The Daily Illini

Editorial: Saying farewell as our editorial staff turns over

Another year on the Daily Illini calendar has passed.

Friday night marks what we at The Daily Illini call “turnover” — the annual replacement of our editorial staff.

This occasion also marks the final editorial put together by this group of editorial board members, so we wanted to reflect on what we learned and covered this year.

The past year was full of campus-changing events. Most Daily Illini editorial boards start their tenures with structured discussions of hopes and aspirations, but we didn’t have that option. We hit the ground running. 

The terrorist attacks in Brussels took place during last year’s spring break, and our editorial board thought it was important to remind our fellow students not to fear traveling abroad because of a small group’s misguided actions.

From the first day, we did our best to speak on behalf of the student community and address our campus’s most critical issues. For the most part, we believe we accomplished that.

Whether it was the controversial election, sports arrests, firings and hirings, commentary on our numerous longform pieces or some tragic deaths in our community, we tried our best to evoke the collective spirit of the student body in our thoughtful comments.

We also tried not to stay too serious: our year of editorials also included goofy love poems to drunk food and an obituary to the UGL doors.

Sometimes our ideas hit the sweet spot. The Daily Illini swept first and second place at the Illinois Collegiate Press Awards in the editorial category, and we also received word this week that our work earned awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Still, we were far from perfect. Numerous issues that our readers care about slipped through the cracks, and for that we can only apologize. We tried to improve as time went by, but at times we forgot the bigger picture and focused only on our day-to-day activities.

Looking to the future, we hope our successors will continue reaching out to as many students as possible. And as we said yesterday, we hope our readers will help them tackle that daunting task.

Our senior members will move on, leaving the wisdom that only those on their last lap of a wild ride can leave: We encourage you to make the most of every opportunity. Go out there and join others in following your passion, whatever it is.

There will come times when some of those opportunities will pass you by. It’s better to have done something and failed than to live with the regret of never trying at all.

Lastly, we want to thank you for reading. Whether you agreed with our views or not, you read, and that’s all we could’ve asked for.

We encourage you to continue reading. The next staff will continue, if not exceed, the work this group has done. And of course, we wish nothing but the best for the next group and for this newspaper that gave so much to us in experience and opportunity.

We’re forever grateful for the chance to speak on behalf of this publication, and try to encapsulate the voice of our fellow University students.

We hope we served both well.

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