It’s slightly unnerving to type every other week that “Caitlin Mayo is a senior nursing major.” When I had submitted my very first piece to Foghorn my freshmen year, an astute analysis on a news story that was trending at the time, I had never thought that I would end up where I am today.
As a nursing major, I am often asked why I write for the school newspaper, implying that I shouldn’t have the bandwidth for such an extracurricular given the rigor and time commitment that the nursing program demands. And, in retrospect, I ask myself that as well — why did I stress myself out at the end of the week to turn in something?
Simply put, I do it because it’s been such an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to the unbroken tradition of the San Francisco Foghorn, joining the ranks of presidential press secretaries, magazine publishers, cartoonists and state librarians.
To write for a student newspaper is a privilege — in my time at USF, administrators have, most of the time, been respectful of the editorial process and have never restricted us from publishing what we, as students, decide to write. Though this comes with its consequences when we do print something that comes under fire, the Foghorn allows us to make those hard decisions.
I am grateful that the Foghorn is a paper open to contributors from all majors, and that one does not have to major in media studies or minor in journalism to even write or work for the paper, as this is not always the case at other institutions. This allows for more diversity of perspectives to shine through its pages.
I am grateful for being able to serve as chief copy editor and deputy opinion editor throughout my time at USF and to watch the trials and tribulations that the Foghorn faced — from the backlash against a review of the indie pop band Best Coast to covering Secretary Betsy Devos’s interpretation of sexual assault policy on college campuses. We’ve covered the collective breath the campus held during the 2016 presidential election and the parties at Hippie Hill on April 20. Rats in the cafeteria to every budget cut and tuition hike.
The Foghorn is a true reflection of the state of our University at the moment.
Because we have a platform like the Foghorn, I believe that anyone who has the itch to write should consider making a submission.
I was not a journalism student when I first became involved with the Foghorn — I was simply someone who felt deeply about issues that I had read about, or situations that I have seen on campus, and felt the urge to tell those stories.
At the heart of it all, the Foghorn is a driving force that can enforce accountability and define the narrative at USF. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a writer, if you care about something and feel strongly for the story, you can contribute to the Foghorn. Every opinion article, every café review, every movie review and every news story that I have contributed to the paper was a result of this innate belief that there was a story that needed to be told. Though there were many times that I was scared to publish my pieces, the question I had come to ask myself before submitting was this: how would I feel if I didn’t publish this?
Allow yourself to be an advocate for the change you want to see in the world. Hold people accountable for their actions and inactions. Tell the stories that no one else has been brave enough to tell. Pick up a copy of the Foghorn and give it a good read — it’ll tell you what kind of day it has been.