Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some get the job on a technicality after their predecessor unexpectedly steps down. Yes, Annie Smith –The Saint’s Editor-in-Chief since last May – has this semester decided to relinquish her editorship, bequeathing to me the gloriously poisoned chalice of St Andrean student journalism. Not that I’m complaining, of course; I think losing to Annie a third time would have been somewhat embarrassing, even for me.
But what will this mean for the The Saint? Unfortunately, much of my reform programme is now unachievable, or simply pointless. A sweeping re-design of our newspaper (something my forebears have previously done) seems unnecessary, and not to mention ruinously time-consuming. My oft-vaunted puzzle page, complete with crossword and chess, also seems a bit silly now that I’m viewing it from the helm instead of down on the decks. Oh, and don’t get me started on my frustratingly competent Editorial Board, who are not only doing their jobs quickly and professionally, but are also keeping our newspaper firmly in the black. It’s quite poetic, really;I get the job just as there’s nothing for me to do.
Or so it would seem. For one of the few things that astounds me about the modern university student is their impressive ignorance of the basic principles of grammar, syntax, and punctuation, which of course ruins everything that they write. The Saint is not exempt from this: otherwise enjoyable articles are polluted by errant apostrophes, confusing sentences, and vile Americanisms. I mean, honestly – was no-one else beaten with their father’s dictionary as a child? Therefore my editorship will be a puritanical one. Comma splices, run-on sentences, and even innocent typos shall be hunted down with ruthless alacrity, and exterminated from my new grammatical paradise. Whether they want to or not, our writers will soon know that subordinate conjunctions should always be capitalised in their headlines, and that “it’s” is never, ever to be used as a possessive. Oh, and the Oxford comma is now mandatory, not that I know why it wasn’t before.
Finally, one feels as if this is an appropriate space in which to explain The Saint’s editorial ‘position’, such that it is. After all, there’s a lot going on in Studentville this semester, and I’m sure at least one person in this town cares about the positions our newspaper assumes. The editorials and leaders of national publications are often unsigned, and are taken to represent the opinion of the newspaper on certain issues, important or otherwise. I’ve decided that this shall not be the case with The Saint, at least while I’m in charge. We have a large Editorial Board, and an even larger committee; to presume to speak for all of them would not only be transparently vain, but incredibly dishonest. Therefore you should assume that any future editorial found in The Saint represents no opinion other than my own – please castigate me as such. Meanwhile, strike action resumes today, so I’m off to enjoy the holiday that the UCU are gifting me. Happy reading!