Editor-in-Chief’s ‘famous last words’

Editor-in-Chief gives her sentiments as she retires her duties at the end of this semester.Mikey Bryant | Hudsonian

Editor-in-Chief gives her sentiments as she retires her duties at the end of this semester.

Jenny Caulfield

Being the Editor-in-Chief of an organization like The Hudsonian is incredibly difficult, but the right people can make it the best experience of your life.

I’ve never enjoyed hard work—this is—until I was elected to lead Hudson Valley’s award winning newspaper. The transition was frightening, and though I felt I’d talked a big game about being the right person for the job, I feared I was not qualified and would not live up to the standards set by our previous Editor-in-Chief.

After sitting down and having a conversation with our Photo Editor in the Campus Center, I learned the most important thing about being an Editor-in-Chief. He told me that he, at first, didn’t believe I had the ability to be Editor-in-Chief, but I’d since changed his mind and proved him wrong.

I didn’t understand how or what I’d done to change his mind, but it was at that moment I realized something life changing; I was simply a placeholder.

I was the cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae that receives praise and recognition because I’m at the top, but being at the top does not mean taking praise for everything. It is with this letter I would like to recognize the importance of what The Hudsonian really is to me—our editorial board and staff members.

The Hudsonian would be absolutely nothing without our editorial board. Week by week Hudsonian staff ensure that stories are written, photographs are taken, stories are edited, layout is prepared and through a unified effort, a newspaper is created.

The Hudsonian was awarded its highest honor in our history at this year’s College Media Association competition in New York City. Our competition issue, which was filled with nearly a month’s worth preparation of blood, sweat and tears, led to our placing third in the country for Best 2-Year College Newspaper.

This historic win happened because of the never ending hard work and dedication of our editorial board and staff members. I would love to take credit for this win, but I was simply along for the ride—cheering everyone on from the sidelines and watching everyone create something monumental around me.

Every section editor of The Hudsonian should be proud of their contributions to this organization. Without them, this paper would not exist, and I sometimes don’t think they’re given enough credit for the endless hours of hard work they put into their positions.

All of this time I had thought I wanted to be Editor-in-Chief for myself, but I realized, eventually, that I wanted to do it for everyone else. I wanted to be the world’s loudest and most energetic cheerleader—cheering everyone along week by week because this job can be tough.

Throughout the course of one week, a section editor will often put in more work and hours into The Hudsonian than their part-time job. They will take time away from personal activities, seeing family and friends and even sleep to make sure they meet their deadlines and duties to the best of their ability.

I can think of no greater joy than when I watched someone struggle with something on our paper, then come out victorious and endowed with the wisdom of their experience. Watching the progression of our writers and photographers is the most humbling feeling I can think of, and I have had the pleasure of watching every member of our editorial board grow exponentially throughout the course of this semester.

Although no one and nothing will ever be perfect, it is my personal belief that the right people can make anything be perfect. So what made The Hudsonian perfect to me? Watching everyone I care about thrive around me.

The Hudsonian is more than a club. The Hudsonian is even more than a newspaper. The Hudsonian is a family of students who will help each other with anything along the way, however they can. If someone falls, they may be laughed at first, but everyone will make sure they get back on their feet, to the best of their ability.

When you come to Hudson Valley with idea of discovering who you are and what you want to be, I advise opening yourself up to other people. Enjoy being vulnerable and feeling uncomfortable.

Working daily to help and benefit other people for a year straight will make the most selfish people become selfless, and eventually realize their selfish tendencies.

I will never be able to thank The Hudsonian enough for everything this organization has taught me. I’ve learned so much week by week from each section editor that I will carry forward after graduating college. Being in a position of leadership helped me to understand who I want to be, and how I want to live the rest of my life.

If you are young and want to start a fraternal family but aren’t fully prepared to commit to a group of people who will love and help you, I recommend coming to a Hudsonian meeting; once you meet the people involved, you’ll never want to leave our family.

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