January 19, 2009

Sunny Nights

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Welcome to the jungle. It’s the first night of compet down here at The Sun and things are heating up. The beer bottles from last semester’s end of publication party have been replaced with caffeinated beverages, and us editors are bracing ourselves for the daily grind that is life at the nation’s oldest continuously independent college daily.

Last night marked the beginning of The Sun’s annual editor compet, a transitional period training those vying for coveted spots on the 127th editorial board. Some may say the process resembles hazing, as editors in training fill the shoes of their predecessors for six weeks of head-to-head competition. But from an editor’s standpoint, there is no better way to prepare editorial candidates for the trials and tribulations that lie ahead.

When it comes to tapping a new board of editors, all college dailies take a different approach. Some papers’ editors are slated by the outgoing leaders and others rely on a series of interviews, but few employ a system as crazy as compet. However, the competition, which culminates with a staff-wide vote where candidates showcase the progress they have made, undoubtedly generates innovative and insightful changes to the paper. Compet gives birth to a revitalized Sun each spring, as it prepares compets for their futures as editors.

Each and every night leading up to the board’s election in February, The Sun will be inundated with newcomers who will undoubtedly make their fair share of mistakes. But what will emerge from the heap will be a new and improved Sun. You can keep track of our progress by checking page eight of The Sun every day, which credits editors in training for their work on that day’s issue.

To Sun editors past and present, the word compet invokes a unique sense of nostalgia. The competition may be fierce at times, but there’s something special about seeing a couple dozen full-time students put their academic careers on the line for the longevity and prosperity of The Sun. Over the next month and a half you’ll see us drudging across campus wearing our lack of sleep in pride, recovering from the numerous front-page redesigns, article re-writes and late night phone calls that are all inevitable and expected.

It’s only been one night thus far, but Sun compets are prepared for some exciting sunny nights ahead.