Well, we made it.
Our last issue arrived on campus May 7, two days late 'cause we missed deadline with our new printer.
It's okay. For the most part, it was a quality issue with good stories, solid reporting and decent art work. We had some busts - headlines on police blotter (again - we never did this right) and index pages were not correct. Still, we managed to produce our 31st "miracle" of the year. In spite of all the problems and the different activities all of you are involved with, we come together Sunday and Monday and produce our little weekly newspaper....it's a miracle, I tell you, but one which is very significant. Are we great or what?
Let me just say that I feel we're good...we're very good and for that Adriana Garza (our South Texan Lab Adviser) and myself are very proud of you. We did many things right this year and the credit goes to the staff and its leadership. Leadership comes in many forms and characters.
There is Juan Carlos Reyes, our editor, a pearl of a young man with a loving heart and incessant giggle that personifies him as a big teddy bear. But JC can be tough when he wants to and without that stern side of him, we would not have been as good as we are or had the "pockets of excellence" that Adriana often refers to when discussing our newspaper. JC was a good leader and he got us to where we are today - one of the most-awarded student newspapers in Texas. Thanks, JC, for a great job.
Leadership, too, comes from the quiet, resolute and passionate mindset of Jaime Gonzalez. He is like a beacon that lights the way when stories falter or assignments or missed. He picks up the load where no one else cares to do the job and when it is essential someone step up. If you ever are in a battle - the real kind where people are being hurt or shot at like some of you who have been to Iraq know about - you would want someone like Jaime O. Gonzalez by your side. He would make sure you would be safe. He did that with class and dignity for us.
Leadership also comes in the quiet "Let's get the job done" attitude of Bob Pena. Without his leadership, many of the things that make The South Texan very, very good, would not have happened. Bob is like the seasoned old veteran who listens intently and then, when he speaks, every one pays attention. Thank you, Bob, for your patience with all of us and for providing quiet and unassuming leadership.
Leadership comes also from unexpected places as young people grow up into becoming young men and women and understand that they have it within themselves to step up and be counted on. Angela Palacios grew up a lot this year. She became a quiet leader, willing to train others and passionate about her role with The South Texan and with our department. Because of that, she will become editor next year and now has two solid internships under her belt. She did well and we are very happy for her. In one way or another, all staff members (those who were here part-time or full-time) showed leadership capabilities.
But, where there is only leadership and no one wants to do "the dirty work," the paper won't get done. These leaders, and others, made sure we worked as a team. The result was a solid university student newspaper with a good online edition that touched not only the students, faculty and staff of TAMUK, but alumni statewide and nationwide. We made a difference.
Those who helped us make a difference included reporters and staffers like Erika Hernandez, Kristie Vela, Edwin Vasquez, Amanda Marcum, Tania Garcia, Adrian Trevino, Claudia Garcia, Katrina Alejandro, Lorraine Rodriguez, Sabrina Reyna, Sabrina Salinas, Mark Molina, Colton Williams, Lorraine Rodriguez and others.. You are too many to mention but be aware that we know who you are. These students were the lifeblood of our reporting.
You see, we had many stories to report and we reported them well this year. This last issue is a testament to that dedication. From the "Size Does Matter" concluding series on retention by Kristie Vela, to the "Swine Flu" story by Edwin to the A&I/AMK controversy on pi, this was about us (The South Texan) staff reporting on the issues that mattered to our readers. Good job, very, very good job. Thanks.
Page 2, too, was a synopsis of our work this year. From Erika Hernandez's controversial column to the steady but significant "Green Tips" report, this was a solid page and told as much about our staff's commitment to our community as it did about us.
Page 3 covered three very important areas to our university: The Student Government Association, The Campus Activities Board and the TAMUK Engineers. These three areas of TAMUK are often in the news and more often than not we are there to report their activities. Good stories, all.
Page 4 was our final opinions page. It had three letters to the editor and two solid columns along with an excellent cartoon. JC and Bob...good job and some solid words of wisdom and reflection.
Page 5 had a review of the year....well, it shows why the heck we've been so busy.
Pages 6-7 point to the future of our university....there is lot of construction going on and it reflects the future. Are we ready for it?
Page 8 was sports and it was fitting conclusion to our sports coverage, which was, for the most part, excellent this year. Good job Jaime. And, hey Jaime, great, great farewell column. Thanks for the kind words and right back at you big guy, okay?
Page 9 had the BSM feature. This was good because it showed a part of the campus we don't often cover. Also, it was good because it showed there is new blood coming to our staff. Amanda Marcum seems ready to step up and take the lead, here. Wow. Katherine Robinette remains solid in her classes and may be ready to step up. Still, it's good to see new names on the byline. Thanks.
Page 10 talks about the coming blockbuster movies for the summer....it's an excellent last page for a very interesting academic year we at The South Texan had. We had a blockbuster year with a whole lot of news and we covered most of it fairly, objectively and with class and dignity. We did a good job, a very, very good job. Thanks and God Bless all of you....