Staff Editorial: Editorial staff reflects on semester

Editorial Staff

When the Old Gold & Black transitioned to publishing exclusively online last spring, we had no clue what was in store for us, the university or the country. The past seven months have been a whirlwind of stress, anxiety and challenge, but they have also been a period of exhilarating and important journalism for the Old Gold & Black. 

Beginning last semester and continuing through this week’s issue, we have closely followed and broken news relating to the university’s response to COVID-19. When classes were cancelled for the rest of the semester and Resident Advisers learned they were not going to get paid, we reported on it. When students voiced concerns about the COVID-19 dashboard, we wrote articles explaining the ins and outs of health privacy laws. When Pfizer announced the success of their vaccine trail, we broke the news that Wake Forest began discussing vaccine plans. 

But this semester has not just been about the technical details of COVID-19. For students, faculty and staff, it has been a semester defined by uncertainty concerning Wake Forest’s ability to withstand an outbreak. We featured stories highlighting the perspectives of students and faculty, and gave students the space to share their ideas in the Opinion section. 

 The past seven months have been a whirlwind of stress, anxiety and challenge, but it has also been a period of … journalism for the Old Gold & Black 

Although it often seemed like it, COVID-19 was not the only phenomenon that defined this semester. The election, and the events that ensued as it quickly approached, were the focus of our Editorial Board. We broke the news that President Donald Trump’s campaign rented out the Lawrence Joel Veteran Memorial Coliseum’s parking lot, and that Wake Forest ultimately made a profit from an event that directly violated the university’s own coronavirus guidelines. News Editor Rafael Lima and Online Managing Editor Elizabeth Maline executed and analyzed our first ever Election Poll of students in anticipation of Election Day, providing students with a snapshot of voting behaviors at the university. And, as always, we kept our opinion pages open for students to voice their thoughts about everything related to 2020 politics. 

Our most important project this semester, and one that the Old Gold & Black will continue to pursue for semesters to come, is reporting on systemic racism at Wake Forest and in our larger North Carolina community. In our Sept. 3 issue, we ran a timeline of events relating to racism on Wake Forest’s campus spanning from the founding of the school in 1834 to 2019. We have continued to report on diversity and inclusion endeavors on campus, and hope that we will be able to cover major changes as the introduction of a new president and curriculum occurs next semester.