COLUMN: Environment impacts college students

By Melissa Silverberg

Favorite story written this semester:

The first story I wrote about organic food was one of my favorites; it was an interesting story and had a great graphic to go with it.

Best interview I did:

Michael Schlesinger. He is a professor at the University but also a Nobel Prize winner and basically a climate/atmospheric sciences genius. I talked to him a lot this semester and he was very knowledgeable about so many environmental topics and very willing to help me try to better understand them.

The priceless quote that will hang on my wall:

“We have unknowingly already left a climate change legacy of 1,000 years,” Michael Schlesinger said. “Time’s up.” This was about climate change past, present and future.

The story I was most passionate about:

Earth Day. I put weeks of work interviewing and researching into the stories and tried to really understand the science and all the different parts of climate change and those issues.

I wish this story forced people to look at what their actions mean and make even a small change in their daily activities.

Moment that I loved my job:

I loved helping cover the Super Tuesday primaries. It was just exciting to even be in the newsroom that night, and I got to go out and get reactions from people as the polls came in – it was very cool.

Moment that I hated my job:

I haven’t had one of those moments yet.

The story I would cover tomorrow:

I’m not sure because whatever will be news tomorrow has not happened yet, but when it does – I’ll cover it.

If I could do one story over again:

My stories about the former gas plant at Fifth and Hill streets in Champaign. It was a very important local issue, and I wish I could have done more investigation and found out what was really going on there.

I would love to investigate this person’s life further:

It would be interesting to profile some students at the University that have done some important things for the environment and why the issue is so important to them.

What I’m looking forward to covering in the fall:

Election coverage.

I work here because:

I love to write and I want to tell the story.

The hardest story to write:

I had to do a story about the Westboro Baptist Church protesting a funeral of someone that had died at NIU. I had to call a funeral home, and the boy’s funeral was going on at the time. It felt too personal and nosy. Really all of the NIU coverage hit a little too close to home on campus.

Why I chose my beat:

The environment is a pretty big issue to the world right now and something college students should know more about.