This evening, I rolled out of work at Phelps and into The Anchor office a little earlier than I was used to getting out, so I really got to see a lot of the members of my staff in action. Because a few of our Copy Editors weren’t able to make it due to Rush or Go events (I’m not even sure what the difference between the two is), I found myself taking a look at many of the articles way earlier than I normally did. Our Campus editor, Alayna, slid one of her pages to me and as I started to look through it, a thought dawned on me: Alayna is the only Campus editor.
This might not seem that crazy to many of the people who are reading this, but if you’re someone who’s at all familiar with The Anchor, then you’ll know that we usually have two editors per section of the paper, with the exception of Voices and Features, and I’m not really sure why those are only one person jobs. But the fact that Alayna is still the only editor in the Campus section is actually cause for a lot of concern for us here at The Anchor, and it made me think back to when I had joined The Anchor, and what I realized might be a trend that we were just noticing for the first time.
Here’s the story.
I first joined The Anchor the beginning of my Junior year and it was awesome. I rolled into the office a week earlier than most students arrived on campus and sat down next to a swimmer that looked like a grungier version of Liam Hemsworth. In front of me was a random girl from my Creative Writing class that had sent me an invite to join this group, a girl who was also in charge, but was in Africa for the summer so I never met her, a few other people hand-selected from that writing class and a bunch of people I’d never met. Little did I know that in a few short weeks these people would be some of the closest friends I had on campus and we’d be doing everything from starring in a documentary to throwing markers across the room and laying on the floor in a fort built out of old newspaper stacks.
One of the main proponents of this ridiculous behavior was Alek, a senior who had a weird friend connection with my coeditor and was in charge of the Campus section alongside one of the many members of staff named Alex. After a semester, one of our World editors, Idil, left to go to Washington D.C., and after a bit of time Alex transitioned over to Worlds to form the Alex superduo. But this left Alek as the sole leader of Campus.
We worked to put someone in that new position that opened up working with Alek, but it was only filled once, and only for a short time. The new member quit not long after and Alek remained the sole Campus editor for the rest of the semester. Video evidence of this can be found on The Anchor’s documentary on YouTube. At the end of the year, Alek graduated from Hope College, saying that The Anchor would never have another employee like him, but apparently he actually meant the opposite and jinxed us via bad juju.
When Amber and I became the Co-Editors-in-Chief, we immediately set out to filling our many sections, selecting two good candidates to fill the Campus section of the newspaper. Within a very short period of time, meaning only the first production night, one of our editors decided to leave The Anchor, as it didn’t really fit in with her schedule. This left us with only one Campus editor, Sarah, and a search to fill the position yet again. This might seem pretty parallel to Alek’s situation, but don’t worry the curse gets deeper.
After a few weeks had gone by, we finally hired another Campus editor to fill the position of our lost comrade, and Sarah’s workload was lessened, as Alayna arrived to save the day. Our necks were saved for an entire semester before we found out that Sarah would be leaving The Anchor and Holland for the spring as she departed for France. Again our Campus editor position was opened, and again we began the search to find a new candidate.
Alayna was left alone on the Campus front for the first couple of weeks of the semester, but then, light broke through and we found a new person to fill the existing Campus editor position. We hired her, she came to our first meeting on that Sunday. And by the end of the day, she turned in her resignation and cleared out. Our latest attempt at finding a Campus editor lasted literally one day.
This has led to what Amber and I have started, literally just started at like 11 p.m. the night we were working on putting this newspaper together, calling The Campus Curse. It seems as though whenever someone wants to start working at The Anchor, specifically in the Campus seciton, there is a sort of phenomenon that causes them to suddenly get caught up in so much extra work that it is literally impossible for them to spare even a couple of hours on their Monday nights.
Having people leave, even before graduation is nothing new to The Anchor. My first year on staff, we had the aforementioned World editor leave, the aforementioned Campus editor leave as well as having a copy editor leave because of student teaching. Then, coming into this new school year, another member of staff left as she was doing a semester abroad in England, although she has returned for this semester, and a Copy editor left as she was going to be too busy on her Monday nights. Then, during this semester, we had another Copy editor leave because of student teaching, apparently teachers make the best grammar editors, another Copy editor leave because of the time commitment, a Worlds editor step down, and we’ve lost three Campus editors now. But if you look at the list, Campus is far and beyond the section that is having the most people leaving.
Now, Alayna is still the sole Campus editor on the staff, but we are still actively looking for someone to help her out on a weekly basis. If you’re reading this and you’ve written something before, then you speak English and you know how to write, meaning you meet both major criteria for being on staff. If you think you might have some time on Monday evenings or know someone who does and want to have some good times with some good people, then consider having yourself or your hypothetical friend apply to The Anchor as soon as possible. The Campus Curse isn’t actually real, even though it really seems like it might be. Nothing too terrible will happen to you if you’re on staff; we’re all pretty decent people. Consider it.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed working with all of the people who left The Anchor. I still talk to a lot of them when I see them around campus, and it’s great to have gotten to meet them for as long as they were on staff. However, I also have realized that without a lot of the people leaving that have, I wouldn’t have gotten to know some of our most interesting newest members, like Copy editor Anna, Worlds editor Colin, or Sports editor Isabel: people who’ve all joined to fill in positions of people who’ve left. Even Alayna wouldn’t be on staff if someone hadn’t left immediately.
Maybe the curse is real, but maybe you’ll be the one to break it and join The Anchor family.