We publish out of love

A lot of you know me, even if you don’t think you do. I’ve written over 100 articles for this newspaper, assigned hundreds of stories and edited an immeasurable amount more — if you’ve read The Ticker in the last four years, you know me, even if I’ve never spoken to you this directly before. 

Some of you know me a bit deeper than ink, however. If you’ve had a problem with an article — whether you knew we made a mistake or just felt like it was inaccurate — you’ve come to complain to me as managing editor. Some of you have been very considerate, and I thank you for that. You know who you are. If we’re in the wrong, we’re in the wrong, and I’ve never tried to mask that fact.

Some of you have not been so considerate. Sometimes, we’re right, but we just print things that you don’t like to read. You also know who you are. In my four years at this newspaper, I have been called a liar. I have been called unethical. I have been yelled at, scolded to my face, harassed, intimidated, scolded via email, filmed, stared down and dismissed. I’ve cried under my desk. So why do I deal with it? 

I think it’s hard for people to understand why I do what I do and write what I write. I can tell you right now that if you haven’t been an editor for The Ticker, you have no idea what kind of mental fortitude it takes to work here. Even if you’re a president of a club. Even if you’re in USG. Even if you work for another campus media group. Even if you think you do.

Each and every week of production, it was rare for me to not be in the office Monday through Friday until at least 8 p.m. Most times, it was until 10 p.m. On Thursdays and Fridays, you’d regularly catch me there until 12 a.m. I would sit at a computer for hours looking at layouts, getting stress headaches. Some days I would slam through writing two stories, editing six more and then configuring a layout for four hours. I would sit for hours talking with reporters and fellow editors, coaching them through their writing. I would race back from my mom’s birthday celebration to cover USG elections. All editors on The Ticker have similar stories.

And I say this to you not to gain your sympathy — I don’t expect it, nor do I want it. I want you to understand the sacrifices I had to make to keep this organization alive, because to understand why I do all this is to understand these facts: I love Baruch College. I love CUNY. And most of all, I love you.

Yes, I work at this newspaper because I love all my friends on it: Yelena and Jonathan especially, thanks for sticking with me for all four years. Yes, I work at this newspaper because I think it will help my career. But, the reason why I stay and continue to do what I do is because the students need to know what is happening in their school and I believe we are providing a public service. I think Baruch students are the most hardworking, industrious students in the city, maybe even the world, and I know that the paper needs to match them. It is the students’ right — your right — to know everything going on in this school. You deserve that. 

So, as my final words in this newspaper, I ask you, Baruch College, this request: next time you want to shoot off an angry tirade to the next managing editor of The Ticker, remember these words. The editors that are inheriting this newspaper — my baby — need your support. 

Victoria Merlino is The Ticker's Managing Editor.