We apologize for the hiatus. Last semester The Point News faced an array of complications, including problems with budgeting, staffing, and organization, resulting in zero published issues. However, we are back, and we are here to stay! For those who do not know, The Point News is St. Mary’s student-run newspaper. We print twice a month, and are constantly updating our website thepointnews.com. As of this fall we have 30 dedicated journalists, including 18 new staff members, all of whom are dedicated to making a quality newspaper.

Miranda McLain is taking up the reins as Editor-in-Chief of The Point News: “I have been working with The Point News since my freshman year, working as a staff writer and then as Arts & Entertainment section editor for a few semesters. Now, as Editor-in-Chief, I am dedicated to making this paper a place where members of the St. Mary’s community can lend their voices in order to make sure that what matters to them is being noticed. My main hope is that The Point News creates a dialogue amongst our community. Too often I’ve found opposing views straining our campus, and I hope that by redefining ourselves we can provide a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. I believe we are capable of bringing a trustworthy source of information to our community. By calling such attention to the newspaper, I hope to unite the campus with the world around us in addition to celebrating our unique and beautiful home. The Point News is in need of a revival, and I am confident that our staff this year is fully capable of bringing a positive change to the paper. I am excited to see what stories and events come our way this semester, and I hope everyone will join us as we learn and grow through journalism.”

As Managing Editor, Scott Zimmerman is passionate about revitalizing the paper: “I am a late bloomer to journalism. I came into this position through an unusual path, but because of this, I feel I must try even harder to prove my dedication. During our community conversations meeting, my group mentioned the importance of the media, specifically The Point News as an instrument of communication. I firmly believe that good journalism is essential in invoking a positive dialogue amongst peers. The media is seen as a partisan mouthpiece for a particular viewpoint when it’s bad. Yet, when it’s well done, it is seen as the beacon of truth in a sea of lies. I strive to make this newspaper a conversation-starting, truth-telling, reliable outlet for our community. I want this newspaper to become as interesting and offbeat as Buzzfeed (at times), as clear cut as Vox, as informative as the Economist, as innovative as FiveThirtyEight and as stable as the Washington Post.”

Our section heads were chosen due to their advanced technical ability and passion for excellence. They all have significant goals for the semester, and will work to make The Point News great again.

Our Opinions Editor Julian Erville hopes to broaden the Opinions section to include a wide range of stories: “As all returning students know, St. Mary’s is home to a passionate student body. I want The Point News to reflect all this passion. In particular, as the Opinions Editor, I care what you think. If there’s an issue you feel strongly about, write something about it and send it to us. Whether you’re writing about international politics or campus life, if you have a point to make I want to publish it. Serious articles and humor pieces are both great if they are well written. My main goal is for the Opinions section to showcase the diversity of viewpoints we have on campus. In the past, we’ve had a consistent but small bubble of contributing writers. Let’s see more than just a few people writing for us. It’s up to you to make your voice heard.”

Rose Glenn, a talented photographer herself, is now in charge of TPN’s seven new photojournalists: “Over the past year The Point News has changed and evolved in many ways. Although we have had our hiccups along the way, this newspaper is in a better place than it was last semester. We have so many new faces that are eager to join us on this adventure of growing The Point News. I’m very excited to see that so many people are interested in being a photographer and people who want to add color and art to enhance the stories written. I’m hoping that this year the paper will have more of a serious tone created by people who are hard-working and dedicated to every issue. I really want people to enjoy what they’re writing about or taking photos of, and I want that enjoyment to be consistent every week. I want people who will come to every meeting and actively want to be involved with this paper week after week. I would like this paper to be an outlet for people to enhance their writing or editing or photography skills. My goal is that everyone learns something this semester and figures out what topic they love to document.”

Rebecca Ritter, returning to our staff this year, will lead our News and Features sections: “Too often on even our own small campus do we stay disconnected from one another. This can mean on lines of race, culture, and worldview, but it can come from less complex divisions, too, such as those between STEM students and humanities majors; athletes, commuters, and transfers that feel distanced from the campus; faculty and staff who are kept apart from the student body. I want The Point News to exist as something that can show students what’s happening 10 minutes away from them, behind the doors of a department they’ve never looked at. I want it also to be a place for the student body to reflect and express their ideas about the world outside our small St. Mary’s community.”

New to our staff is Lauren Smith, our Arts & Entertainment section editor: “As a whole, I would like The Point News to become a staple of not only the St. Mary’s campus, but our surrounding communities, who can read about local issues as well as global issues. I want to be able to see my peers reading the paper and waiting for the next edition, knowing the paper will contain new ideas and thoughtful pieces. As for the Arts & Entertainment section, I aim to make it a place where students can find their peers featured as having impressive artwork. I also hope to have more in depth conversations with artists and entertainers who share their ideas on campus.”

Halcyon Ruskin will be the editor for our newest section, World Perspectives, that gives the student body a platform for engaging in broader national and international issues that strike close to home. “Having written for The Point News all of last year, I have witnessed how vibrant and passionate St. Mary’s students are, so I see this section as an opportunity to not only tap into that energy but to respectfully pull the campus community closer together over controversial issues.  My objective for the World Perspectives section is to provide a space for students to vocalize how they feel and they think about the far-reaching political, economic, racial, and environmental problems that persist in society today and that affect us in unique ways.  It was a crime that our school did not have a paper last semester, because without a paper, a people have no voice. This year, my hope is that the World Perspectives section will bring that voice back to St. Mary’s, stronger than before.”

James Judlick is now Sports editor: “The sports section of The Point News should be exciting. I want to show more people that sports teams are not just some weird fraternity type of group. Our athletes go out there and represent our school through skill, sportsmanship, and focus. I want to represent them and showcase even more than what spectators see on the field. There should be articles that take on our athletes from a new perspective. As editor, I want to go behind the scenes and ask our athletes what they are really thinking every step of the way. What is their mindset throughout training? How do they assess the threat level of certain teams or players? What did it feel like when they scored the winning goal? My goal with this new perspective is to raise the attendance at our home games and boost the spirit in the stands. I want to create more of an interest among students to go out and watch their classmates. Our athletes are great and they take up too large of a population at our school to not get such recognition.”

We are passionate about being the the newspaper St. Mary’s deserves. Under the new editorial staff, The Point News will be focused on quality journalism that gets to the heart of what the St. Mary’s community cares about. We are determined to make improvements that will spur discussion and interest throughout our campus and beyond.

All of the selections you will see in this edition of The Point News are highlights from our hiatus. We will be back to our regularly scheduled programming in the coming month.