a platform to spread mental wellness to others. It was challenging for certain, as I had to juggle the newspaper writing and editing with my classwork and other ongoing circumstances, but it always felt rewarding to put an article in for others to read. I would certainly recommend others take a shot at writing an article for the paper; even if you don’t want to become an editor or a staff writer, you can always just contribute when you feel it’s easy for you to do. I think that writing for the paper has also shaped how I view my own writing and how I edit, which is certainly a useful skill to have for college and work beyond it. It’s been a wild ride with the newspaper this term, but I don’t think I would’ve had it any other way. 

Kari Kimball, Sci/Tech Editor: This has been a very unprecedented and interesting term. I found myself doing something I never imagined I would be doing: taking online classes. Being forced into this situation was not easy to adapt to but I was able to make it work as well as possible during these trying times. One thing that helped me cope with the changes was writing and editing for the Concordy. It served as an escape for me, even when writing or editing the articles about COVID. I enjoyed my time sitting in a comfortable area of my house or on my porch writing the weekly articles for the Sci/Tech section. I hope the articles written by me and my fellow Concordy staff provided an escape for you, the readers, as well.