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Students: The Pendulum needs you

Past year has been challenging, but not without rewards

by Anna Johnson,

Outgoing Editor-in-Chief shares her thoughts:

It's not often a 15-year-old girl determines her life course while stuffing JCPenney inserts into a small eight-page weekly newspaper at the crack of dawn. But then again, I consider myself one of the lucky ones.  

I based my entire college decision on finding a journalism program and newspaper I admired. I remember visiting Elon and pressing my nose up to the glass door of the old office of The Pendulum, an actual bank building, and imagined what it would be like to be on staff, wondering why they had a vault.

Now I'm facing an all-too-real reality. It's my last edition as The Pendulum's Editor-in-Chief. It might be the most bittersweet moment of my life.  

I never thought in my two and a half years on The Pendulum staff that I would organize our 2010 midterm election coverage or fall in love with crime reporting. I didn't expect to move offices twice or conquer my fear of public speaking. And I couldn't have imagined finding some of my best friends and a second home. 

The staff I've had the privilege of working with this past year has continued to amaze and surpass all of my expectations. There have been many occasions when I've sat back just to marvel at the passion and level of dedication that resonates with these Pendulum staffers. 

There've been countless sleepless nights. Yet, regardless of the hours sacrificed, this staff has been able to produce quality news and entertainment for the student body and greater community. A vibrant free press is necessary for the health of this community and I've enjoyed seeing this news organization take stronger stances on issues deemed important by the student body. 

These changes couldn't have occurred without the help and devotion of so many staff members. A particular thanks goes out to our seniors: Rebecca Smith, Lauren Ramsdell, Justin Veldhuis, Sarah Carideo, Nick Zanetti, Eva Hill, Brian Allenby, Elizabeth Everett, Julia Murphy, Julia Sayers, Amanda Bender, Sam Calvert, Jack Rodenfels, Bonnie Efird, Jack Dodson and Ashley Jobe. The Pendulum will hate to see you go and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.   

During the past year I've also worked closely with The Pendulum's adviser, Colin Donohue, who has provided constant support, feedback, advice and encouragement on our constant pursuit of perfection. Our webmaster, J.D. Parsons, has also worked with our staff as we continue to become a web-first publication and we appreciate all of his efforts. 

The gains this year will not be lost with the incoming staff.  Caitlin O'Donnell, the incoming Editor-in-Chief, is a talented journalist that consistently and continuously leaves me in awe. She's picked a vivacious staff that will continue to push the administration when it is in the wrong and challenge the status quo. I am so excited to see what they accomplish and how they continue to improve.

But they will need your help. This is your newspaper. The Pendulum needs your voices. Give us your story ideas and what you want to see in your news organization. Tell The Pendulum staff when they're right and when they've missed the mark. You can shape the future of this organization and your perspective is vital for its continued success.