From the Desk of a Graduating Spectator-Tot

“Hi, my name is Anna Kaplan and I’m the Investigative Editor at The Spectator. This week I am writing a story about…”

Last week, I wrote that email introduction for the last time. It’s something I have written over a hundred times over the past two and a half years in different iterations as a Volunteer Writer, Staff Writer, News Editor, and now, my final title. Those emails have led me down some rabbit holes I couldn’t have even imagined of.

It’s hard for me to remove The Spectator from my time at Seattle University, and vice versa. It feels very much entwined. I hope that the university community realizes that too—The Spectator exists for you. Its sole purpose is to provide you with an accurate account of the first draft of history, and for you to be able to research the institutional memory of Seattle U within its archives.

We quite literally put blood, sweat, and tears into the making of certain issues. At least I have at some point over the past two and half years (papercuts count, right?) Every sleepless Tuesday spent in the basement of Campion Hall, making magic out of nothing sometimes, produces a quality newspaper every Wednesday morning.

I’m very proud of the quality of work that The Spectator consistently publishes. I believe The Spectator breaks stories that rival those of a daily, national publication.

The Spectator has forced me to grow into someone I’m really proud of. Someone who isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. Someone who isn’t afraid of doing anything to find all the answers. Someone who isn’t afraid of the truth.

Even when it means you’re realizing that this university hired a previously- convicted felon to teach criminal justice. Even when it means you’re listening to the night shift custodians describe harrowing accounts of breaking bones on the job so that they can feed their families. Even when it means you’re watching a Jesuit remove copies of the newspaper off the stands because he was offended by a photo of a student performing in drag.

The harder stories I’ve told aside, I’ve been able to talk to incredible people in this university and across Seattle. I hope that they feel that I told their stories accurately, fairly, and with the utmost care. It has been an honor to report on such a dynamic and vivacious community. I have gotten to know people who are changing the world, and that are going to change the world in the near future.

I have also gotten to work with other talented, passionate journalists who push me to be the best journalist and human that I can be. I have made lifelong friends, and even one eighth cousin, once removed (it’s true, News Editor Josh Merchant and I share the same great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great-grandfather).

To Tess, Nick, Jenna, Samira, and Dr. Jha: you have impacted me more than you will ever know. Thank you for always expecting me to go one step farther, and always stepping in when I get too far into sarcasm or conspiracy. And using the red pen with reckless abandon, even when I dreaded it the most.

And to my remaining Tots—Michelle, Frances, Josh, Sophia, Alec, Elise, Michael, Sam, Emily, Connor, Makana, and Taryn—The same goes for you.

I’m very excited to see what you come up with next. Keep questioning everything. Keep publishing what you want. Keep the momentum going, and go farther than I ever have. I know that you’re capable of doing so.

I know I will look back on the time I spent in that dusty, old office in the company of a dozen other over-invested student journalists with a lot of fondness. This paper changed my life whether I wanted it to or not.

Anna Kaplan, Investigative Editor