Looking back on The Sunflower’s history

An informal tradition exists at The Sunflower that lets our graduating seniors write an opinion piece talking about their time and experiences at the paper and whatever else is on their minds.

As this is my second to last paper before I graduate, I’ve become rather retrospective about the paper.

I’m not going to wax poetic about the wonders of paper; it’s obvious to all that newspapers are fading away as the Internet continues to become a preferred news source.

But the role we play is important, no matter how small our audience.

At The Sunflower, we know many students don’t read our paper and we know our spelling, grammar and design mistakes make others laugh and sneer. We, as editors, agonize over those mistakes and constantly wonder how to improve, but as a staff, we make the same jokes at ourselves.

That duality is what makes The Sunflower such a unique paper. Few places take such pride in their work, yet are so willing to take criticism and laugh along with the crowd.

And the jokes about the paper are nearly as old as the paper itself. Cartoons run in the 60’s showed professors with red pens critiquing the paper. Perhaps now they would show communication professors making our editors spell Elliott on a board 100 times.

But despite these jabs at us, you can’t take away the fact that our paper is often found to be a quality publication. Every week we produce three papers, something only major universities consider, all original content, and often our work wins awards.

Last year, we were the second best paper in the state of Kansas and recently won an award for the best-designed cover in the nation.

While these are our awards, this is still your paper. We rely on the support of students for our content, for our revenue and to make our paper.

We report on what you find important, we are made by students only, and we will always care most about what the students on campus find important.

So while there is a history of mocking the paper through the decades, I choose to believe the jokes are from the same place as our own here in the newsroom.

The Sunflower is an old institution that is the same as the students that make it up every year. We are constantly learning, always evolving, but committed to highlighting the issues that affect campus.

That has always been our goal at the paper, and I hope you continue to stay with the paper while we grow and learn, as this is your paper just as much as it is mine.

And while I’ll be leaving at the end of this semester for greener pastures, I will always keep an eye on my favorite quirky college paper.

A paper that’s both made fun of by fans and admired nationally by others; a paper striving to be professional although made up of amateurs, some who have had no training in their job; a paper that perhaps best represents Wichita State and its students.