The Pursuit of Truth in a World of Uncertainty

I am not necessarily comfortable with uncertainty or ambiguity. Perhaps that is why I decided to write for the news section of The Fordham Ram my freshman year — I had the opportunity to ask questions about a university that was so vastly undiscovered to me. 

I quickly learned that finding clarity is not always as simple as asking questions and pushing for answers. Sometimes things happen that are simply unexplainable, intangible or indefensible. Maybe the questions you ask do not always elicit an understandable or meaningful response, or you might struggle to find what questions to ask in the first place. Although these fates are occasionally unavoidable, at the heart of the Ram is a driving force that continues for over a century: the pursuit of truth in a world of uncertainty. 

For over three years, I have joined editors to create concise and informative articles amid confusing, complicated and continuously evolving times. No matter how big or small the news is each week, we hope to bear witness to it — whether that be from the opening of the campus Starbucks in 2017 to reporting on clerical abuse in 2018, to the Spring Weekend performer controversy in 2019 and publishing health and safety protocols in 2020. 

Although every year of the Ram and my college experience has involved pushing against uncertainty and ambiguity, it is hard to match the unknowns of 2020. 

When we embarked on our first issue of the year, we did not know that a global pandemic would force us to publish entirely online for the first time in 103 years of journalism. We could not possibly know that the sixth in-person production night would be the last we would have as a staff. We couldn’t know that we would be covering virtual events, finding sports news without a sports season or checking in on students as the country quarantines. 

I am proud that these unknowns never stopped us from continuing our tradition of journalism and family — even if weekly meetings and production nights were through tiny Zoom windows and not in the windowless basement of McGinley. 

So, in the spirit of the news section, here are some things I know to be true. I know that just about all the editors I have come across, from Volume 99 to Volume 102, have spent countless hours publishing content that informs, intrigues and inspires. I know that the members of this staff love the work we do and love one another. 

I know that there will always be more to learn about the ins and outs of Fordham University and the students, staff and faculty that make it so wonderful. I know that The Fordham Ram will never stop trying to uncover these stories.

I know that even though my time on staff at the Ram may come to an end today, I will never forget all the lessons and laughs I have had along the way. 

I am also certain that I have many people to thank for my three years on the Ram, including just about every person on staff from Volume 99 to 102. But I will try to keep it brief.

Theresa Schliep, thank you for giving me a shot as Features Editor. I never actually interviewed for the Ram due to an issue with applications, but I am grateful I was allowed to join. Aislinn Keely, thank you for teaching me almost everything I know about the news. You have taught me what it means to bear witness to the chaos of current events, and I still hear your advice in my head with every piece I write. 

Sarah Huffman, thank you for answering all my phone calls on the first ring and talking through the off-the-record conversations we were not ethically allowed to publish. We have truly grown together in the past couple of years. Erica Scalise, I went through the trenches with you. Every lede, every concern, every unanswered question, every inkling — we were in it together for about two years. Thank you for everything. 

Thank you to my mom, Catherine Reynolds, and my dad, Paul Stevenson, for reading endless articles, listening to me talk through stories on the phone and being proud of me through every issue (and Issue.) I quite literally would not be on the Ram or at Fordham without your love and support.  

Thank you to my roommates, some of the most intelligent, kind and thoughtful people I know. You have listened to me talk about the Ram pretty much 24/7 for over three years. That takes a lot of patience and love, and I don’t know how I ever got so lucky to receive it. Gayathri Thelekatt, Emily Malacane, Lianna Meehan, Eleanor Keyes, Colleen Cochran, Amelia MacGregor and Emily Antico — Fordham would not have been Fordham without you. 

Lastly, most importantly, thank you to the editors of Volume 102. You have shown an immense amount of hard work, patience, dedication, innovation and brilliance in a year that was more than difficult to navigate. Andrew, Kelly, Kristen, James and Max, thank you for helping to lead this paper in a very unprecedented situation (I am tired of this phrase, but it is true). I am so proud and lucky to have worked with each of you.

Congratulations to the entire staff of Volume 103. Rachel Gow, I know you will do an incredible job in leading this publication through another year of unknowns. May you and the rest of the staff continue to find truth in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty.