Web manager says goodbye after a decorated career

Kurt Ness, Web Editor

I started working for The Advance-Titan in Fall 2014 as just the web editor. I came down at 10 p.m., at the earliest, and would upload articles to the website until 2 or 3 a.m. That was my level of involvement until a new Editor-in-Chief, Katie Knox, was elected for the next semester. One of the first things Katie did is look for graphic designers for the paper. I applied for the position and became a graphic designer. Starting in Spring 2015, I attended the weekly production meetings to see if we needed any graphics made. Little did I know by just attending the production meetings, I would be roped into staying around for the next four years.

A year later, I would look forward to getting down to The A-T at 5 p.m., versus 10 p.m., and going to the production meetings. Over the past year, Katie grew to be my friend. At the start of the semester, my Aunt Noella passed away unexpectedly. I texted Katie letting her know what happened, as I knew I could count on her just to listen and talk to. She texted me back asking if I was okay, and saying don’t worry about coming down to the paper, and asking me how to upload the articles to the website. I told her that I would be back in time to work on the paper, and I wanted to get back down to the newsroom. When I walked in everyone said hi to me as usual, but then just as I sat down at my desk and started to see where we were in the night, Katie gave me a card signed by all the staff saying sorry for my loss, and that they were there if I needed anything. Shortly after that, I got a homemade card from our advisor, Vince Filak, and his family saying sorry for my loss and offering me support. That was the moment I knew that The A-T was not only my awesome job, but it was my family. Later that semester after I lost my Grandfather, Katie again asked how I was doing, and offered to upload to the articles to the web, and told me to take the night off. I again refused, because I wanted to be around the people who supported me. When I got down to the newsroom, I got another card from all the staff and Vince saying sorry for my loss of my Grandfather.

We all start at The A-T for some reason, a job that pays you a bit of money, a way to get experience, or because your professor says you should come down, but we stay because of the long lasting friendships we start and the family we create. I started at The A-T for the job, but stayed because of the people.

Next year, when the school year starts at UWO and the newspaper publishes again, I am going to find myself unsure what do with my Wednesday nights. For the past four years, every Wednesday I would come down to The A-T and work and have a good time. When my friends would ask me if I want to do something on Wednesday night, I would jokingly tell them, sorry I can’t, I sold my soul to The A-T.

So with just 250 words left, how do I sum up my experience at The A-T, and how to tell you, over there who has no interest in writing, to join The A-T? I sum up my experience with saying that, because of The A-T, been on my first flight and I have been to both DC and Texas for the National College Media Convention. At the conventions I learned what I could do better with the site and I learned how to make Facebook Live work for us. I also learned that raw cookie dough at 1 a.m. may taste like ice cream, but by 4 a.m. it tastes like sadness. Forty words left. Why should you join The A-T? Don’t do it only for professional experience, but do it for the relationships you will build and the friends and family that you can only get from us weird people.