The Long Goodbye

An editorial
by Chris Hibbard
The Meliorist 2006-2008

The Long Goodbye

Dear Meliorist readers,

I sit here in my living room pondering how to write this; my final editorial for The Meliorist – the last words of mine that many of you will ever read.

There are so many things that come to mind that I believe simplifying it into 700 words is going to be difficult. Anyone of you who knows me will know that this moment is difficult for me. I am the news guy, a skeptic, a journalist, an employer and a friend. To those of you who don’t, I’m just that rambling guy on Page 2 most weeks, an opinionated romantic jabbering at you over a coffee while killing time between classes. Either way, I won’t be here next year, for I am graduating and moving on to the grand scary world that is real life and a career. Yet over the last four years this paper has been a big part in my life. I did a little bit of nostalgic research on Monday afternoon and realized that I must have written tens of thousands of words over the last two years, including the following.

I’ve tried to provide a breakdown of our tuition payments, and figure out what a three-trillion dollar debt actually means. I’ve explored the current state of NASA and our knowledge of the universe, as well as stranger notions such as time travel, luck, the Chinese calendar, The Big Bang theory, zombification and the existence of aliens.

I’ve touched on heavier things like suicide, drinking and driving, cancer and progress. This idea of progress was behind other articles regarding the value of silence, the noticeable deterioration of manners in our society, and our obsession with time. Along the way I’ve poked fun at the complexities of the English language, at uncommon sense, funny news stories from around the world, celebrity marriages, famous hoaxes, ludicrous warning labels and the non-existent rights of cigarette smokers.

I’ve examined my own dreams, defended freedom of expression, re-examined what journalistic integrity is all about, and tried to keep the Student’s Union and the University in general somewhat responsible for their actions.

I’ve questioned our current fascination with oil and gas, recommended we try growing opium in our province, scolded us for our own capitalistic nature and in some cases damned the core North American values that most of seem to hold so dear. We rarely question anything; we just survive in blissful ignorance.

I’ve discussed birth control in public schools, tried to better understand my grandfather and his fellow veterans of World War II, and tested your knowledge of Canadian history and trivia.

On occasion I’ve been critical – of student apathy, Catholic Church policies, the operations of The Zoo, and the state of commercial radio nowadays. Subsequently (and mostly thanks to our editorial pages including the TLF section) I’ve written formal apologies, retractions, and corrections.
I’ve been a friend to the Student’s Union and a liaison between them and the students. I’m a proud supporter and volunteer with CKXU radio and hope that more of you support it too – for after all, 88.3 FM is truly Lethbridge’s true alternative.

But enough about me – the rest of this editorial should be devoted to you readers and other influential people – you know who you are.

To the many local businesses that we have had dealings with, thank you. You help us fill our pages, and without your revenue, we might not be able to have a year-end staff barbecue.

To my friends, classmates and peers with whom I have brainstormed ideas and vented concerns with regarding this paper, thank you. Your ideas challenge me and push me in directions I otherwise may not go.

To all U of L students who read The Meliorist each week, thank you. Without you, we could not exist. With you on our side – our potential is limitless.

To all University staff members, faculty, professors, and administrators whom I have learned from, thank you. I am sometimes a poor student, but always a keen learner.

To my loving family in Calgary, thank you for everything. You keep me grounded and balanced in ways I can’t begin to explain.

To the members of the Student’s Union and CKXU – thanks for all the memories, laughs and conversations we have shared – you were all part of my extended family.

To all students who have contributed their original work, comments, and time to The Meliorist, with little to no concrete validation – thank you. I may not have adequately expressed it, but your unique voices have made our paper ten times better than it otherwise would have been.

Last but not least – to all The Meliorist staff members whom I have worked with over the last four years – thank you. I’ve been lucky enough to have little peeks into each one of your lives, and your dedication, diversity, spirit and passion has made this entire experience immeasurably precious to me. Remember to always question authority – except for campus security of course, ‘cuz those guys mean business.

In closing, I would like to briefly mention some stories that interest me that I never managed to have covered in my time at The Meliorist. I am convinced that many of you may have already discussed these very things at some point in your University years.

Apathy: It seems that only certain professors and an approximate tenth of the student population seem to know or care about what goes on around here.

Student fees: I sometimes feel that our tuition fees are wasted on events that are not reflective of our student body.

Food: I would like to examine the contract that the U of L has with Sodexho, a corporation that provides 90 per cent of the food available on campus.

Advice: I would like to interview students about their thoughts on campus counsellors and advisors, and any problems they may have had with enrollment and/or advice they have received.

Race: I would like to have delved into racism on campus and around southern Alberta, which I know exists, but is difficult to face up to.

Bureaucracy: Why are some educators that many of us feel are inadequate seemingly rewarded and promoted, while others who provide more comprehensive learning are treated more poorly? Similarly, what is the official U of L policy and protocol regarding any instructor that quits mid-way through a semester?

Daycare: In examining back issues of the Meliorist going back to 1967, I have noticed that an on-campus daycare facility has been a hot button issue for over two decades – what seems to be the hold-up?

So that’s it folks. I speak to you now a humble and grateful man, enlightened by the experience that we have shared. At The Meliorist, we’re not truly under the delusion that anyone actually cares about our take on the situation for no one truly enjoys being preached to. But we do this job, write these words, make this paper and get it out there for you – in the hopes that our work may ignite some dialogue in the community. It’s our duty I feel, since Meliorism is the belief that improvement of society depends on human effort. In my mind, knowledge leads to truth and tolerance, things which we typically feel are subjective. But as far as this editor in concerned though, you’ll never find objectivity and answers if you don’t even start to look.

Chris Hibbard
Bachelor of Arts
The Meliorist


~ by Chris Hibbard on October 31, 2008.

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