The University Star's 2021-2022 editorial board takes a group photo, Saturday, April 2, 2022, outside of Old Main at Texas State University.

Like all great things, the 2021-22 editorial board’s term has come to an end.

It feels like our year just started and it’s quite surreal that in a few days The University Star’s editorial board as it currently stands will no longer exist. Some of our editors will move up to bigger roles while the rest of us will graduate and be forced to find “real jobs.”

Every year, each editorial board is presented with their respective challenges that force them to adapt and grow in unexpected ways. For us, our main obstacle was navigating staffing shortages and leading a newsroom that, for the most part, consisted of younger staff members.

On top of that, this was the first time in nearly two years that we were able to connect with our audience in person and print our work for a campus bustling with students. Throughout this experience, we have been nothing but grateful for the opportunity to serve our community and share content that matters.

Like the editorial boards that have gone before us, our term hasn’t been easy. A year ago when we moved into our current positions, we questioned whether we were capable of doing the job as we stayed in our newsroom until nearly 2 a.m. putting together our first print issue.

That was just the beginning of the long days and longer production nights that laid ahead. To produce the work we do, our staff members spend hours putting stories together, taking photos at sporting events (sometimes multiple games in one day), editing podcast episodes and working on everything in between.

It’s been a trying time for student media. Our editorial board watched on as some of our fellow student newsrooms faced threats of censorship and complete shutdowns due to budget cuts, university infringement and COVID-19. We recognize the privilege we have to produce the content we do. As great as student media is, there are institutional problems that have haunted organizations like ours for decades.

We work long hours with very little pay, the majority of us without any pay at all, and oftentimes feel like we are all on our own. Burnout seems to be inevitable. There are moments when we feel like giving up, times when we question ourselves and instances when we compare our work to other newsrooms — newsrooms that usually have better resources than we do.

So, as we sit and ponder all the things we did and didn’t do, all the areas we fell short and came out on top in, our goal has always remained the same: to serve you, our audience. We strived to produce content our audience deemed valuable and functioned as a platform to share stories that often go untold.

If you’ve ever read our articles, engaged with our posts on social media, listened to a podcast episode or even just picked up our paper to play Sudoku, thank you. To our amazing team and all that you do, thank you. Whether you’ve been on staff for four years or four weeks, your contributions to our organization matter. Lastly, thank you to our team behind the scenes – our staff members who sell our advertisements, keep our website running and deliver our newspaper every Tuesday morning, none of this would be possible without you.

As we wrap up our final print issue of the semester, we pass the baton to our upcoming editorial board who is leading the way with editing and designing this week’s paper. It’s been a great year, now it’s time for the next editorial board to shine.

Journalism is an act of civic responsibility. We see our work as a public service that is necessary for a community to thrive because knowledge is empowering. If you enjoyed this story, please consider helping us "Defend the First Amendment" by donating today!

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