Senior Editorial: Shatrunjay Mall

I first attended a meeting of The College Voice as a sophomore. It was a Monday evening, and I was in my room, not particularly doing anything. That’s when a friend texted me, inviting me to a meeting of the Voice. At first I was a little lazy and not too keen to go. But she insisted. Five minutes later I arrived at a room on the second floor of Cro. The meeting had just started, and I was not too late to hear pitches for articles from editors of each section. One of the pitches dealt with the impact of the Shain library renovation. I was immediately interested in the topic and decided to commit to writing about it. With the slogan “No Pain, No Shain,” Connecticut College was attempting to convince students that the library renovation was worth it. However, like many others who had usually studied at the library, I was inconvenienced by the lack of study spaces that semester and unconvinced by the school’s propaganda. My article explored the alternative study spaces that students used. Since then, there has been no turning back, and I have written about an array of issues with seemingly little in common, on topics like snow days, Fidel Castro, the difficulties of a comedian’s art and the Jewish heritage of India, among other miscellaneous topics. There is a peculiar satisfaction to writing about the random.

Writing for the Voice over the last two years has provided me with a broad range of experiences that I may not have otherwise had. As a journalist for the Voice, I received numerous opportunities to interview a wide range of faculty, students, staff and administration, many of whom I have befriended or got to know better in the process. I enjoyed digging under the surface and learning more about a wide variety of issues on campus and beyond. And although meeting deadlines could often be stressful, writing articles has enabled me to improve my writing skills, and increase my confidence as a writer. For this, I am thankful to all the editors-in-chief and managing editors with whom I have I have worked closely–Aparna, Dakota, Ayla, Dana, Sarah-Rose, Maia and Luca. I am grateful for their commitment to the paper and their efforts to forge a sense of community among the writers. I am thankful for the friendly advice and valuable suggestions that I received, especially as I struggled with some of my writing as a sophomore.  

After studying away during the spring semester of my junior year, I returned to the Voice as a senior with a new role: business manager. I have to be honest: being business manager has had its share of stresses, and I often did not enjoy it. As an anxious person, I would fret over everything that I needed to do, especially since I was responsible for handling money and contacting advertisers. As a natural procrastinator, this has been particularly hard. Despite the difficulties of the job, however, I have learned the trade jargon of advertising and business and put myself outside of my comfort zone: something that I believe all people should attempt to do, especially when they are young. For always being willing and able to help me with all matters related to business, I would particularly like to thank Beverly Lewis.

I would like to end with a direct message to Matt Whiman, the Arts editor from my sophomore year. At the end of that academic year, I had not yet written for the Arts section. Matt would always tease me about it with the question: “Where’s my article, Jay?” Well, guess what, Matt, I finally wrote for Arts. Not once, but thrice. Too bad that you’d graduated by then. I hope you are doing well.

-Shatrunjay Mall, Business Manager