Letter from the editor: Community is everything

Managing Editor reflects on her time at The Evergreen and being part of an amazing community

GRACE ARNIS, Former Evergreen managing editor

Dear readers,

Coming back for a fifth year of college was always something I knew I would have to do.  I learned in an introductory communication course my second semester of college the final class requirement to complete my degree directly conflicted with my schedule as a student-athlete on the women’s rowing team at WSU. Last May, I watched all of my closest friends graduate and knew I would have to figure out something this year because I was so used to the rigorous schedule and massive support system of a team. 

The first day of school this fall felt so weird. The only thing required of me that day was to attend class. I finally understood what everyone meant by “sylly week.” There was truly nothing to do after my classes ended at 1 p.m. that day… and it felt terrible. A day later I got a call from the sports editor of The Daily Evergreen where I was recently hired to report on football. 

The paper had suddenly lost its Deputy Sports Editor and since a lot of my friends were editors, they knew they could rope me into the job. In their minds, I was helping them out, but they were actually helping me the most. 

To the Evergreen, I am endlessly grateful for giving me a place to go after class, introducing me to the most amazing, passionate people I never would have met and constantly inspiring me to become a better journalist and editor.   

Many of my fellow editors can speak about the years of experience they have with the Evergreen and everything it has taught them. However, being one of the newest hires to the Evergreen Editorial staff, it was the experiences I had outside the newsroom that taught me the best about how to be a good reporter, editor, coworker and friend. Something I learned through out university is that there is no “one thing” that helped me succeed. Rather it was a collective amount of experiences in all of the communities I grew up in that helped me. Which has eventually led me to believe that not only have a lot of my best successes happened with a good amount of luck, they are mostly a product of the community I am surrounded by. Singular success is not possible without community success. 

 The Daily Evergreen is successful because the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication teaches its students how to report with integrity and truth. Every time the Evergreen wins a Society of Professional Journalists award it is not only a direct reflection of us but also the way we have been taught to report. I know my reporting wouldn’t be half as good without the professors that challenged me to have high expectations, called me out when I did something without much effort and celebrated with me when I succeeded in making something worthwhile. The feedback they gave me in class, the classes they were inspired to make happen and the opportunities they afforded to me made me a more intentional reporter and precise editor. I am grateful to have them as inspiration, mentors, job references and people to call when I need to be told a story idea probably isn’t the best. 

The Evergreen is able to report responsibly and frequently because our community works with us. It helps that we live in a small college town, but our success is still reliant on the way we report on the university, small businesses in Pullman, and even the university athletic department. Without the support of Pullman and WSU we would be nothing and without the students and community members we would have no purpose to work for. I hope The Evergreen exists long after anyone there remembers who I am, it is integral to the health and wellbeing of the community.


Grace Arnis, Managing Editor Spring 2020