Back on the Hill: Welcome from the Free Press

(Ciara O'Brien / McDaniel Free Press)

On behalf of the entire Free Press staff and editorial team, welcome back to the Hill. Whether you are returning to McDaniel or these are some of your first steps on campus, we are so excited to welcome you to the McDaniel Community! 

Last year, we had the weighted responsibility of reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic. We tracked it from its conception with the article, “McDaniel takes precautions against coronavirus,” at the beginning of March 2020. Overtime, we chronicled the saga of our College and Community adjusting to higher education and life in a pandemic – altered graduation ceremonies, online class extension, pass/fail policies; a return to the Hill many weeks past our original two week leave; resiliencies in sports, classroom settings, social well-being, farmers markets; commentaries on the College’s policies and coverage of evolutions in the pandemic on campus – to our last COVID-19 coverage of the academic year, when a vaccine clinic came to campus. Our staff wrote the first draft of history, as it unfolded before the McDaniel community, and we all did our best to fiercely adapt. 

We will continue to provide coverage as the pandemic evolves, and make room for reflection on that strange academic year we learned and lived through. In addition, we will continue to bring you the news pieces, commentaries, arts and culture captures, feature articles and (hopefully) sports that make McDaniel, McDaniel. 

As seniors, we feel qualified to give one simple piece of advice: get involved. Try new things, explore your interests, meet new people. For many current McDaniel students, it can feel like COVID-19 has taken away huge pieces of our college experience, but it certainly seems like none of us will take for granted again seeing swarms of students move across campus and hearing exchanges in the halls between classes. It couldn’t hurt to give something new a chance. Through your experiences, you may just find yourself as a great leader, an activist, or even a budding journalist. 

Regardless of your journalism experience, we hope you will consider contributing to the McDaniel Free Press in any way that might excite you, whether that be writing an article once about an event or topic that inspires you, joining our staff and one day our editorial team, or photographing events. Our trained Editorial Staff is here to support you and connect you with the resources you need to develop professionally and creatively. Incorporating the perspectives of our entire community is invaluable to this paper being truly student-run. 

If you are interested in writing, check out our website to explore the articles we have published. We continue to serve as an outlet for and with students, as we have consistently done for nearly a century. Reach out to us to see our budget of article ideas or pitch one of your own; we can’t wait to hear your stories, opinions, dreams and suggestions. 

We have gotten the rare but wonderful opportunity to serve as editors-in-chief for two years as opposed to one. We step into our second year with many lessons learned and immense gratitude for our team of writers, advisors, alumni and our proclaimed ‘friends of the Free Press’ in McDaniel’s staff and faculty. Even when our door is closed – for staff naps and late night editing sessions – it’s always open. 

Good luck during the new school year!