A Note from the Editor: On Storytelling and Taking Up Space
When I walked into the Gettysburgian office for the first time this semester, it felt a little too much like a museum. Old issues of the magazine were stacked up on the table we usually gather around during weekly editorial meetings, and a bowl of candy canes that were definitely too old to eat without at least a little bit of overthinking were still in the corner. Our staff meets on Zoom every Sunday now, but I still missed the office—and walking in felt a little like coming home.
Initially, at least.
It was seconds after walking in and flicking on the lights when I realized that it still felt like a museum because I was the only one there. That is, it’s the people that make the space so special for me.
Still, it’s strange to think about how spaces have the power to hold memories—and how things that take up space can do the same.
We haven’t printed a physical copy of The Gettysburgian since Feb. 27, 2020. Since then, our online presence has grown significantly and we’ve continued to amplify the stories that unfold at Gettysburg College, albeit from our respective homes and dorm rooms due to the ongoing risk of a virus that has forced us to reframe our lives.
But there’s just something about print, isn’t there? Something that can’t be translated to a website or Facebook page. Creating a publication that we can hold in our hands lets us generate the kind of community that this pandemic often swallows up. This community is critical—especially when we can hold so little right now; when we watch and absorb so much through screens as a way to protect ourselves and each other.
If this year has shown us anything, it’s that we need connection that instills a sense of togetherness, even if we’re physically apart. Providing a platform for openly voicing thoughts and concerns helps students feel less alone and more capable of building a campus environment that better reflects the values to which we collectively aspire. We are strongest and most effective in our change-making when we celebrate the identities and amplify the truths of our story-tellers in a way that demands attention.
So here’s to a magazine that takes up space. To in-depth stories and pages that actually turn. I hope this issue helps you feel like a part of something, because as isolated as we may be, I’m consistently surprised by and grateful for how much we share as members of this campus community.
This article originally appeared on page 2 of the March 16, 2021 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.