My time as editor in chief just ended last week, and as I transition out into the squeeze of graduation and life beyond, I want to take the chance to reflect and wrap-up, perhaps offer some nuglets, per se.
To start, I’d sincerely like to say: Holy shit.
Sure, they probably boast it every year — but 2010-11 was most definitely a doozy. I’m extremely proud to report that the Nexus actually made money this year, largely due to permanent and student staff consolidation, voluntary student staff salary reductions, the addition of new revenue streams like the popular page-two calendar as well as significant savings from our switch to the 10-by-13 inch newspaper size (ohhh yeah, the Nexus was like four inches taller last year, huh?). And thanks to the recent reaffirmation of the Nexus’ lock-in fee, your campus newspaper can continue to prosper in the future with the expressed support of the student body.
My days of influencing the Nexus are pretty much over, aside from the occasional surf column and news article if I manage to hammer those out before my time as a student ends (graduating in June!). The paper is already in the capable hands of new editor in chief Katherine Friedman, a hell-raising go-getter who is sure to expand its daily coverage online and in print while still keeping it — for lack of a more imaginative word — real.
So onto the I.V. experience.
I’ve been here for the predictable four years and am definitely feeling an overblown sense of self/senioritis superiority. Before I take myself down with some well-deserved humility, allow me to condescend:
The point has been made for decades that as UCSB students we are granted the privilege of living and studying in a region of the world so prized for its beauty and culture that many of the world’s wealthiest flock to it on a regular basis for decadent weekend get-aways. Oprah lives basically next door for chrissake. Santa Barbara is incredible for the most part — it sometimes just takes a walk or drive out of Isla Vista’s outskirts. To back up two sentences, ‘granted’ might be a strong word choice in contemporary times, considering what the UC is trying to make you do for your education (almost $13,000 dollars a year just for tuition? I’d have to start selling coke if I had to stay here any longer). Still, the other UCs cost the same and they are getting the short end of that bargain in my opinion.
I’m talking about nature, man. Wind, water and sun. The great SB outdoors are without rival in many respects — and the cost of participating in a hike, jog, swim or surf is miniscule to the weekly alcohol allowance most students give themselves.
From experience, I can tell you that should visit the wind caves, Lizard’s Mouth, Red Rock, Tangerine Falls and all of the crazy switchbacks and trails that jet off from Highway 154 as you drive into the Santa Ynez mountains. La Cumbre Point is a eye-opening half-hour drive away, and as the highest peak in the area it provides a breathtaking view of the county and coast.
If you’re a water sport enthusiast, don’t be a sloth. There are waves a plenty to be found if you’re crafty and bold — aside from the ever-famous Rincon, there are tons of little peaks out there — just try following the Surfliner tracks for an hour during a decent swell and you’ll see waves you’ve never imagined possible.
Take a language. It’s your duty a global citizen.
I’ve managed to get lucky at UCSB. As editor in chief, I held the best job on campus for an entire year; I ran the best student-run, independent newspaper under Storke Tower. I worked with a hilarious and sassy editorial staff. I infuriated many and mildly pissed off even more. I’d like to think that I even tickled a couple of you.
Still, I have regrets.
From wistful longing, I can tell you that travelling out the Crystal Ship has been a goal I never quite managed to meet. Apparently the rig’s owner, Venoco, isn’t offering tours in the near future (even when you try and pull the press credentials option).
I’ve heard that the Santa Barbara Bowl is a music venue that’ll blow your eyes back into your head with its beauty. Not sure if the actual location will do its reputation justice, but I’d advise you all with time left to put it on the back burners.
Go abroad! I didn’t do it and I’ve kicked myself ever since I realized that window had closed. There’s nothing better for building character than travelling out of your comfort zone, and studying abroad through UCSB rarely sets you back financially or graduation-wise, outside the normal arm-and-a-leg the Regents demand for their blood sacrifice.
Academically, there a few hidden gems that caught my attention during my time here, namely the professional writing minor and the technology management program. Although the programs are seeing rapid growth, too few students seem to know of the wonderful opportunities some of the smaller academic programs can provide you. In fact, I’d have to say that participation doesn’t seem to be a Gaucho strongpoint. Not that UCSB isn’t an academic powerhouse (at least according to U.S. News and World Report, for whatever that’s worth), but apathy seems to render most of our student population into a shell of what it could be. The TMP program, for instance, provides student entrepreneurs with the counseling they need to form viable businesses by the time they graduate. There are so many outlets for you to plug into should you just try.
If you want to hone your writing and reporting skills, take a gander at the professional writing minor, in addition to your very own student-run newspaper— did you know we’ve been around since the 1930s?
This weekend the Nexus celebrated its 80th anniversary, which sounds pretty prestigious, but really boiled down to a bunch of goofy journalists swapping old stories about their triumphs and mistakes as reporters and editors working at UCSB in the name of passionate college journalism. It’s easy to forget sometimes just how much blood, sweat, booze (and probably semen) covers the walls of the grungy dungeon beneath Storke Tower, and how many students have toiled in its depths, pursuing foundling notions of duty and public spirit, perhaps mixed with a slight penchant for bravado in search of legitimacy. Many Nexus alumni have gone on to bright journalism careers, and they got their start right here, slugging away daily amidst their classes.
I know this has been a bit of a run-around goodbye, but perhaps that’s because I’ve just got too much to say about my experiences here to sum up with any type of clarity. Shit, sometimes it’s hard to just remember all the days I’ve had here.
The most overarching experience I’ll take away is you — my readers, my peers, my professors, advisors, friends and competitors — you are what I’ll remember. You’ve shaped the beginning of my ascent and been there for me every step of the way. So thank you — for everything. Seriously — hate mail, drunken phone calls, pissy demands for corrections, even the occasional compliment — your feedback drove and compelled me through my academic, personal and Nexus career.
Thank you to Nader. You are the supreme being. Thank you to my fearless predecessors — David, Mackenzie, Jessica, Nick, Nikki, Aria, Adam, Matt, Travis, Allison — and the all the earlier batches. Thank you to my staff this year, it’s been a pleasure. Maane, you’re incredible. Lexi, couldn’t have done it without you — you are a rising star. Nadia, we go way back. Cooper, you’re an absolute trooper —
we all know how much you’ve got on your plate. Sports, you’re a fine bunch of gentlemen. Michael — it’s been fun.
To the future Nexus: Keep calm and carry on. I have absolute confidence in your stellar abilities.
Lastly, to everyone — don’t be apathetic jackasses. The world demands your goddamn participation.
“It’s wonderful to be here
It’s certainly a thrill
You’re such a lovely audience
We’d like to take you home with us
We’d love to take you home
I don’t really want to stop the show”
That’s the Beatles, if you’ve been living under a rock for the last fifty years.
P.S. to all you haters who called us a stoner rag — Oh, if only you knew.
Outgoing editor in chief Elliott Rosenfeld is a fourth-year political science major.