Class of 2022 Senior Reflections: Farewell Point Park

Amanda Andrews, Editor-in-Chief

A blinking cursor and a blank document have tormented me the last few days. I have written, and rewritten, drafts of this reflection many times over, never feeling satisfied with the end result. There’s a restlessness in my fingertips, itching to type out a profound moment of self awareness and insight but finding my thoughts coming up empty.

How do you summarize the last four years of your life?

For as long as I’ve been a journalist — seven years, if you count my days on my high school newspaper — I’ve struggled to tell my own story. Perhaps that’s what drew me to this field in the first place, over something like being a creative author or a columnist. Understanding the core importance of another person or an event (and removing myself entirely from the situation) has always been easy. Understanding myself and attempting to write about me for other people — now that’s a challenge.

Essentially, I entered Point Park as a blank slate. My major was undecided, and I only knew two things: I wanted to write, and I wanted to change the world in a positive way. Joining a student-run newspaper that was all about writing and had an effect on this campus was the best way I could achieve both those things.

I had no idea when I started writing for The Globe that it would change my own life. Describing the impact this newspaper has had on me, personally and professionally, in just a few paragraphs is simply impossible. There are no words to measure the desperate frenzy of trying to finish a story on deadline, the shared sense of belonging I gained with other staff members, the depth of the rewarding feeling when someone tells me my work made them feel seen. Those unique experiences feel transient in the moment, but the memory of them will never leave me.

Somewhere in those years, I found a purpose beyond just writing. I began to see a potential in myself that I had long denied was even there. Leading this newspaper was the next step I wanted to take. I committed to this decision, to this vision really, even with the uncertainty of a pandemic that at that point people knew nothing about and thought would go away in a few weeks.

It didn’t. Along with all the changes, exhaustion and fear became the new normal. I realized then this newspaper had to be something more than what it was on paper. It had to be a community in its own right, with its members committed to helping each other. So together, with my staff members, we built a culture rooted in compassion, empathy, and trust, rather than unhealthy demands. As I leave this newspaper in another set of capable hands, I truly believe that is the thing I can be most proud of.

More than anything, I am no longer that same blank slate, nervous and unsure of myself, that I was when I first started here at Point Park. Sure, The Globe left its mark on me, but I can confidently say something now I never could have when I was a 18-year-old freshman — I have equally left my own mark on it. Yes, all things must end. But that doesn’t mean something equally as good isn’t out there waiting for me — and for all of us Pioneers saying goodbye.

Tia Bailey, Co-Features/A&E Editor

one of these events, you’re split up into departments to meet future professors in your specific school, and you learn about the opportunities. During my Admitted Students Day, the School of Communication students were told about all of the student media organizations we could join to get experience. I remember the professor saying that students interested in print would love The Globe – I, an incoming mass communications major who wanted to copy edit, was listening.

Flash forward to my first week on campus. It was a crazy week, and my roommates and I were looking forward to the Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) fair, because this was our opportunity to sign up for clubs. I beelined straight to The Globe’s table and told them I wanted to join. By the first pitch meeting, I was a copy editor, and in my second semester, I took on the role of social media coordinator. While at the copy table, I would always talk to the (at the time) A&E editor. One day in January, she and the Editor-In-Chief at the time came over, asking us all if we had any ideas for the section because they needed something to fill. I pitched a review, and they asked me if I could write it up that evening, and so I did. This was my first article with The Globe, and it didn’t stop there.

After experiencing the excitement of having something published, I became more involved with The Globe, and my next semester, I was one of the Features/A&E editors. I changed my major from mass communications to journalism as I fell in love with what I did.

The backstory may seem unnecessary, but to me, it shows growth into something that I now want to be my career. The Globe has not only given me great experience in the field of journalism, but also some great times and friendships.

The thing about Point Park is that everyone pretty much knows everyone. While I have had classes with many of my fellow Globe staff members, I know our relationships would not be the same if it hadn’t been for those countless Monday nights working on layout, eating Genoa’s, venting about our weeks and making something that was supposed to be work a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

There’s some things I regret about my time at Point Park (as goes for anyone in their 20s), but there’s also a lot I would go back and do the exact same way, with all the good and all the bad. Joining The Globe is one of those things that I would choose to do over and over again. I’m thankful for the experience it has given me, and for being what made me fall in love with what I want to do as a career. But the part I’m most thankful for is the amazing people I’ve met along the way. The people I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and doing stories about, and the staff that I’ve spent extremely important years with. It’s been an honor to grow and find ourselves together, and I can’t wait to see what future Globe members do with the paper. The Globe has been the best part of my experience at Point Park, and I will miss it always.

Zack Lawry, Co-News Editor

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

Looking back on my time at Point Park has been a trip. I took some extra classes and a summer semester over the course of my college career in order to graduate a little bit faster than the usual four years. The reason I felt the urge to speedrun college was not because I didn’t enjoy the experience at all — I made connections and relationships that I hope to keep for the rest of my life — but because I became increasingly convinced over the course of my time here that I was on a bit of a sinking ship that might not be above water much longer.

Over the last few years, a lot has changed here. The pandemic has hit schools around the country hard, and Point Park has been no exception. I remember hearing all kinds of rumors about budget issues, financial losses, how the school was bleeding money, etc. that undermined my confidence in this institution and its ability to survive the challenge of a global pandemic.

Various concerns about this school’s future eventually led me to a conversation about the issue with my father. He’d graduated from Point Park back in the stone age or so, and he told me that those same rumors were prevalent here even back then. In a strange way, the apparent consistency of Point Park’s struggles felt reassuring. Instead of fearing that I’d come to Point Park in a time of severe crisis, I concluded that crisis was just kind of the norm here.

Evidently, I’d needed to remind myself that this is really just a (relatively) small art school in the middle of a big city. This is no Pitt or Penn State — when I tell someone I go to Point Park, there’s about a 50/50 chance they’ve ever heard of it before. In other words, this university is, always has been, and probably always will be a bit of an underdog, and its struggles are a result of that fact. Generally speaking, you don’t come here for our school’s prestige or national fame; you come here for a solid education delivered by professors with legitimate experience and a passion for helping younger generations achieve their full potential.

At the end of the day, my time here has had it all — the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles — but that’s kind of what you have to expect when you pick the college that offers the biggest discount on tuition. I have many-a-gripe with Point Park, but I can’t say I didn’t have a good time over the last three years.

Bye-bye Point Park. I’ll miss you, I think.

Zachary Wittman, Music Columnist

My heart on this campus has always been dedicated to the student-run media, especially our campus radio station WPPJ. The station itself shares a space with The Globe, so my first contact with the newspaper was in conjunction with my first radio show. Every Monday night, I would go to play my silly little tunes and unbeknownst to freshman me, I began my interactions with The Globe staff.

I don’t exactly remember who was there so many years ago, but, by the time my junior year started, I gathered the guts to finally pitch my idea for an album review column that I had for a while. January of 2021 marked my all-too late start as the music columnist. I know little about journalism in regards to reporting on what many would call “real news,” but music was always my passion. So, every week I listened to five albums and jotted down my thoughts in hopes that I would spur someone on to check out some new tunes.

I wish I had some story I could spin to make this sound inspirational, but all of my time at The Globe has been nothing but love and support from day one. I have made some truly amazing friends and connections that otherwise wouldn’t exist without my time spent here.

Now, after a year and a half, my time has come to a close. I urge that anyone who has a passion about anything imaginable pitch a column to The Globe. Writing about music has given me a lot of joy, and I never thought I would be able to do this column. If you have something you are passionate about, then apply for a position here. You have nothing to lose, but so much to gain.