The FSW Compass is back for Spring 2020! This marks our third full semester in print and the beginning of my last semester as editor of the paper and a FSW student.
The Compass has given me invaluable lessons and connections. I hope the hard work and tireless hours I’ve put into building this paper will help it live on beyond me.
I plan to end my editorship with a bang! Look out for big stories to come this semester. As always we will try our hardest to deliver.
This issue took longer to get out than expected. There are some stories in here that I am glad to have waited for like “FSW pantry feeds struggling students” about students who can’t afford food and the ways FSW supports them.
As a community college we have many students acquainted with poverty. These people are our classmates, friends, and teammates. Their issues deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, not shame.
Cameron Gamche and Tyler St. Onge, the writers, struggled to report this article. Many students who used FSW’s food pantry hesitated to tell their story.
America shames those who dare to be poor. The Compass is a paper that embraces them.
I would like to thank the students that did give their names for their bravery. To those who didn’t, know this: the Compass stands by you and is ready to listen to your story.
Another big story this issue is our front-page reported opinion piece by Jonathan Pressley, “FSW mourns Black Mamba.”
It’s unconventional for our paper to run opinion on the front page, but we thought the occasion deserved a writer who was affected by the tragedy.
For the Compass’s last five months under my leadership I want to focus my messages to FSW on building the relationship between the Compass and the community.
The Compass has a unique position as an institution at FSW. We are outside the chain of command of the school. This means that the paper’s content is formed by students and advised by a professor.
Although we’ve managed to get along with the school our content does not go through college approval before publishing.
Talking to the Compass is not talking to an administrator, professor, or even counselor. It is talking to a student-led entity dedicated to honest reporting and revealing overlooked narratives of the FSW community.
I bring this all up because I want to encourage anyone reading this to reach out to the Compass with their FSW story. We all have one. We are all from the same school, working through the same classes, for similar degrees.
Talking to the Compass has real impact on how the paper operates.
Our ongoing series, Trans at FSW, started when a group of trans and non-binary students came into the newsroom one day and spoke with me and my then co-editor about the issues they face on campus. The struggles we talked about materialized into our “Unsafe in any stall” and “A real name on the roster” stories.
Another story that was inspired by the FSW community was “Dual-enrolled students go hungry at Hendry Center” from our Dec. 3 issue. That story started when the Compass took on its first Hendry center reporter, Jazmine Santillana. When Santillana became part of the staff, she went back to her Hendry community and asked students about issues they thought needed attention.
Her story about dual-enrolled students missing lunch to get college credits made the front page of the issue.
The front-page story from the Oct. 31 issue, “FSW recycling lacks, clarity, consistency, and bins,” began when the Compass noticed our own recycling troubles. It took off when faculty and staff related to us the extents they were going to avoid FSW’s recycling services.
That story is making a difference. Lack of recycling was brought up as an issue in Faculty Senate in January.
The Compass is still growing. We have opened new positions for social media managers and ad salespeople. If you want to gain experience (and some cash) contact us!
If you think there are some ways the Compass could improve, please, reach out. I welcome your feedback!
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us in person at I-117 on Lee campus.
FSW Compass Editor-In-Chief