The lifeblood of the independent student voice

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Photo by Brooke Morill

Kyle Spencer | Managing Editor | @kspence

With eyes full of naiveté, I walked into the former UVU Review newsroom two years ago this fall.

People rushed past me as they were throwing the newspaper together on what was a hectic “build day.” Some gave inquisitive looks without vocalizing any thought, but one person verbally acknowledged my presence.

He asked what I was interested in writing about, and I figured sports was the only topic I was somewhat qualified to cover. I left an application on the sports editor’s desk, and though it hasn’t been an entirely smooth ride since, it was how I discovered I could be a journalist.

It’s a simple anecdote, but it reminds me how lucky we are to have a student publication, and even more so, one that is supported by the institution it explores.

Recently, school communication specialist Vegor Pedersen shared with the Review’s staff how 10 years ago he joined the newspaper to stave off reformist-minded professors seeking to change the student-run format to one where a specific department would hold control.

Pedersen recounted how much that angered him, and he and the then “College Times” staff made it their goal to show they could handle the task on their own.

Much like the appreciation I feel for whomever the newsroom guy was that gave direction to my errant sophomore mind, I’m grateful to Pedersen and his staff for their stand, which paved the way for the Review to maintain autonomy.

Newspapers everywhere are making cuts or drastically altering a past business model to survive.

And while funding for student-run publications has disappeared from big universities like Kansas and Memphis, other campus newspapers—like those of Rutgers, Western Michigan, and the University of California at Irvine, among more—are trying to preserve their independence as they accept additional school money to stay alive. UVU falls into the latter, which has backed the Review, at least since I’ve been at the newspaper.

Editors here receive a healthy scholarship, get to travel to journalism conferences around the country to hear from professionals, are offered countless networking opportunities and sometimes even get a stipend to travel to the depths of humanity—like Las Vegas, where postseason basketball tournaments occur.

That’s all part of the reason I want to give back to the publication that reached out its hand when I was wandering desperately for some semblance of meaning.

Numerous stories are already in the works that I hope will serve the student body and UVU community. But we need our readers’ help.

We hope to add students to our small army of blossoming storytellers and truth-seekers, and we’ll go to extreme lengths to locate and impart the captivating narratives that affect each of us.

However, we can’t be everywhere. If you have a story to tell, or just want to discuss something you’ve experienced on campus, we want you to feel welcome to come by our new office or contact us by phone, email or social media.

We’re situated in a comfortable space in the new Student Health and Wellness Building, Room 214B.

Our adviser deserves credit for fighting for the beautiful newsroom, which was built with money appropriated by the university.

The student newspaper has a pulse thanks to the efforts of our predecessors and advocates, and can continue to improve through hard work and your help.

If you’re like I was just two years ago and want to write in hopes of finding yourself, come on by. If you need someone to act as the voice sharing an important message, we’d love to get to know you.

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