(Photo by Ian Billings)

Brian De Los Santos is the editor-in-chief of Mustang Daily.

I deal with words.

I edit them, read them, write them and speak them. They’re involved in every daily activity I do, and they’re something I hope to one day build a profession around. But when I think back on this year at Mustang Daily, I can’t describe it in words.

I don’t think anyone can.

You see, a lot of work goes on in the newsroom of Mustang Daily. And for this full year, a group of students has produced — and printed — an incredible product four nights a week. We’ve shined lights on the news we felt mattered to you, and we gave you the information you needed to be an informed student.

And as Editor-in-Chief of this newspaper, there is only one thing I can say — or at least try to — when I try to put the hard work poured into more than 100 editions into words.

Thank you — to the people reading this, and to the people who’ve helped produce it.

We did this for the students. We wanted to give our readers the facts, provide them with knowledge. It’s the rallying cry for journalists everywhere: A well-informed public makes well-informed decisions, and those well-informed decisions influence a well-informed democracy.

While we’re not usually dealing with national politics here at Mustang Daily, that sentiment has been our goal. That’s why we have reporters working until 3 a.m., why we have editors often work light, 14-hour workshifts and that’s why I’m proud to say we had one of the best staffs in the nation this year.

I mean, what we do isn’t easy. We’re asked to train — sometimes from no experience at all — in front of an audience. We don’t have a trial or grace period to test the ropes. From the start of the year until the end of the year, our work is on public display — designed, printed, folded and delivered for 18,000 people to see every day.

Quite frankly, yeah, we fuck up. But quite frankly, that’s how we learn. We work in a profession that puts our work in front of a firing squad of readers, readily equipped with witty and brutally harsh comments housed in anonymity. And in that process, the results don’t always turn out the way we want them to.

But at this university, you should already know what that’s called. And the students who have read and produced more than 100 editions of this paper throughout the year have lived by Cal Poly’s motto. We’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs, but at the end of the day, we accomplished our goal — to provide you the news.

To those who have read the news, you deserve the sincerest gratitude. You’re the ones who make our jobs the best on campus, and you’re the ones who deserve the loudest applause of all. This paper wouldn’t exist without you, and your dedication to our end product inspires us to produce something even better.

So, thank you. It’s been fun.

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