Campus News News

The Student Staff Attends Conference in San Diego

Releasing their breaths, the Springfield College editorial staff fell back into their chairs. It was over. They weren’t on the list for “Best 4-Year Weekly Paper,” and there was no chance they would win for their online content.

Pat Kenney
Campus News Editor

San Diego sky line (Jon Santer/The Student)
San Diego sky line (Jon Santer/The Student)

Releasing their breaths, the Springfield College editorial staff fell back into their chairs. It was over. They weren’t on the list for “Best 4-Year Weekly Paper,” and there was no chance they would win for their online content.

As reality set in, The Student editors changed their focus from the awards to the exit signs. Just as their thoughts turned from warm San Diego to chilly Springfield, a voice rang through the Kon Tiki Ballroom.

“And in sixth place for Small School Websites, The Student, Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts.”

After staring in disbelief, Joe Brown, the paper’s editor-in-chief, jumped up and walked towards the front to accept the award. There was minimal clapping, no cheering and a strong feeling that no one in the room knew where Springfield even was.

But that didn’t matter. To the Springfield editors they had won. They had succeeded on their San Diego adventure.

Arriving Thursday, February 27, The Student editors took their talents to Silicon Beach for the 30th ACP National College Journalism Convention. The convention, which started that night, hosts over 200 schools – public and private –  in a different location each year.

This year San Diego’s Catamaran Resort opened its doors to the eager journalists ready to learn and explore. Hunkered down 20 minutes outside of the city, the Catamaran Resort rests in an area called Mission Bay. A 4,000-acre peninsula, Mission Bay is home to a variety of restaurants, stores and beachfront properties.

Despite starting every morning surrounded by exotic food places, such as the Green Flash or the Rubicon Deli, the  staff seemed to find themselves sitting in a little-known restaurant called Denny’s.

With all-you-can-eat pancakes, build-your-own skillets and endless amounts of water, there is no place better to eat. Not even the sweet taste of frozen yogurt could match the allure of breakfast at Denny’s.

Aside from the breakfast adventures, the weekend itinerary consisted of four keynote speakers, breakout sessions every morning and afternoon, a luau and, of course, award ceremonies. In addition to the breakout sessions and keynote speakers, professors and advisors sat down with editorial staffs to give advice and criticism for their student newspaper.

Breakout sessions helped students to connect and understand their field of study even more. From learning how to fit more information into less words to understanding the art of interviewing the sessions, these sessions provided students with shareable knowledge of their field that they can bring back to their staffs and hopefully make their content/newspaper more interesting and entertaining.

With the nights left open for exploration, The Student editors took to the streets of San Diego and explored the nation’s eighth-largest city, with the highlight of the trip being the tour of Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres.

Inspired by the Seven Wonders of the World, Petco Park has unique and characterizing features about it that not many ballparks boast. Its left field foul pole is nonexistent. Instead, the architect decided to use an old metal supply building as not only the foul pole but also for seating and restaurant space.

Spanning across the outfield is a picture perfect view of downtown San Diego reaching as far as the right foul pole, which coincidentally is unique as well. Linked to a Calloway advertisement, the right foul pole sports a 50-foot golf club, the only one in the world.

However, perhaps the best view in the house is that of the reporters. Set straight back from home plate, the press box is situated just perfectly for journalists to see everything happening in the stadium. It is a sight words cannot do justice.

The convention itself was a success. Going in expecting no placement in any category, mostly due to the amount of schools there, the editors were pleasantly surprised on their sixth-place website.

Bringing home new ideas and stories for the student newspaper/website, the Springfield College newspaper staff is looking to not only improve these next few months  but for years to come.

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