Last Words from the Editors

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Located in Walter’s basement is the Index office. There are a lot of weird things scattered throughout the room, such a deflated soccer ball that seems like it came from the 1970s; an old couch that most of us sit on when we have meetings; and, light bulbs strung across the ceiling that, if turned on, may cause a power outage in the whole building. 

   On Thursday mornings, a crew of students gathers at 10 am to discuss important topics like favorite doughnuts, college gossip and ideas for upcoming stories. For the past year, it has been a steady leadership—and with each falling into a role almost as if a scripted sitcom. Avari and Zander debate sports. Production Manager Chandler bites on her tongue and refrains from scolding writers for missing deadlines—and pushing her job late into the evenings. Reed shows up out of the blue with cynical remarks, and challenges Avari and Zander about whatever he can think of, and Emily is never silent when she walks in, even though she is always two minutes late. Faculty Advisor Phil sits in his chair in the corner, laptop propped up on his lap, ready to review the run sheet, but also veering off topic 10 times. 

   The editors here have loved reporting on college life and filling the 16 page tabloid with stories of all kinds, and now it’s time to say goodbye.   

Zander Bruelt: I will be forever grateful for my time at The Index. Being able to write about things I enjoy or find interesting and seeing them printed in the paper was awesome, but the journey over the two years I was a part of it is what I will take with me forever. I want to say thank you to Phil Busse for being the best leader we could have in the Index room. He expects us to be great at all times, but with an energy that keeps the room excited to be there. He has helped me grow as a writer, leader, and overall person in this world where we are just trying to find our place—and I appreciate that. 

   Somehow, he entrusted Avari and me with running the Index this year, and hopefully, it is a decision he will not regret! I want to thank all the writers and editors who made all of the late nights, editing sessions, and meetings, which could be the most absurd hour of our days, some of the most fun times I’ve had on campus. The best part, though, has been working next to some of my best friends on campus in this environment. Working with Reed McFeely and Avari Schumacher over the span of two years has been one of one. Whether it was jokes on our Google sheets, stressful moments, or coming up with absurd writing ideas, I would not change a single second of it. I will miss the Index room, all of the decorations; that is, except the mini-frige (which Phil made me clean out of frozen, pre-pandemic pizza slices).

Avari Schumacher 

   Ever since I joined the Index, I have looked forward to Thursday mornings. A room full of different individuals with so many ideas. When someone has a topic for an article that they are passionate about, the whole room lights up. The different side conversations fill the space. In that moment, you know you are full of so many people excited to learn, and share their ideas with others. Joining the Index was the best decision I could have made in my college career. The things I have learned and the people I have crossed paths with are truly invaluable. I know I am leaving the Index as a better person than I was when I joined. 

Reed McFeely  

   I compose this passage with my hand heavy and mind ill at ease. Much time has passed since September, yet the cherry trees have only begun to blossom. Pacific has been enveloped within the early folds of summer, but the depths of my heart remain tinged with a cold sadness. Even the careers of writers and artists, whose passions are forever immortalized in the fruits of their labor, are not immune to the passing sands of time. Have I spent eons at the Index, or only mere seconds? 

   But regardless of duration, I know my efforts to be worthwhile. Indeed, my time at the Index has been filled with love. I have shared wisps of creativity alongside my fellow editors that have evolved into stories worth telling. Through my writing, I have satiated my burning desire to create. I have been forced to follow the constant thrum of a campus in motion, rekindling my fondness for Pacific University, the place I have called home over the last four years. Yes, the Index has been good to me, and in return, I have tried to be good to it. 

   Thank you to the staff of the Index for creating a dynamic newsroom environment that I enjoyed every Thursday. Thank you, Phil, for your stalwart leadership, for occasionally feeding me, and for embracing me with open arms to the Index’s editorial board. Finally, thank you Zander and Avari, two of my dearest friends and co-editors and chiefs of the Index, for your companionship, wisdom, and all that you do. I will leave with a final thought written by Haruki Murakami, “No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories that never fade away.”

Chandler Flemming 

   I never thought that signing up for The Index would be such a big part of my life for the past four. My first year writing for The Index, everything was published online because of COVID. I crafted stories, knowing that very few people were probably going to read them. 

   In my sophomore year, I found my love for creating the layout of the paper: taking a mess, and turning it into something that students, faculty, and staff could enjoy reading. I became the Production Manager in my junior year, and with Phil’s help, transformed The Index into something that people looked forward to and something that meant more. 

   This transformation has been the craziest ride, but has also been the most rewarding experience. There have been many tears, but there have also been many laughs and successes. I will forever be grateful to The Index for the life lessons it has given me, but also for the memories of working alongside the most talented people to create something that matters. 

   To Phil, thank you for coming into The Index and completely rebuilding it. You made The Index something that I was proud to be a part of. I will forever be grateful for your guidance and support. 

   To Emily, you are The Index queen. Thank you for bearing with me. We thought we weren’t going to make it at some points, but we made it and we made it look easy. 

   To Zander and Avari, thank you for your hard work to make the paper the best it can be, and for bringing fresh perspectives every day. You guys are the reason the paper is still a success. 

   To Aaron and Riya, you guys are the reason the paper keeps looking better and better. You are actual life-savers, and I can’t wait to see what you guys accomplish in the future. Don’t forget me when you’re famous. 

   To Rose, The Index production legacy is yours now. I’m so happy knowing that The Index is in your hands. Whenever you think that finishing an issue is impossible, just know that it always gets done, somehow. Good luck!

Emily Rutkowski 

   I have spent five years at the Index, and Phil constantly reminds me there’s more outside the Index walls. I guess it is finally time to leave. Because of the Index, I have been contacted by attorneys, had a photoshoot in the President’s office that consisted of a carved pumpkin on Zander’s head, stirred the pot in the athletics department, spent the night in Knight Hall hunting for ghosts, interviewed 100 plus people, and have written over 60 stories. I have developed a moral compass, learned to pick my battles, and an understanding of a deadline that I still tend to push too often. The Index allowed me to explore the cracks of Pacific. I know so many random facts that I should have written a column for them. I’m sure the editorial crew will make it huge and rich, and I can’t wait to brag about my connections with you all being a phone call away. 

   Phil asked me what I wanted my Index legacy to be, and I thought it was straightforward. We started over and rebuilt the paper as I requested. It looks terrific now. But in the end, what I want is for the Index room to be full of excited people in the hairs. Students kept leaving the Index year after year, but in my senior year and Phil’s first year, they started staying. Now, after graduation, five new people will gladly fill our seats at the table. Not only does Phil know how to tell a fantastic story, but he also brings Scottie milkshakes, reality checks, tough love, a lot of sarcasm, advice that I only accept half the time, and shows us how to be good people. It was a privilege to have him as both a professor and a mentor. 


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