Editor Vincent Moore’s Farewell Address
Making the Broadside great again wasn’t an easy task. The problems facing Hanover High School’s student newspaper The Broadside were many, ranging from a lack of interest to a shortage of staff. Our Adviser Ford Daly’s Class Day speech couldn’t summarize it any better:
As some of you probably know (I mentioned it in the Council Election Special Edition), I’ve chosen Sadhya Garg as next year’s editor. Just as I ran the Broadside how I saw fit, Sadhya plans on doing the same. I’ll say that I wish that more people wanted to be involved with the Broadside, making all of the decisions is harder than it looks.
I’m going to take this time to say that I couldn’t have gotten nearly as much stuff accomplished without the groundwork Conrad Koehler had set up in regards to internet infrastructure. I owe part of my success to him, as well as to Ford Daly, for being the best Staff Adviser I could ask for, and to Caleb Winberry who was in the Broadside longer than I was and had his own feud with Council before I made it cool, that silly hipster. I want to thank my supporters in Council, who went against the mainstream and took to heart what I had to say. Particularly Marco van Gemeran, who always was happy to fill me in on what happened during the many times the minutes and agendas had not been updated, and Thomas Judd, who’s become a close ally and friend of mine. I wish him luck dealing with next year’s Council. For her indispensable help I’d also like to thank Council Oversight Mme. Doyle, who I’m glad I got to know better outside of class. And finally I’d like to thank the Broadside staff who stayed with me until the end, Danny, Hayden, Sadhya, Atticus (our unsung proof reading hero) and Zegans.
If I could summarize the major events during my time at the Broadside, it would have to be in terms of Batman movies and comics. Just like Bruce Wayne, I had to have two identities, that of Editor and that of an ordinary HHS student. Juggling both at the same time proved to be very difficult and managing the Broadside on top of waging a crusade for accountability over Council took a certain toll on my personal life, but I wouldn’t want to trade it for anything in the world. I also really modernized the Broadside by moving away from print and onto other platforms, like Soundcloud and youtube. I wish I had more time (and again, staff) to have experimented more with these, but at least I set a precedent for future Broadside staff.
Broadside Begins would’ve been the title of when I was still just a columnist, writing and criticizing the despicable behavior of some of the Council Leadership’s supporters of the Condom Motion regarding the attacks against their opposition and free speech. Because of my article, the Council Oversight at the time wrangled in those members and thanked me for exposing that behavior unbecoming of a Council member. This was the first time I found out just how angry and petty some students on Council can be, and it certainly wasn’t the last. It was also the first time I was given respect by some for speaking out, and it certainly wasn’t the last time either.
The Broadside Knight was my first negative encounter with this year’s Council (particularly OEC). I say knight because some said in a way I white knighted on behalf of the Freshmen for their open campus. This wasn’t really the case; it was taking too long for some Council member’s liking and they planned on sweeping the motion under the rug and send it to OEC to die. I saw that as being unfair and extremely corrupt and the school couldn’t have any of that, so I recorded a podcast decrying it, published it, and that got the motion back on track through the proper channels. It felt good to know that people were listening
I would say my best non-Council related article would be the one covering the graffiti incident in the pit. That’s because with the old Broadside publishing system we would not have been able to cover it until months afterwards in a big bulky paper edition. Online publishing gives us the capability of getting an article out there in less than an hour after it happened. I’ve taken a look and it appears no other school paper in the area does that, and for that I’m very proud of the Broadside.
The Dark Broadside Returns. I say “dark” because contrary to what many in Council think I don’t enjoy covering controversies, I just happen to be very good at it. The Gender Motion was just introduced, and to me it was like the Condom Motion all over again. A Senior Council member’s pet project to pad their resume. The motion was being passed through the pipes at an alarming pace without the minutes and agendas following that pace in updates. At one point they were a month behind and the Council was getting ready to vote on it! A friend I had inside Council gave me the missing minutes ahead of time, and while on Easter vacation I recorded and released two podcasts shedding light on the issue. After a week or so of a nasty back and forth between my Editorials and some Council members (of which the image to the right is an example of), the minutes and agendas were finally published and maintained on time. The power of the press had again won the day.
It was these three events that made me investigate and come to the same conclusion that the Council of 1970 came to; the Student Council needs to be dissolved. I read through an obscure document on the Council site titled A field report by Robert A. Kenny Jr. The only reason why the Council has survived was because it was given actual decision making power, but I see the same old problems developing: Council doesn’t do anything, what they do is related to things not immediately essential to the school, and elections are just a popularity contest. Ask anyone who isn’t already on Council or who isn’t groveling to become one and they’re likely to agree. The past three Councils have had issues in one way or another with taking their responsibilities seriously or without letting their ego get in the way, and I don’t have much hope for next year’s Council. In the end, especially with inherited titles, the old boss most often looks a lot like the new boss, and ego gets in the way of fairness and Democracy in HHS. I have some hope, however. Next year’s Council PR Nanako Shirai actually sent the Broadside an email with a Council update, which is already a lot more than what most Council PR reps have done in recent years, so maybe there’s a chance Council and the Broadside can have a cordial and professional relationship.
The other hope I have is the legacy I’ve left. No one outside of Council has ever challenged it (those who did from the inside were always silenced or blocked by those up top) in recent years the way I have. People would come up to me and tell me that they have tremendous respect for the work I’ve done and the courage I’ve shown. I thanked them, but I never did it for the thanks. I did what I did because it was necessary for the good of the school. I didn’t know or even care how much chaos my Editorials and podcasts caused inside Council’s ranks, or how just mentioning my name was a faux pas during meetings. My efforts were rewarded in the end, by the student Council of all groups. I’ll use this time to apologize to the Council members who had nothing to do with the controversies some of your cohorts have caused, I had to use “Council” instead of names because it would have been unfair to call out a single person, even though real world news does it all the time. The only committee I never had a conflict with and was on good terms with most members was the Admin committee, who bestowed upon me the Skip Bean Democratic Citizen Award.
The rest of the year went uneventful (aside from a scathing editorial against some of the negative practices of the Environmental Club), with me just maintaining the paper and preparing Sadhya to take on the mantle for herself. We’ve talked and she has some great ideas for next year. To make the paper focus more on daily lives of students, rather than it returning to the “personal advertisement and self aggrandizing magazine” (my words, not hers) that it was before I took control of it.
The main message I’d like people to take in from my actions and writings as Editor this year is that no authority is perfect or untouchable and that anyone can make positive change to their surroundings if they have the courage and make the effort to. It makes me proud to know that a few have taken my word to heart and will continue my legacy in Council next year. So please, dear reader, volunteer your talent to the Broadside and help make it your own. It’s very worth it in the end.
As the great newsman Edward R. Murrow (whom I’ve been compared to during my tenure as Editor) said:
Good night and good luck.