Editorial: Changes coming to The Western Carolinian

Changes are on the horizon for The Western Carolinian newspaper! You will start seeing more of us in the near future.

As the change of leadership takes hold and we settle into our new routine, our plan is to help your campus newspaper grow and blossom. Recently, it seems as if we have quietly shouting the news, and we want to change that starting immediately. Already, we have begun distributing in more locations around campus and in Sylva, but that is not enough. Here is our plan, and we hope you will help us to stick it as well as assist us in creating new ideas:

1. Volunteer in the community. As a staff, we want to reach out and give back to our community. We do that already by highlighting extraordinary individuals in our Citizen Spotlight, Before They Were Educators and Alumni Spotlight. We also help students find an area in which they want to give back with our Service Learning pieces. However, we, too, should be actively involved with the Cullowhee/Sylva/Dillsboro/Waynesville communities. This summer, we plan to make a splash at the Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration in Waynesville and explore the surrounding area for group activities to help us get to know one another better and create a greater appreciation for this area of North Carolina. In the fall, the hope is to get together and volunteer at the different places we have featured like The Community Table and the Jackson County Library.

2. Get out there! We plan to make a bigger impression during the beginning fairs and activities like Valley Ballyhoo, the Student Employment Fair, open houses and the Cat Fair. Through that, we can get more student feedback and a bigger staff so we can cover more breaking news, events, activities and off campus goings-on.

3. Show off the office! We have a neat little place to ourselves up at the Old Student Union building. Unfortunately, not many students know where the Old Student Union building is because it is tucked away from the rest of campus. In the future, we will have open houses of the newspaper office to give students a chance to see where the paper is created, ask questions, tell us story ideas in person and snack on some free chips and soda.

4. We want to hear from you! Got a story? Know of an event? Happy or displeased by something related to the University? Give us a call or send us an email. Most of our story ideas come from what we hear in class or from our friends. That is a small group of people compared to the entire student body of Western Carolina University, so tell us what is going on. All of the staff emails are listed on our Contact Us page at westerncarolinian.com, and any staff member would be more than happy to point you in the right direction or bring up your idea at the next assignment meeting. You can also submit articles as a contributing writer to be published in our print and/or online editions.