Editor Speaks Out

By on November 14, 2007

I woke up Monday morning groggy from lack of sleep, and confused as to the time (I think daylight savings time is unnecessary). Then, in a moment of clarity I remembered that this was the day I had been anticipating for over two months.

My outfit was already picked out, and I looked in the mirror, put on my heels and walked out the door – it was on to Biology.

Throughout the whole class I practiced in my head over what I was going to say, and kept reminding myself to not twirl my hair around my finger – a habit I developed as a baby.

I left class early due to anticipation anxiety (good excuse). I went to The Chronicle office to consult with my fellow editors about what to say. Then, it was time.

I walked into the right entrance of the library, where the sun reflected off a gold plated sign that read “Administrative Offices.”

My parents would be so proud!

Finally, something to show for an over $100,000 gift I like to call my undergraduate education.

I told the secretary at the desk I was here for my appointment. With a warm smile she showed me to the reception area, and asked, “Would you like a drink?” Being the neurotic drama queen that I am, I felt like saying “a gigantic bottle of wine, please,” to calm my nerves. But, I decided to simply say “No thank you” and continued practicing exactly what I would say to him once he opened the fancy wood door.

I have met important people before, and I have anticipated many events. But not even for a nice date with my boyfriend did I ever spend so much time on my hair and makeup as I did today.

The secretary, Linda, called my name and told me he was ready, and as the door opened, there he was. A tall man with a somewhat gentle face wearing a green shirt with a complimenting tie. He offered a warm handshake. I introduced myself, talking too fast and high pitched as I usually do when nervous, and had a seat.

The office was beautiful, with what looked like rich mahogany wood and of course, many leather bound books. It seemed to me Ron Burgundy just wasn’t so special anymore.

I, Erin Miller, was meeting President John Lahey. This was huge.

As a journalist I had so many questions to ask him regarding recent events. But somehow my desire to protest outside his office with a poster saying something catchy about the first amendment subsided and I was nervous; determined to focus on my goals.

I wanted to learn about him and his life and report it to the fellow members of the QU community in my section’s column “In The Life Of.” I recognized rumors and lack of knowledge around the campus when it came to the “Big Man” and I wanted everyone, including myself, to have the opportunity to learn about him. To form more justified conclusions.

And so it began. I started with the question “Where did you go for undergraduate school” and he replied “The University of Dayton.” YES! I was so in. “My dad went there for Law School!” I replied. And just like that, my nerves were calmed. Let’s go Flyers!

Throughout the near hour-long interview, we discussed both fun, light, serious and important topics, I came to a conclusion that I am sure might get me stoned to death for stating around certain parts of campus. President Lahey is a nice man.

I know, I know. This was a new feeling to me too. There are a good number of things that he has said during my time here that I do not agree with, specifically dealing with my journalism major. At the same time, I do understand that he is responsible for our school’s image, our school’s future, the value of our degree and the diploma with which we graduate. With that being said, I question why he chose to meet with me, a college journalist, if he had such animosity toward us as to try to stomp on our passion.

Now I know, and am well aware that he has the weight of an entire university on his shoulders and at the same time, he chose it to be so. But those shoulders belong to a real person. He is a husband, a father and an extremely well educated man.

Despite his education, however, it perplexes me as to why he can’t see that the connection between an image, bad press and denouncing something your school boasts is not good public relations. I learned that in PR101. Oh wait, that class was full. It must have been Common Sense 101.

And after all is said and done I must say regardless of and segregated from my professional opinion- it seemed to me he is a nice and genuine man.

I thank you, nice and genuine man, for the opportunity to interview you. And now I ask something of you. Please begin to support The Chronicle. We are a team of great editors, writers and staff members. We have a great advisor who has made it her sole goal to prepare us for the real world.

I wonder, however, if we are all getting the real-world experience when we have to interview John Morgan or Lynn Bushnell all the time. However interesting they may be, it can get a little dull. Three years of learning interview techniques seem to be a waste when we can only practice on two people. The Chronicle is a student-run newspaper, not a public relations pamphlet.

When I wanted to interview you, I contacted you directly – as a normal interview process goes. And from that interview I changed my view of you in one pivotal hour.

I ask you now to give us an hour of your time. See that we are students that voluntarily work hard as student leaders to better prepare ourselves for the world outside this public relations bubble also known as Quinnipiac University. Who knows – in the end you just might be surprised at who we are and what we are like as well.

Wouldn’t that be a happy ending? I think so, and it couldn’t be written any better.


About Erin Miller