To the Miami University community—
My name is Cosette Gunter, and I’m at the very beginning of a new chapter in my life. And actually, I think a lot of you are too.
But let me back up.
A little about me: I’ve been writing for The Miami Student since I was a first-year here. I sought and found a student community to latch on to, as many of us do during our first years, and I went with it because I believed that, with time and effort, this organization would give me a space where I could belong.
I didn’t know just how important that would be in January of 2020, but I quickly became grateful for my participation as our staff went sprawling out into different corners of the country and the world. Even then, I had not had time to make connections with the other staff members, but what I knew more than anything was that the work we were doing was becoming increasingly more important.
I had my own corner of Miami to hold on to at home, and though I was away from campus physically, I grew to love the Miami community more in my role as a remote reporter.
I went from being a naive first-year in a small residence hall room in Peabody to someone that was gathering and disseminating COVID information to a community of stakeholders. And that hasn’t been lost on me since. My recent election to Editor-in-Chief – unique, as I am not a journalism major – can also be traced back to that shift in the importance of my position in TMS.
I’m thrilled and humbled this year to have been elected to this position, and if you asked me a couple of months ago where I would be now, this wouldn’t have been my first guess. But I hope that in my position, I am able to be of great service to the incredible staff of journalists that are stepping into this with me.
The Miami Student has a legacy of dedicated service to the community it serves, and if anyone appreciates the Miami community for its intricacies, it’s us. We’re storytellers, listeners and historians. We’re here for you. Our legacy is strong, and this staff brings a fresh set of ideas to the table to lead this publication into its next era. We hope that you’ll follow along with us in our new chapter as a staff, because we’re here for your chapter too. And right alongside you, we’re members of the global community, stepping into a new chapter of maskless faces and life being chronologized in terms of pre- and post-pandemic.
Two years ago, that unthinkable thing happened, and the world persevered together, though physically apart. Now, with the dedication of scientists and healthcare workers all over the world, things are looking up and some of the fog of 2020 has cleared. We’re through the thick of it, and we’re all different people than we were when this started, but it's what we decide to do now that’s important.
Remember what it was like to only meet your peers and professor through a screen? Remember what it felt like to come back to campus for the first time since March 2020? Remember the first time you sat back down in a classroom after two years in digital isolation? Remember going back to that fun MAP event you missed or going for the first time?
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That feeling. That nervous curiosity or small, timid tingling of excitement. That’s it. The new chapter. Pay attention to it.
We won’t be able to forget the pandemic in our lifetimes, and we will be tired of talking about it, but the importance of reflection and a little kindness towards ourselves has never been more important. There’s a part of everyone that sighed when we were able to be together again, to feel companionship again, and there’s an energy that exists now that needs fostering. As a junior, I look toward my senior year as an opportunity to reclaim some of the things I missed out on the past two years. Underclassmen, enjoy the experience for your high school selves that didn’t get to enjoy their moments.
As for us here at this newspaper, we’ll be here to document it. Let the record show that The Miami Student lived and wrote about the Miami community’s experience in a life freshly altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. These stories — they’re what we’re passionate about, they give us hope and they give us the power to offer others a spot in history.
Love & Honor,
Cosette Gunter-Stratton, Editor-in-Chief