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Until next time, happy reading!

Charles Bowker, right, plays a doctor in a mock scenario at an investigative journalism bootcamp, a camp Signpost staff and nearby Utah student journalists instructed for high school students interested in pursuing journalism. (Photo by Adam Fondren)

It is tradition at The Signpost for the outgoing editor-in-chief to write one more column as a sort of capstone to his or her time in the position. As the task has now fallen to me, I find myself at a loss for words. So much has been written in the past year — what more could I really add?

I’ll try to keep it brief then.

Spring semester of 2014 saw a younger version of me wandering through Elizabeth Hall, finishing my third full semester at Weber State and struggling to comprehend how I was going to pay for college, much less finish my degree. Back then, I thought a career in medicine as a doctor was my future.

All of that changed when I encountered an advert seeking editors and writers for a newspaper here on campus. That fateful day and the decision I made to write for The Signpost changed every aspect of my life.

That day was the beginning of moments and memories that are continuing to enrich my life. One such example was the opportunity I had to interview WSU alumnus and NBA all-star Damian Lillard. That interview and the subsequent article became the catalyst for wanting to be something better.

My writing career began in sports, and so, while WSU faltered or triumphed on the athletic field, I had something to write about. I, through the guidance of advisers and copy editors, began to develop my writing voice into a tool for good.

I planned on finishing up my final year working at The Signpost as the managing editor and graduating in Healthcare Administration and Spanish. It seemed being a doctor was not in the cards, and being managing editor was just a pipe dream. To my surprise, I was informed that the planned editor-in-chief was quitting, and I was to replace him.

It has been an adventure since then. This year would have almost put me in the grave were it not for the amazing staff who have surrounded me. Their tireless efforts have been one of the reasons this paper has become something more than kennel liner.

We have also had to fight this year, and what a fight it was. So much thanks belongs to you, the ever-faithful readers of this newspaper. All of us here at the newspaper were strengthened by your support and inspired to see that you were willing to fight for our right to be heard by our elected leaders.

You helped us prove the truth behind President Barack Obama’s iconic words, “We have to uphold a free press and freedom of speech — because, in the end, lies and misinformation are no match for the truth.”

Here, I was able stand for something more, something bigger than myself. Here, My voice was able to fight for those who would’ve never been heard. I thank you for that opportunity.

To my professors and classmates, I thank you for being willing to share the stories and events that help make this school amazing. To my family and friends, I thank you for the love and support you have given me during the hard times, as well as the encouragement to keep pushing through to the end.

To my staff and advisers here at The Signpost, you are amazing, and for those who are leaving with me, it was a hell of a ride. To the staff who will return, keep up the good work. The future of this paper is both bright and in the right hands — I am certain of it.

I think, then, of all the words that I have written, I can sum them all up with the immortal words of Douglas Adams.

“So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

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