COURTESY OF CHLOE GRUNDMEIER
After three years, six semesters, 27 months or approximately 810 days, you’d think I’d have tried to work my way up the chain of command at The Daily Evergreen. Instead, I remained happily as a reporter and columnist, never completing one page of layout or assigning anyone a story.
My legacy, rather, is in the crazy sh-t I’ve convinced my editors to publish.
The first time I put my opinion into a piece was in an article about virginity, and my excitement on the topic told the newsroom far too much about my personal life. The terror of having not only my name but my face attached to something so personal was a rush I craved again and again, and now regular readers of The Daily Evergreen know more about my sex life, mental health, family life and medical issues than some of my friends.
I treated The Daily Evergreen almost like a diary — a diary I researched and interviewed for, but the paper was a place I could write about things I cared about, things I was passionate about or things that affected me and my friends and peers.
When my best friend got some disgusted looks at her unshaven legs, I grew my leg hair and walked around the Glenn Terrell Mall taking note of the reactions. A few weeks later, I dyed it purple to challenge beauty standards and, honestly, because I felt like it.
I wrote about the difficulties of dealing with chronic pain in college and the struggles of finding the right birth control. I wrote about why I wear makeup and how I learned to knit to treat my depression. And then, there are all the events I’ve previewed, the restaurants I’ve featured and the community members’ stories I’ve shared.
But when I tell people, proudly, that I write for The Daily Evergreen, I get eye rolls. I get, “Oh, you’re one of them.” I get disgust.
And no, this publication is not perfect. We mess up, and every person who has been told they’ve misspelled a name or gotten a fact wrong has felt their heart fall to their stomach as their mind races to think of how they could screw up something so simple.
But that’s not why people are angry. They’re angry because they don’t feel represented. The Daily Evergreen is made up of students who write about what happens in town and on campus that we feel are newsworthy, and we write opinion pieces about what we’re interested in. My editor didn’t ask me to grow out my leg hair to push a feminist agenda or talk about my lack of health insurance because we all believe in the Affordable Care Act. I wrote about those things because I wanted to.
The Daily Evergreen is full of pieces about topics its writers want to talk about, feel passionate toward and believe in. If you disagree with these topics, pick up a pen and a Daily Evergreen columnist application and do something about it.