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The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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Letter from the Editor: To be understood

Letter+from+the+Editor%3A+To+be+understood
Kaitlyn Close

My love for The Appalachian and App State runs deep. Regarded as one of the best North Carolina colleges for journalism, I knew I found my place nestled between the protective mountains and flourishing wildlife. 

Now, as The Appalachian enters its 90th year, I am pleased to welcome our paper’s third installment of our Black History Month edition. Inside, you will find a curated section designed to amplify Black voices and diverse programs on campus.   

My time here at App State began with COVID and a protest. Adorned with masks and passion, Black at App State led a peaceful demonstration on campus to demand their voices and, above all else, their presence to be seen, heard and understood. My second story at The Appalachian covered the aftermath at a university town council meeting, in a space where faculty and students gathered to reflect on the community we occupy.  

App State said Fall 2023 enrollment was the most diverse in the last 124 years. 19% of the university’s total population is “racially and/or ethnically underrepresented students” according to Appalachian Today. Our Mountaineer family continues to expand, but meaningful recognition for achievements of marginalized communities can feel stagnant. We all have the right to feel celebrated and to truly see ourselves within our Appalachian community. 

I have the opportunity to use my voice, to use my position in a way that matters. Diversity is not a numerical quota to achieve and pocket for later use. It is a commitment to the people. It is respect for everyone in our community. It is placing value on the voices that have been historically disenfranchised.  

Blackness, just like any identity, is not restrained to a month. We should be acknowledged and understood; daily, monthly and yearly. I have the privilege of dedicating a section of our February newspaper to see that Black students, faculty and community members are celebrated by App State and the outer Boone community. 

I thank every editor, artist, writer and photographer who used their talents to create this edition. Journalism is a collective effort and ensures every person on our campus can see themselves reflected in an outlet for students by students. 

I have always said the place to be understood is within journalism. Word possesses truth, either personal or objective. Words have power. We have power. It is about how we use it for ourselves and others. 

I have found my truth at The Appalachian and at App State. I have found inspiration and guidance. And, I can only hope that every reader of The Appalachian finds themselves within our pages. I want all of our readers, especially during this Black History Month, to be understood.  

 

K. Slade 

Visual Managing Editor 2023-24

 

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We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

About the Contributors
K. Slade
K. Slade, Visual Managing Editor
K. Slade (she/her) is a senior journalism major. This is her third year with The Appalachian.
Kaitlyn Close
Kaitlyn Close, Graphics Editor
Kaitlyn Close (she/her) is a senior Graphic Design major and Digital Marketing minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Donate to The Appalachian
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