What a privilege it is to be back at OU for another year, what an honor it is to serve the campus community. I’ve been at this Editor-in-Chief (EIC) gig for a few months now, and with the start of the new semester I’m here to reintroduce myself and say a few things.
I’ll start by saying that my heart goes out to all you people now 18 months into this pandemic, downtrodden, misled and abused. This fall semester isn’t going to be what we had hoped for, but we’ll get through it together. I am with you and the rest of The Oakland Post is too.
I started as Life & Arts Editor at The Post almost exactly a year ago. It’s the first non-manual labor job I’ve had in my life. I was sitting on the couch next to my little brother when I got the email with the job offer. It seemed like the strangest turn of events at the time. Things got stranger.
Every week I was covering the most loathsome news. Howling in op-eds about COVID-19 or the upcoming election or police brutality. It was hard times, you could feel the weight of the world everyday. A year later we’ve got a slightly different set of problems, but that pressure is still folding shoulders, still weighing on people. It’s more important than ever that we’re willing to extend a hand to one another and help pick people up when they’re down.
At The Post, we’re here to provide a service to the campus community. Yeah, we’re here to inform and highlight the good and the bad, but we’re also here to record this moment in history. You better believe these are extraordinary times that we’re living in. Your voice matters and now isn’t the time for any of us to go quiet.
I am fortunate to have a team of people on staff who are ready to meet this moment — editors, reporters, photographers, designers, etc. who work hard and care about what they do. Their dedication is what’s going to make all this possible, and believe me readers, there’s plenty for you to look forward to.
We’re bringing back the “Looking Back” series to provide a historical perspective about what’s happening at OU. We’re starting a new “People of OU” series to highlight more of the incredible people on this campus. And in case you haven’t noticed, the “Letters to the editor” are now open. If you’ve got something to say, type it up and email it to [email protected]. That’s the forum I have to offer for the voices of students, professors and staff. God willing, this year we may even hear from an administrator or two.
I know the 2021-2022 school year isn’t starting the way we wanted, but it’ll be what we make it. The Post is going to be here for you people, so I’m asking you to please be here for us too. The editor email exists for a reason. Help hold us accountable. If we slip up and fall short, then let us know. If there’s a story that needs to be told, reach out with the lead. We’re dying to do our best work, so if you can, help make sure we follow through.
My name’s Jeff Thomas, I’m the Editor-in-Chief of The Oakland Post. Thanks for giving me the time of day. I hope soon we can all take off the masks and share a smile with the ease that we used to.