Another semester down, another group of students welcomed and another commencement is about to send hundreds of seniors out into the world.
At The Minaret, we have the distinct pleasure of watching the semester pass by and grabbing hold of stories as they come in. We started before school even began, reporting on an alleged scheme by security unveiled by a terminated security guard. We welcomed the school back to campus and later covered the effects construction was having on campus life.
We reported on how Hurricane Gustav affected current and past students and tackled the topic of students who tan too much. We found a former UT basketball player who signed a six-figure contract to play in Mexico and traced the travels of our athletic teams.
Last year, The Minaret chose to tackle an important problem that pervades college campuses: sexual assault. This year, we chose to follow up on two former students who fell victim to domestic violence and packaged articles to inform the campus community about the dangers of abuse and how to get help.
Our goal in this coverage was to inform and hopefully prevent future incidents. An informed community is a safer community, and that is ultimately what we strive to produce.
And then came the election. We had history in the making on our hands. An African-American nominee in one party and a woman in the other. We debated change, hope, mavericks, country first and more.
We were visited once again by Senator John McCain and UT students sent us photos from their visit with Senator Barack Obama in Dunedin. We gave students an entire page listing where the candidates stood on the issues.
We built our blogs, engaging students and other members of our readership in new and innovative fashions. One of the most pleasant successes of the semester was the growth of senior Jon Howard’s blog, ‘Did That Just Happen?’ While newspapers are bastions of class and dignified reporting, the blog’s readership statistics show that the UT community want to read more down-to-earth accounts of how things happened.
The Minaret wants to be on the cutting edge of innovation, while still providing a service to the community. Blogs, videos, podcasts and online news are the future of journalism.
This semester, we expanded from 15 returning staff members to having over 80 contributing students. We are experiencing unprecedented growth and invite more to join us in our endeavor to enlighten and serve the UT community.
We owe the success of the semester to our staff, our supporters, our readers and more. We can’t wait to come back in January and continue our service to the university community. Enjoy the holidays, and return safely to read The Minaret yet again.