On Our Third Birthday, Thanks
When I quit the Collegian’s candidate program my freshman year, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew what I wanted to do, though: I wanted to launch a campus newsblog that defied definition and sparked conversation. I also knew accomplishing that would nigh impossible from within the confines of The Daily Collegian, an institution whose resistance to change is its hallmark flaw.
And so, having made that difficult decision to quit, I began laying the framework for what would become Onward State. At the time, the newsblog’s working name was ‘Keystoned.’ Thankfully, that name was discarded once the inimitable Evan Kalikow (the third of a founding triumvirate that also included Eli Glazier) came up with our current moniker, lifted from the lines of our alma mater’s most famous fight song. If you’re interested in more background, you can find an original outline of the plan for Onward State here.
Onward State published its first post three years ago today. Few things have instilled more pride in me than watching the organization’s growth since then.
To understand my pride, first you need to understand Onward State. And that is not something that comes immediately. We are not the Collegian. Our writing is not homogenized and vacuum-sealed for your protection. We believe you can handle opinions, as long as they are informed and reasoned. We believe you are smart enough to understand that there exists no true impartial account of a story, and that you are savvy enough to synthesize multiple perspectives. But, most importantly, I am proud of Onward State because we have, as an organization, internalized this belief in “you” — our readers — as a core value of this institution.
Onward State is a community news website. Through retweets, community posts, and any number of other tools, your voice is a critical part of the overall conversation. I am proud of Onward State because, over the past three years, this ongoing conversation has turned into a central forum for the Penn State community. I am proud of Onward State because our community is the Penn State community.
Evan, Eli, and I will graduate this year, and the future of Onward State is anyone’s guess. All signs point towards success, though. We have an exceptional staff truly motivated by engaging and informing the Penn State community; a strong support apparatus at StateCollege.com and Lazerpro Digital Media Group, our corporate partner; and a self-awareness of who we are and why we exist.
Most importantly, though, we have you. Thanks for reading. Here’s to 3 more years, and many more after that!