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Do you believe in Freedom of Speech, direct communications to students by students, and the academia of journalism? If so, vote. It’s election week here at CU Denver, and there has never been a higher urgency for lovers of this newspaper to open that online poll than right now.

I fell in love with printed press for selfish reasons. I was eight years old and loved to see my birthday listed in Gunnison’s Hometown Happenings publication— seeing my name alongside other March babies was thrilling. Then, I’d look for my name alongside honor roll announcements and other academic accolades. Adults would recognize my name and smile on the street; neighbors would cut out clippings and drop them off at my door.

It goes beyond self-interest

By the time I was 13, I picked up our weekly newspaper just to see my name in the sports section. My dad and I would drive to the closest distribution spot— right outside a laundromat on the way home from practice— every Thursday, to see if my softball game made the briefs. Nelson, pitcher, 10 strikeouts. Nelson, batting average .675, leading team to state. Each year it escalated, and I lusted over the black-and-white columns.

Over the years I discovered that what I loved more than recognition was the venue of communication itself. I’d pick up my local newspaper to read not only sports, but the news and opinion editorials and the arts and leisure sections too.

The different reporting styles of staff writers started to jump out at me, and what kinds of stories were given more space. There was nothing more magical to me than how a new piece could spark such an inspiration in the community to pick up copies, send in their thoughts, and stir change from the ground up. It goes beyond self-interest.

News and how we get it has evolved dramatically. Now, we have information at the touch of our fingers and at the tips of our noses. We’re constantly online in some way, and we find relevant information through a pound sign-turned-tag. But newspapers, and the Sentry specifically—both online and print—have maintained that magic and that spark of communication. Vote to keep it alive.

Savannah Nelson
Savannah Nelson

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