Friday, September 21, 2007

Despite using that expression, I swear I don't kill birds with stones

Last spring I was the Daily Orange University Union beat writer. University Union is the student programming organization that brings speakers, concerts, movies, comedians, radio and other entertainment to campus.

My coverage ranged from announcing breakthrough-pop-jam-band O.A.R.'s concert to U.U.'s financial battle with our student government to revamp their funding.

I left for summer with more clips than I had ever accummulated in one semester, a few more professional relationships and a feeling that I definitely wanted to be a beat writer again -- just not for U.U.

Two different letters came to mind: S.A.

Also known as, Student Association, SU's student government.

I had interviewed the president and comptroller for my U.U. budget story, so I had already broken the ice with two sources I'd probably quote a lot. The interviews were really professional, which made my job easy. There was no confusion to what was on and off the record. Answers were well-said and clear.

So I was assigned -- fall SA beat writer. I go to their weekly assembly meetings Monday night and then head over to the DO office to type up my story. Sometimes I follow-up on issues mentioned in the meetings. I even write feature-esque pieces to offer more broad coverage of the organization.

U.U. was fun -- revealing new information about upcoming shows and dealing with entertainment -- but SA satisfies my other half.

Being a newspaper/political science dual major, I don't always get the opportunity to morph my interests into one activity. I'm either writing for an event or trend, or debating or reading about social policy. I kill two birds with one stone with SA.

And it's not only a personal win for me. I really feel like this beat impacts the community. People tell me they saw my article and they learned something or I'll overhear students talking about the things I wrote about in my article; I never got that with my U.U. beat.

So as much as I'm happy that I get to cover the internal workings of the student government, I think I'm most happy that my words actually hold some kind of weight.

Additional SA stories from this semester thus far:

Cut in Haven Dining Hall's hours discourages committee chairman

Senior voted to serve on Judicial Review Board

Members from Cabinet fill open Assembly seats

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