If you saw our print edition, you’d notice that all of the pages are blank.
This week, we are deviating from our usual practice, but not from our fundamental purpose.
The last two weeks have been emotionally draining and psychologically taxing. The administration provided students no campus-wide respite from academics. Individuals, with help from student organizations, are working to support each other in the ways they can.
We recognize that The Catalyst is one of the largest institutions on campus, employing over one hundred students. There is an enormous variety in contributors, ranging from weekly columnists to layout editors to puzzle-makers. Even so, not one staff member puts in any less than several hours of work in providing their contribution to our weekly publication.
So this week we asked people not to work. We let them know that we didn’t expect hours of labor from them. We chose to give that time back.
Our purpose as a student newspaper is to hold institutions, like Colorado College, accountable. We generally accomplish this through investigative journalism, working to discover and disseminate relevant information to the campus community.
But our newspaper is, like any other organization, made up of individuals. The wellbeing of Catalyst writers, photographers and editors is our highest priority. In the conversations we had with members of our staff, we found many people felt distressed and overworked. It was not the time for us to ask columnists to spend hours on research and writing. It was not the moment for us to push photographers to seek out and capture newsworthy pictures. It certainly was not the week for us to make editors comb through tens of pages of reading.
The emotional strain put on students over the course of the past two weeks, along with the stress of our usual, rigorous academic schedule, motivated us to give our team some time off.
It’s not enough. The time gained by our staff members in the last week pales in comparison to the average workload of a week on the Block Plan.
But it’s what we could do. So we did it.
Moreover, as much as we are glad to have the opportunity to support our contributors, we are sad that circumstances called for this. In the grand scheme of things, we would rather publish a normal newspaper every week. The notion that members of our community are sleep deprived and overstressed is heartbreaking.
We deeply appreciate each person who contributes to our paper. We hope this extra time allowed writers and photographers to focus on themselves.
Next week, we’ll be back to our usual publishing practices. If you have input on how we chose to publish our paper this week, share it.
Zeke Lloyd and Emma McDermott