By Leah Ching, Editor-in-Chief
Saying that this year has been hectic would be a bit of an understatement. I would never have imagined that after an unexpected resignation, I would be thrust into the Editor-in-Chief position at The Argus, and I definitely never imagined that I would have the courage to plaster my face on a poster across campus, put myself in the spotlight, and run in the LUSU elections. I guess I was more up for a challenge than I thought.
Reflecting on how I got here, it all comes back to the opportunity I got two years ago to serve as a contributor for this newspaper under the leadership of Ellen Stevens. As a result, I’ve gotten to experience some truly incredible things. I fell in love with storytelling and journalism almost instantly, and realized that I wanted to be able to tell the stories that weren’t getting told. I realized how much I loved sitting across a table from another human with a notepad, and listen to them talk about all the things they’re passionate about over a cup of coffee. Most of all, I realized that writing and telling stories, would become a huge part of my life.
As a result of my involvement with The Argus, I got to meet so many folks at Lakehead that are passionate about fighting injustice in our communities, fighting for the rights of marginalized populations, and speaking out about issues that affect students in the most profound of ways. I got to attend a conference with the Canadian Federation of Students and learn more about the work the student union was doing. Somewhere along the line, I realized that writing about the injustices I saw wasn’t enough, I wanted to fight to make change in the biggest way I could, and what better way than to work with our union, the organization at the forefront of lobbying governments, speaking up, and fighting for change. I’m incredibly excited to serve students for this upcoming year as LUSU’s President.
I’m left with nothing but gratitude. I’m grateful for my time at Lakehead, for all the people that encouraged me to write for The Argus, and to the student union that I was able to get involved with. I remember stepping into my first class at Lakehead after transferring over from Western and wondering if I’d made the right choice. I left the classroom inspired after my professor had encouraged us to challenge our worldview, come face to face with our own biases, and had reminded us that learning can require an act of courage. That experience has stayed with me ever since. I can’t thank my professors enough for pushing me out of my comfort zone, giving me spaces to learn, question things, and learn about myself in the process.
I’m incredibly lucky to have such an awesome support system in my life. From Ellen, who has been amazing in offering me guidance, training, and support, to Sam and Savannah aka. Quinoa, both of whom we hired later in the year, and have turned out to be amazing employees, and even better friends. And then there’s Tamara who has been a truly wonderful friend, a life coach, and a constant source of support. I’m lucky she chose to befriend me after our fateful meeting one terrible night in downtown PA. Finally, there’s Jessi. I don’t write publicly about my partner very much, but I couldn’t ask for a better person to be my person if I tried. He inspires me to be a better person every day, and I’m forever thankful for his unconditional love and support. Overall, I’m a pretty lucky gal.
The experiences that I’ve had at The Argus go far beyond any regular job. I’m not saying it was always easy. From staying up ‘til 5:00AM to get the paper out to the presses (at least Julia was awesome company), to learning from my mistakes and dealing with the consequences, it was never a dull moment at the paper. What I am saying is that working here has given me the chance to learn how to be a leader, learn how to stumble and get back up again, and learn how to take a stance and speak out about what’s important, even when it’s hard. Taking what I’ve learned and moving into my new position in May, I’m excited for the challenge, and grateful to those who have taught and guided me along the way.
It’s 10:00PM on Sunday night and a few of us are in the office working on the last Argus of the year. Julia is busy plugging away at layout, and I can already tell we’ll be here ‘til at least 2AM. Still, we’ve got pizza here, we’re laughing and listening to terrible country music, and I’m filled with nothing but gratitude.