A note from your State Times Class of 2021:
Only a few years ago, no one could have imagined the state of the world as it currently stands, and spending the entirety of our final year of college during a global pandemic has been no easy task. To have spent some of that time as a part of the State Times, however, has been an absolute privilege and honor. As journalists, we strive to seek out new ideas and truths and share them with the world. We encourage you all, especially our fellow seniors, to do the same, taking challenges in stride. While this year may have been discouraging at times, take pride in the fact that you have accomplished greatness.
Sincerely, in honor and good faith,
The State Times Staff, Class of 2021
Casey McShea, Editor in Chief |
I gotta say, trying to put together the right words for this is harder than I ever thought it would be.
I remember sitting in the State Times office as a shy sophomore when the final issue came around and our seniors had to write their goodbyes. I remember thinking, “I’m so glad I have so much time until that’s me.” And now, sitting in my off-campus apartment, writing goodbye to a senior year stolen by a pandemic, I cannot comprehend how four years have gone by so fast. When I was a high school junior looking at colleges, I didn’t even know Oneonta existed. Now, it is my second home. It’s here that I met my two best friends in the entire world, got my first tattoo, had my heart broken, drove my first car, lived in my first apartment and discovered so much about who I am and what I want.
As my time as a student at SUNY Oneonta comes to a close, so does my time as a State Times member. Since I joined as a Staff Writer in my sophomore year, slowly growing from Arts Editor to Managing Editor to Editor-in-Chief, this club has been a place of great comfort to me. I’ve made such great friends and been able to continue my love for journalism, a love that has existed since my early years of high school. I was in the State Times office when SUNY Oneonta had its shooting scare in fall 2019. I have spent long hours into the evening drinking Starbucks and laughing about nothing with my staff members-turned-friends. I created a short documentary about the club for a video production class. I never thought one small office in the basement of Hunt Union would become such a memorable place to me, but here we are.
I originally joined the State Times by accident, to be completely honest. I had been studying for a history exam in Hunt Union—and when I say studying, I mean procrastinating by mindlessly scrolling through social media sites with flashcards scattered around me—when I came across a Facebook post about open positions on the school paper.
Journalism was a hobby I had forgotten amidst my chaotic and emotional freshman year. I had become so preoccupied with adjusting to college life and dealing with all the drama that comes with being a freshman that I hadn’t even stopped to think about many extracurriculars. So, I applied for a Staff Writer position, excited that I might have the opportunity to get paid for doing something I loved, and it was one of the best decisions I ever could have made. The State Times has allowed me to grow not only my professional skills, but also in confidence and strength as a leader and voice.
As my predecessor Chrystal Savage once wrote in an article about the importance of a student-run newspaper, “There is no greater ally to students and students’ issues than a printed media source run by students themselves.”
As I depart this May, I beg of students, faculty, and community members to show your appreciation and empathize with the need for the State Times. We want to provide students with the ability to not only hone their skills and pursue a passion for journalism but be a voice for the students in our campus community.
Oneonta and the State Times have given me another place to call home. An abrupt and mournful end to my college career will never change that. I love this school. I love the State Times. I love the town I’ve explored, the people I’ve met and the memories I’ve made. The years I’ve spent here have been far from perfect—they have been messy and complicated and challenging—but I would not have asked for it any other way.
Thank you, SUNY Oneonta, and thank you to every member of the State Times whom I have ever had the privilege of working with. It has been an honor to finish my college career as your Editor-in-Chief.
Zarina Sotero, Arts Editor |
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been dreading writing this since I first joined the State Times a year and a half ago. It seemed so far away back then, but now here I am, graduating in a few weeks.
SUNY Oneonta was my top choice when choosing colleges in high school, but I kept my options open. When I toured the campus, I immediately knew that this was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. Not only was it the farthest school from home that I applied to, but I was also genuinely excited to have freedom and experience college life.
My freshman year was rough; I came into college as a Childhood Education major—not because I wanted to be—but because that’s what people have told me I would be good at. I spent freshman year constantly stressing over my future and doubting whether or not I wanted to be a teacher. I took a couple education classes and even observed a kindergarten class, but by the end of the year, I was seriously questioning whether or not I was fit to be a teacher.
Over the summer following my freshman year, I ultimately decided that teaching was not for me and changed my major to Media Studies, which was the greatest decision I’ve ever made. Through the Media Studies program I have been given the absolute pleasure of meeting some of the most wonderful faculty and staff members who continue to inspire me every day, create some really cool projects, meet peers who are passionate about the same things I am and it even brought me to the State Times. Since changing my major, I’ve been excited about my future and my future industry. I still continuously stress about it, but at least I know I’ll be happy wherever I end up.
Throughout my college career, I’ve met a lot of people, whether it be neighbors in my dorm building, classmates, or members of different clubs and organizations. There are people who I was friends with in freshman, sophomore, and junior year who I don’t even talk to anymore and there are others who have become some of my closest friends. My experiences at SUNY Oneonta have taught me that people will constantly be going in and out of your life, but I’ve learned to take lessons from every single person I’ve met. Each and every person that has entered my life, from professors to ex-friends, has helped me become a better friend, worker and person in general. The memories I’ve made with everyone I’ve met throughout my four years will stick with me forever.
Lastly, I want to talk about my time at the State Times. I applied to become a Staff Writer for the spring semester of my junior year. I heard about the open position through the secretary of the communications and media department when she forwarded the hiring advertisement to all the students in the department. I applied to the job unsure of whether or not I would be accepted, but to my surprise, I was. Never having really branched out to meet new people, I was super nervous to join the State Times but as soon as I met my new coworkers, I was welcomed with open arms. I will forever treasure the memories we made in the office, from laughing about things completely unrelated to our work to stressing about our budget (or lack thereof). It saddens me that I never got to make more memories in the office with old and new staff members, but our virtual meetings were still great, nonetheless. I am extremely grateful for the people I’ve met through the Times, you’ve all helped me grow as a writer and editor. To the staff members who are yet to graduate, I wish you all the best of luck with the rest of your college careers, I can’t wait to see what you all will accomplish with the State Times. I only applied to the Times to boost my resume, but it ended up being one of the best parts of my college experience.
Reflecting on my time here, I am so glad I made the decision to attend this school. This wasn’t how I expected my senior year of college to go, and I have to admit it sucks that I’m finishing college this way, but I can’t help but still be grateful for my college experience. Thank you, SUNY Oneonta for the friends, the memories, and shaping me into the person I am today.
Daniella Fishman, Culture & Business Editor |
I applied to The State Times newspaper during fall 2019 after Jessica Kennedy, the then-Culture Editor, told me about the open position. After applying, I was hired for the spring 2020 semester and I was elated! I came to my first meeting with a backpack full of article ideas and an eagerness to do the best possible. During my first week, I started working on Dine with Dani, a column focused on reviewing and interviewing local restaurants usually not commonly recommended throughout the student body. I had a wonderful time writing articles about various campus goings-on and interviewing Oneontans, yet that all came to an abrupt halt.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit halfway through my first semester working for TST. Dine with Dani was subsequently changed to Dine-In with Dani. Interviews were conducted over the phone, and I, along with the rest of the campus community, was separated from our beloved SUNY O campus.
Unfortunately, since COVID, I have not seen any TST staff or physically been in the office for over a year. We have become solely online media, no longer printed physical “hot off the presses” copies to be dropped off at various campus buildings on Friday afternoons. We learned to roll with the punches and be ready to write about anything at a moment’s notice.
With all the difficulties from these two semesters, The State Times has remained the only constant in my routine. Our weekly meets are the only meeting I look forward to within my barrage of Zoom and Teams classes.
Joining the State Times was hands down the best decision I’ve made in my college career. The friends I’ve made and the skills I’ve learned have shaped me as a writer and an individual. Thank you all for a fantastic year, and good luck to everyone next semester; I know you’ll continue to make the State Times extraordinary.