Chrony deserves to remain student voice

RoryPenman other cartoon Colby Patterson
Rory Penman

Rory Penman

It’s both a hard and sad truth that we often don’t know the value of what we have until it’s gone, and by the time we recognize the error of our ways, the present has become the past. When I was a child, my mother insisted that I play the violin despite my protests that it was a waste of time and money. She would tell me that while it seemed like a chore now, if I ever did quit I would eventually regret it. As is the case with most mothers, she was right, and in the years that have followed since I quit playing, I have regretted my shortsighted decision.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn and one the Student Media Council at the U should carefully consider as they debate the future of The Daily Utah Chronicle. A student-run newspaper is more than just a learning experience for budding journalists — it’s quite literally the cultural and social voice of the school it serves. A school newspaper is a window to the past, a voice for the present and a hope for the future. It’s a living, breathing journal dedicated to immortalizing the life and times of the school it reports on, diligently recorded by student reporters who immerse themselves into the seemingly never-ending array of activity and enrichment campus provides. A student newspaper is the beating heart of the school it represents and a written legacy to its soul.

The Daily Utah Chronicle has served as the independent student newspaper of the U since 1892 and has been more than just a mouthpiece for students. It’s been a daily diary dedicated to reporting on the pulse of student life and events as they happen. For more than 100 years the Chronicle has been faithfully recording the heartbeat of the U, and its archives provide a roadmap to revisiting the rich, detailed history of this institution. History books can never match the scope and personalization a newspaper offers.

Every achievement, challenge and failure this university has had is preserved by the very students who witnessed and experienced it themselves. The Chronicle provides students of today with a running narrative of the life they are immersed in as well as providing students of the past a way to look back and recreate the days they both loved and cursed. There are undoubtedly remnants of the Chronicle in the homes and scrapbooks of numerous current and past students who have had their photo taken, name mentioned or athletic event covered.

As the Student Media Council continues to ponder the direction of the Chronicle, it needs to consider the merits of nostalgia and memory the newspaper provides as the official journal of the U. The Chronicle’s words and images are woven into the cultural fabric that is part of every cap and gown worn proudly by graduating students of this university. The money spent on supporting the Chronicle is never a waste despite what the numbers may show. When considering the viability of the Chronicle it shouldn’t come down to just dollars but sense as well — the sense of community and history this newspaper provides.

The love of classical music that I gained during my years of playing the violin has never left me, despite the lack of appreciation I had while playing. The money and time spent on my violin lessons were certainly not wasted, but the regret I have for quitting will continue to haunt me for the rest of my life. The sands of time are continually slipping through our fingers and will inevitably run out — here’s hoping the Chronicle will still be around to catch what the rest of us fail to hold on to.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu