Brust: On leaving student media for student government

Allec Brust

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board. Guest columns are the view of a campus community member who periodically contributes columns. Allec Brust is the outgoing opinion section editor for The Collegian.

Collegian opinion desk, CJ Ash, Jayla Hodge, Ryan Tougaw, Ethan Vassar, Michelle Fredrickson, Lauren Wilson, Leta McWilliams and Allec Brust in March 2018. (Collegian File Photo)

For the past three years, I have spent my days with The Rocky Mountain Collegian, watching the Associated Students of Colorado State University from one side of a notebook. I have always been curious about student government, having a lingering urge to partake in the democratic process. I am finally deciding to act upon that urge.

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As of today, I begin my campaign for ASCSU student body president. With Mareena Winchell, a former Arts and Culture writer as my vice-president candidate, I believe I can bring a promising voice to Colorado State University. To avoid any conflict of interest for myself or the newspaper, I am leaving my job at The Collegian.

I am not leaving my post as the opinion editor on a bad note — rather, I am saying farewell in the most grateful way I can express. The Collegian blessed me with three amazing years of unparalleled education in journalism.

I remember walking into the newsroom as a freshman, terrified of the experienced collegiate journalists who paved an intimidating path. I sat at the conference table as a green news reporter with a nervous excitement in my bones, itching for my first story. By the time I was a sophomore, that subtle fear and insecurity had passed, and I was thrust into the position of opinion editor. I was set with a task of building up a desk that initially consisted of only four columnists, and I thought “I can’t take on this role. I don’t know how to build a team.”

Two weeks ago I had to make an announcement on my departure to my fifteen columnists, each of whom I now have a unique and inspiring friendship with. I could never have done my job without the talent that exists within The Collegian opinion desk. From Ethan Vassar’s inspiring wit to Jayla Hodge’s commentary on society, I was surrounded by amazing individuals. I would like to thank all of you for putting up with my ridiculous Thursday night meetings, sporadic editing style and ugly crying when I announced my departure. You inspire me to go out and find the student voice. To Michelle Fredrickson, the newly appointed opinion editor and incredible health beat writer, I know you will lead this team with integrity and grace. 

The next individuals I would like to thank are the incomparable Erin Douglas and Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick, the editorial board leaders who empowered me to be a lady-boss. As editor-in-chief and managing editor of the newspaper I love, you two  inspired me with your beautiful and intelligent minds, and your strength always pushed me to move forward. I remember sitting next to the both of you as a wee humble news reporter. We moved up together and got to see each other grow as student leaders, which is pretty amazing. You both gave your heart and soul to this paper in an effort to bring truth to the university you love. You two will leave big shoes to fill, shoes that I have no doubt Haley Candelario and Shelby Holsinger will fill nicely next year. 

Next, I would like to thank my team, the editorial board. I spent hours and hours a week with you all, editing crazy stories and telling way to many bad jokes. As a team I estimate we consumed about ten gallons of coffee a day and laughed an absurd amount during our “professional” budget meetings. When the opinion desk became overwhelming (which was often), you were all there to make the vicious Facebook comments and letters to the editor slide off my back. Thank you to each of you for being such an amazing and empowering team of individuals. 

Lastly, to the Collegian readers out there, thank you for putting up with my columns that may or may not just be eloquently written Facebook rants. I do this for you. Every commentary I made on University policy had the end goal of discourse. I have always wanted to act as the spark that starts a conversation and that pushes for the student voice to be heard. If only one of my columns inspired one member of the CSU family, I have done my job. Thank you for being there to read a twenty-one-year-old’s insight on the community around her.

And so today, I leave the media side of things to get political — a bold move. However, I have the same intentions: To elevate the student voice at CSU. The Collegian will always be my friend and my educator, and I will miss it dearly. Thank you to each brilliant student journalist that helped me find my voice. I hope to do the same for every student at CSU. 

Newly-appointed opinion editor Michelle Fredrickson can be reached at letters@collegian.com. When submitting letters, please abide by the guidelines listed at collegian.com.