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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Babcock: Goodbye, Collegian — thank you for changing my fate

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Collegian | Cat Blouch

Kota Babcock, Arts and Culture Director

Editor’s Note: Traditionally, graduating seniors working at The Collegian are given the chance to write a farewell note at the end of their tenure at CSU.

I officially came to The Collegian the summer before my senior year, hoping to become more involved as COVID-19 restrictions calmed down. I didn’t intend to fall in love with print — I’d worked in radio for around two years already and loved it.

My first article for The Collegian was an article about the rodeo community’s response to COVID-19 for my reporting class. I stayed in my radio bubble for an extra two semesters before applying to be the Collegian arts and culture director, a bold move considering I’d stuffed my schedule completely full with my other job as the KCSU news director.

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I immediately fell in love with the types of stories I now had the time and opportunity to cover. At KCSU, oftentimes I’d been juggling multiple roles while we waited between hires. As a result, art museums, concerts and cultural events did not make it to my metaphorical desk. I’d spent my time covering hard news, and The Collegian taught me none of these types of coverage were any less important or complicated to report on.

“Student media renewed my passion when CSU drained me. I cannot imagine having made it to graduation and having been able to make the amazing friends I did at CSU without it.”

Student media has always been an important part of my Colorado State University experience, with the exception of my freshman year, a year I largely cannot remember because of how isolated I was. I came to KCSU at the request of a former news director and earned volunteer hours and practicum my sophomore year before being hired on as the news director. At student media, I made friends I cannot imagine living my life without, and I’ve attended events I cannot imagine not having in my memories.

Coming to The Collegian was one of the best decisions I could’ve made for myself, and becoming closer with my editor, Maddy Erskine, along with every reporter and writer on the arts and culture desk made my year. I spent my first summer with The Collegian on Zoom calls with interviewees and at desk meetings during which Maddy and I would be the only ones there and would use the time to remember our favorite things from our childhoods. Throughout the year, I adapted to new hours, more work and even stricter deadlines at The Collegian.

While these additions to my life felt challenging, the friendship and community I experienced at each content meeting made it all worth it. I found that whenever I was in the student media office, I was surrounded by people who cared for me and supported me. As I leave, I bring with me the memories of Serena Bettis, next year’s editor in chief, baking cookies throughout the fall semester for us when it was most stressful; I bring along the jokes and quotes we posted for each other’s enjoyment in our group chats.

Student media made college worth it. I considered transferring a number of times after CSU threatened to take my need-based aid and housing sided with my suitemate who threatened me and canceled my meal plan without warning. Student media renewed my passion when CSU drained me. I cannot imagine having made it to graduation and having been able to make the amazing friends I did at CSU without it.

Student media has supported me in every struggle but also lifted me up at every chance. Leaving The Collegian is the most painful thing I’ve had to do this year, tied with saying goodbye to student media as a whole. I am so grateful to have stuck around to be able to make these memories.

Kota Babcock was the arts and culture director and can no longer be reached at entertainment@collegian.com but can be reached on Twitter @KotaBabcock.

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About the Writer
Photo of Kota Babcock
Kota Babcock, Arts and Culture Director

Kota Babcock is the 2021-22 arts & culture director for The Collegian and began the role in summer 2021. He's a fourth-year at Colorado State University...

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