By SELENE SAN FELICE
I almost quit The Minaret—multiple times. Over the last three and a half years The Minaret has been my source of anger, frustration and tears. So. Many. Tears.
I get it. Not everyone reads us, and not everyone likes us. Students throw whole stacks of papers away to try and silence our stories. I’ve had many people tell me, “It would be a waste of paper,” when I try to hand them out. One student even went into detail about how he used the previous week’s edition to clean up cat bile. As a relatively small scale version of the Big Bad Liberal Media, I’m glad some of you hate us.
I’ve never been more proud of anything in my life than I have of The Minaret. Every blow we’ve suffered has made us stronger. No matter how many people read us or like us or neither, we’ve more than succeeded as a student publication, and it’s been the greatest honor to be part of every step I could along the way.
If I’d quit writing the fall of my freshman year after not getting my articles published (which, in hindsight, were poorly written), I wouldn’t have gotten the privilege of covering festivals like Big Guava, EDC and Okeechobee. I wouldn’t have realized my passion for writing about hip-hop and culture, and I don’t think anyone else would have given me the opportunity to explore it in print. Who else would have let me run a sex and love column to answer students’ anonymous (and dirty) questions?
If I’d have called it quits as an editor, I would never have broken The Minaret’s biggest ever story, and helped stop millions of “men’s rights activists” from meeting up to try and oppress women worldwide. My Minaret experience opened doors to several internships and even a chance to study abroad in Oxford, and I know when I land a job after this December, it’ll be because of my time here.
We’re not just a newspaper, website or magazine. The Minaret is made of UT’s most passionate journalism students, and I’m proud to call many of them my lifelong friends outside the newsroom.
In the past year alone, we’ve done some of our best, hardest hitting reporting. I’m excited to see next semester’s completely redesigned paper and keep up with the incredible stories yet to come.
I may be leaving, but let me assure you, The Minaret is here to stay.
Selene San Felice is graduating as Production Editor of The Minaret. She also served as Arts and Entertainment editor in 2014-2015. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram and read more of her stories here. You can also contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.