Around the Room

What do you think has been the most influential or most personally important story The Collegian has covered during your time on the staff?

“The most influential story The Collegian covered, and one that we received the most reaction on, was the makeover of Timeout. Our coverage in the Sports section and online hit a nerve with the university community, generating more than 80 paragraph-length responses on the Web site and an in-office visit from the student who represents Timeout at sporting events. With The Collegian Online’s and the Opinion section’s addition of Web-Spe@k due to the Timeout issue, students were able to voice their concerns with the university’s decision to remake the school’s mascot.”
—Jessica Szalay, Editor in Chief

“The stories on the IRA fee increase proposals were the most important issue we’ve covered during my time at The Collegian. What seemed like a boring, innocuous story about an ASI election turned into the hottest topic of the semester. The rejection of the IRA fee referendum and the opening of the previously-closed fee committee meeting really showed the power of the student voice.”
—Joanne Lui, News Editor

“I’d have to say the most important story I’ve had a hand in was the IRA fee referendum story, mostly because of the large amount of student reaction it generated. I’m in this job because I believe in the power of news to bring important issues to the forefront and between the frequent comments on the articles, the letters to the editor and the student participation in the meetings, I can tell this story struck a nerve with the students. It was really cool to see the student involvement build as the process progressed.”
—Megan Bakker, Senior Writer

“I’ve been here for a long time now, so I’m going to go back a long way — past the beginning of this semester, past the beginning of last semester, all the way to the final issue of the spring 2007 semester. Many readers may not remember, but our final production night of last semester also happened to coincide with the shooting that resulted in the death of former student Brant Daniels. The staff was forced to react swiftly and rethink all of our content for the issue (which was, that day, an unusually large paper). The content we ended up producing was some of the most timely we’ve had to address during my time here on staff, and despite the short timeline, the writing in the stories was remarkably clean and strong. Additionally, the incident forced me to write a column about the shooting that was substantially different stylistically than the bulk of the columns I had written up until that point. In that sense, the shooting also transformed the way I thought about writing opinion columns in general. It was a topic that did a lot to demonstrate both the staff’s ability to respond and adapt to important events.”
—Mathew Gomes, Opinion Editor

“The column about the football program helping academics was important to me. Our football program gets a lot of flak, and I believe needlessly so. There are legitimate, practical reasons to spend so much on one crowd-pleasing sport.”
—Benjamin Baxter, Staff Columnist

“For me, the most important issue was the Mitt Romney column — not only for the chance to tackle a personal and political topic, but because it was the first time I had written a column filled solely with my opinions. ‘Stop talking and write it,’ the Opinion editor had said when he heard my ten-minute rant. Fast-forward an hour and a half, and I had 900 words that I was proud of.”
—Megan Reilly, Features Editor

“The most influential or important story ran during my time at The Collegian so far was the ‘It’s the Law’ package at the beginning of this semester. I have heard from several readers that they kept that issue as a reference for the upcoming laws this year. Additionally, the writing and the visuals used for the photo illustration were both good.”
—Brandon Santiago, Features Reporter

“The most important issue we’ve dealt with were the stories on air quality in the Central Valley. Just like the food we eat, air is vital to our survival. The worse the air is, the worse our lives are.”
—Kim Anderson, Sports Editor

“I think the most important thing we’ve run is Jonathan Lane’s column on ska music. Not many people realize that ska music is still around. It’s a great genre and has a unique sound that is hard to imitate.”
—Jimmy Graben, Sports Editor

“The most important story The Collegian has worked on this year was the one on the poor air conditioning in many of the older buildings. You’ll get angry when it is 100 degrees in your classroom — and only 95 degrees outside.”
—Kyle Lazarus, Sports Reporter

“I think the ‘Who’s in Charge?’ stories and editorials were important. Drinking can be a big problem in college, and just exposing the issue can help solve some of those issues. At the same time, it also prompted a number of Greek organizations to be more proactive about notifying The Collegian about their service events and contributions to Fresno State and the Fresno community.”
—Juan Villa, Photo Editor

“The coverage of club volleyball at the national championships. Club sports don’t get the attention they sometimes deserve. It was important to recognize the volleyball club’s achievements.”
—Heather Billings, Webmaster/Multimedia Editor

“The autism clinic stories and video were an important contribution. They raised awareness about autism in the Central Valley. I think they also show what programs there are to help children with autism.”
—Kylee Jepsen, Multimedia Reporter

“The Stacy Johnson-Klein coverage was important because it was something people were interested in and was something that affected the school’s image in a profound way.”
—Ben Keller, Staff Writer

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