A Farewell from Your State Times Seniors

WZOZ 103.1

A note from your State Times staff: It has been a genuine honor serving you, our campus and surrounding community, this semester. While things may have not gone as planned or to any one of our liking, we do hope that you are finding small moments of joy and inspiration each and everyday. Seniors, please take the light of your time as red dragons far into your future and know that you are not alone during these trials and tribulations. Each day is a blank page and with your foundation at Oneonta and your red dragon wings, the sky is but the limit. Sincerely: Your State Times staff and forever fellow red dragons, founded in honor and good faith | Oneonta State, Spring 2020

Chrystal Savage, Editor-in-Chief |

Just a few years ago, this editorial not only felt far away, but its concept was non-existent in my mind. Never in a million years did I expect college to lead me toward the trajectory I ultimately ended up on.

In July 2016, I moved into Hulbert Hall and experienced a series of emotions: Was I making the right decision? What did I ultimately want out of my future? Was I missing an opportunity elsewhere? Would I fit in and find friends—true friends?

My freshman year was hard. For months I contemplated moving back home to attend a local community college or to rather give up on the “college experience” entirely, in favour of online classes. My resident advisor and floor community, however, were pivotal in my choice to remain a red dragon.

Dead set on leaving, I realized what I would be giving up. My roommate and I began a co-ed intramural volleyball team that I would never play on again. She showed me the room she and one of our mutual friends would be living in come the fall.

While I began to have feelings and doubts about leaving, that didn’t change the fact that I wasn’t involved enough and that I still found myself without a major. So after sitting down and seriously considering what it is I wanted for myself, I found a new roommate, came back in the fall, and I decided to declare a dual major in General Human Ecology and English.

At the time, English only existed as a “literature track” at SUNY Oneonta and when declaring my major, I was asked if I was more interested in literature or in writing and per my response of writing was encouraged to reconsider, but I declared a major in English anyways.

When declaring my degree in General Human Ecology, for which I had taken a single class the semester prior, I was asked what my intentions with such a major were. I knew interior design was a required class for the major, a true fan of HGTV, I decided that flipping houses was something that appealed to me as a career choice, as I had previously considered real estate and other related fields prior to college.

After a successful first semester with two majors I applied on a whim to the State Times. My dad wanted me to hurry up and get a job, and I’ll admit that building my résumé was among my top priorities. I can tell you right now that it was not because I saw journalism as a lifelong career.

I applied because it was the best thing in the farthest future I could imagine. I was confident in my writing abilities, but it did come as something of a surprise when I was hired as a Staff Writer. And thank God I was.

Over the last two and a half years I have met the absolute most amazing, inspiring and selfless people I know. Each and every member of the State Times family goes above and beyond to bring justice to the campus community, constantly shedding a light on unheard voices. I would like to just take a moment to thank each of them from the bottom of my heart. They have not only shown me the true meaning of compassion and bravery, but also my life path.

I would like to just take a moment to thank each of them from the bottom of my heart. They have not only shown me the true meaning of compassion and bravery, but also my life path.

Before joining the State Times, I knew little of what my future might hold, and now I know that journalism is the path that calls me. So often people fall victim to the bystander effect, however, my time in reporting on campus has shown me that we cannot afford to do that, nor can I be content to.

After the active shooter threat all SUNY Oneonta students faced on campus last semester, it became clear to me that it is not enough to be sad, or angry or even unsure. Sometimes, we have to look fear—college, graduation, an unpromised career—in the face and then do it anyways. That is what the State Times did for me, and I have yet to be disappointed. That is not to say that, at times, things won’t get hard. So hard sometimes that it might seem unbearable.

If I could leave underclassmen and the future staff of the State Times with a few parting words and some genuine advice, I would remind them that their time here is short— as a red dragon and in history–so leave your mark.

Go after your dreams; speak your mind; follow your heart—it will all be worth it. Every tear, every bruise, every scar will make you that much stronger. The path for those that come after you will be paved a little better and what a beautiful thing to know you have left such a mark on a campus and in a community and in the world that has meant so much to you.

From a freshman who didn’t have anything together to a senior that is the President of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society; the President and Co-founder of a newly recognized chapter of Hippies for Hope, a non-profit organization that seeks to bring happiness into children’s medical centers; the Senior Editing Director of Her Campus, the most popular online magazine among college-age-women; the Co-Captain of an unsuccessful, but unbelievably entertaining intramural volleyball team; the member of two other honor societies and last, but certainly not least, the Editor-in-Chief of the State Times, I understand just how valuable attending an interest meeting can really be.

Even if you’re doing it for your résumé like I was, you’re sure to get a whole lot more out of it. You might even find yourself.

Angie Beltrani, Managing Editor |

If someone would have told me my final year at Oneonta would have been overshadowed by the active shooter warning incident, a pandemic and the poor timing of my own personal struggles back home, I would have called bulls**t. However, it is all very real and horrible right now. I can’t change it. There’s a lot I never got to do and never will, and everything feels a little too heavy. But it really makes me want to forge a future, more than before.

I was petrified all year about the ending and where to go from there, but it turned out to be a lot like learning to swim… you just have to jump or be thrown in. And it turned out to be the latter. I am in the future, and I’m not sure what to make of it. But I’m going to learn to float–we’re all going to learn to float. And let us not forget that though all of this is completely real and horrible, our past four years were just as utterly real but dazzling. I can’t explain it, but when I visited this campus… I just kind of knew it was for me. But it wasn’t my first choice, and almost everyone I met had some other plan. God, were we wrong.

Personally, I hated high school; I just wasn’t a happy person there. College kind of brought me back to life—this college brought me back to life. I really do think there is a warmth in the student body that pervades the campus. I entered nervous as hell but so ready to find something better. I am leaving the same way.

I truly have no idea what I’m going to do with my degree, and even more so when considering the current economic state of the world. But life has a way of sorting itself out; my transition from high school to college taught me that.

Each year at Oneonta I grew more into myself. Freshman year was learning the ropes (don’t be fooled, I cried like a baby at first) and genuinely loving to learn new things in my classes. Sophomore year was more of the same and mostly stagnant, which pushed me forward. Junior year was perhaps my favorite year here. I really settled into my place on this campus, outside of my roommates, when I was elected onto the WONY 90.9 e-board and joined the State Times staff.

At the end of the day, WONY is family. My college experience is saturated with memories of all my WONY friends at our house parties, the bar/sake, in the studio, on trips, at house shows etc. My experience at the station is also deeply personal to me because I’ve been involved with WONY since I stepped on campus when I knew no one and felt uncomfortable in my own skin.

I went in alone and learned how to love every minute of it until this love became something I could share too. I am indebted to the music and people who changed my outlook on my college experience, so thank you.

I didn’t expect to fall even more in love with my campus involvement when I joined the State Times; but that happened anyway too. I really appreciate the editing experience I gained and the ability to share my voice and promote other students’ voices with our publication. My only regret is not joining sooner.

I’ll treasure all the friendly arguments over grammar rules and inside jokes. This organization really filled a place in my heart that just wasn’t satisfied by anything else I was doing on campus. And not a single day ever felt like work. May the next generations carry on the tradition of never staying on track because they’re too busy laughing. I’ll miss it so, so much.

My friend said something that kind of sums up how I feel: Half of my heart belongs to my hometown and the other half was stolen by Oneonta. It is funny how the cold doesn’t bite as much now (especially when you’re dizzy and warm on the way home from a frat party or the bar). But the hills will always steal my breath, and yet still I’d do anything to walk up a snowy Golding hill on the way to class all over again.

And with that, I don’t think I could have gotten any luckier than my first days here at Oneonta. I remember seeing an Instagram post when I was researching the school of two girls who boasted of being random roommates and friends since freshman year, and I thought, “Wow, I’d
love that to happen for me but what are the odds?” I wouldn’t even ask for that much, just tolerance; I wanted to try and branch out on my own anyway. Fate had other plans.

My random roommate from freshman year turned out to be my best friend, and as luck would have it our other best friend lived down the hall in Golding 3 East. I cannot count the memories we have made together, and I know there will be so many more.

Distance, time and tragedy do not get to erase what we all made here. So, yes, the ending may have been kind of sh*tty, but what does it really matter when you know you struck gold from day one? I really do believe there is a little magic in this small town, and I’m taking it with me.

Marcus Garnot, Copy Editor |

As a transfer student, Oneonta was my first-choice school. Coming in as a junior, it took me a while to adjust to the new setting; whereas before I had felt a sense of comfort at a local community college, this new environment––which felt a million miles away––made me feel challenged, curious, excited and scared. Luckily, I quickly found out that SUNY Oneonta was the best place for me.

Reflecting on my two years here, I remember how nervous and uncertain I was transferring in, but I now feel accomplished and content with my college experience. In my two years at Oneonta I have been fortunate enough to have met some amazing people, had unforgettable conversations and studied under supportive faculty.

Pursuing both English and professional writing introduced me to friends who share my passion and faculty who have made class enjoyable and learning engaging. From joining honor societies to presenting at the New Critics literary conference, SUNY Oneonta fostered, moulded and advanced my passion for language (plus it led me to the perfect job).

During my first year at Oneonta, I had no ambition for an on-campus job, as I felt busy enough with classwork. But looking back now, I wish I had tried for one earlier. Finding out about the State Times through a classmate in a Technical Writing course (who was the then Editor-in-Chief––shout out to Michelle), I applied on a whim and was surprised to have been accepted.

Going into the job, I was afraid of being the odd one out, but I was immediately welcomed by a few familiar faces, plus some welcoming new ones. As Copy Editor, I’ve relished in the ability to apply skills I learned in the classroom, further gain experience in the media-journalism field and to have lastly met such an amazing group of people.

During my two short semesters with the paper, I have had the pleasure of working with a set of co-workers that made work feel fun and the content important. I look back regretting only that I hadn’t applied sooner, and I’m happy to have had a part in such an excellent and important organization. To contribute to the State Times and its involvement in the SUNY Oneonta community has been so fulfilling, and I feel sad to leave it so abruptly.

Even through last semester’s scare, I saw us completely bounce back as a school, and I’ve seen the endurance, strength and support of our college community. To end college in this way––as we seniors are aware––feels completely unfair.

To say goodbye without actually saying it might leave a stain on our college experiences, but to despair now and completely discard the memories and progress we’ve made would be to do ourselves wrong, so instead I appreciate the time my classmates and I were able to spend in class and on campus together. Although this conclusion feels like an odd and sudden one, I feel fortunate to have graduated at such a fantastic school with outstanding support, challenging academics and great friends.

Gillian Stieglitz, Treasurer |

Coming into Oneonta as a freshman, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to continue my volleyball career. Although this had many challenges within itself, one of the many things it did offer me right away was an easy transition from high school to college and teammates that I can now call my best friends. Playing on the women’s volleyball team was a huge commitment, but it has given me so much in return.

Through the people I have met, the proud and exciting moments that I had, and the experiences that have shaped me into who I am today is something that I will be forever grateful for. It played a huge part in my whole college experience, and I am able to walk away knowing it taught me amazing life lessons and built my character. It gave me the strength to pursue anything that I set my mind to at college, which has allowed me to explore other activities outside of athletics and really excel in the classroom.

This upcoming spring, I will be graduating with a degree in Business Economics. Like all majors, I took some very challenging classes, and at times it was difficult to push through them because I was not sure what I wanted to do upon graduation. However, I never stopped pushing myself, and as a result I learned so much more and have received various academic achievement awards. I have always been motivated to challenge myself and set my mind to anything, even if it does not come easily. This has helped me find success in other areas throughout my time as a college student.

I was Vice President of the Student Advisory Council for the school of Economics and Business, which has really given me a new perspective on how our school’s business program is organized and ways to improve it, and it has helped me to form stronger relationships with both students and faculty.

I was also a representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Council where athletes come together to help improve our athletic programs and bring together our campus and community. During my senior year, I became a peer tutor for Corporate Finance and Business Law. I am very grateful to have been part of these activities, and it has made me appreciate my campus even more.

Lastly, I joined the State Times my senior year. The previous treasurer had told me about the position, and I was interested in it right away. I thought very highly of all the work that goes into the State Times, and I wanted to contribute. Handling finances is also something I have always been very good at, so I wanted to be part of the team, however, I was also excited to learn more and improve my skills.

Seeing how the State Times operates and all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes is truly admirable. Each member who is part of producing the school newspaper does an amazing job, and I would recommend anyone who enjoys writing and collaborating with others to look into joining the team. I am sad that my time with the State Times is coming to an end, however, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of it and to be able to work with such smart, hardworking students!

And a special mention of Erin Spicer, the State Times Arts Editor and May 2020 Graduate.

1 Comment

  1. You can’t help but be moved by these testimonials! unfortunately the pandemic has limited some of our dreams to come true at the moment! But that served us to reflect and learn something, after all we are constantly evolving!

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