Editorial: Joining Our Community Conversation

Though we are more than a quarter of the way through the spring semester, the campus can still feel alien at times — more reminiscent of a picturesque landscape on an admissions brochure than an interdependent living community.

The familiar faces, events, and organizations that were fixtures of our campus pre-pandemic have disappeared without a trace. Several campus jokes and traditions have faded from the collective memory. Even the close friends we met as Zoom squares at the beginning of the pandemic seem like strangers on campus now.

Working on screens for the past two years, we have become acclimated to a solitary existence: attend class, do coursework, eat, sleep, and repeat. Though we are surrounded by each other again, we have — for the most part — continued this pattern of isolation. We focus inward on how to get ourselves from today to tomorrow. While this task is no easy feat, especially considering how the pandemic and global crises are still shaping our daily lives, it is a much easier burden to carry when we do so as part of a community.   

We need to fundamentally reevaluate our relationship with our campus. Swarthmore is more than a physical place where we cohabitate: it’s a community of myriad experiences, histories, and identities. If we don’t use our time together to learn from each other, challenge each other, and expose ourselves to different perspectives, then we’re missing out on what college is all about. We see The Phoenix’s role as a platform for facilitating these types of exchanges and fostering community-wide growth. 

We aspire to serve not just as a source of campus communication, but also as a forum for constructive dialogue and exchange through our weekly issues. Our goal at The Phoenix is to be part of a collective effort to build back our community and strengthen our sense of togetherness through conversation.  

Contributing to that conversation can take on various forms.

Perhaps you are interested in reaching out to new people and learning more about campus ongoings, or maybe you have a curiosity about college finances? You can join our news writing team. Led by Lauren and Owen, the news section covers events and investigates campus developments.

Perhaps you find yourself continually musing about current events, campus policies, departments, or happenings, or want a place to talk about interesting things you learned in class? Want to bring awareness to something? Have much to say but no one who wants to listen? You can share your opinions with Suhyun and Eva, who can help clarify and crystalize your argument.

Perhaps you read a book, listened to an artist, or watched a movie or TV show that can’t seem to leave your mind — for better or for worse? You can swap reflections with Rachel, who nurtures our arts section. 

Perhaps you [insert something funny here]? You can word vomit to CJ Editor Gidon and spin it into anything from biting satire to thoughtful ruminations. 

Perhaps you are a superfan of The Garnet — or even a member yourself — and want to share fun sports team traditions? Or maybe you want to write about a unique sporting event or passion of yours? You can write a variety of pieces for our Sports section with editors Jacinta and Asha.

Perhaps you are a casual photographer? You can practice photojournalism with our Photo Editor Abby.

Perhaps you have an interest in grammar and affection for the Oxford comma? You can work with Kyra and copy-edit the paper. 

Perhaps you want to learn or hone your Adobe Indesign skills? You can come to the office and tag-team layout with our Layout Editor Grace. 

Anyone and everyone who is a member of our Swarthmore community can exercise their voice and contribute to The Phoenix. As an Editorial Board, we are deliberately working to strengthen our support network–offering technical training, opening our Wednesday production nights to all, and organizing new and exciting social events for our contributors.

Our time together is fleeting, and our opportunities to make meaningful memories out of our college experience are passing us by. As a student body, we need to realize the potential of being together and derive collective meaning by making new connections and exploring new ideas.

Don’t be intimidated! The Phoenix is filled with kind, relatable, and loving people! We are in your classes, clubs, and are alongside you on this journey. Help serve our community by joining our platform!

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