The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Senior Reflections: I came for Chatham but I stayed for the Communiqué

Jorie Meil

Most of us graduating this year had the unique experience of starting at Chatham University during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was weird, to say the least, and impossible to say the most. All the usual stressors of starting college were there: making friends, taking difficult classes and living on your own for the first time on top of the social distancing requirements that isolated us in our residence halls most of the time.

In a way, my first year is separate from the rest of my time at Chatham. Almost all the friends I made dropped out or transferred, and the campus itself feels different now. All online classes meant that most people didn’t live on campus. I could go a full day walking around and not see another soul on the quad. Coming back to Chatham the next year felt different, there were more people, more things to do and more life and excitement on campus. 

Through all the changes at Chatham and in my personal life, I’ve always found a sense of place with the Communiqué. I’ve spent almost every Tuesday of the past seven terms the same way: in a pitch meeting with the most talented student journalists around, and I’m lucky enough to get to call them my friends. While I initially joined the paper as a part of a course requirement for my first term, I was astounded by the passion every member of the staff has for journalism and their commitment to making the Communiqué the best it can be.

I was given opportunities to forge my own path in the Communiqué very early on. I love writing, but I quickly realized my skills could be used elsewhere. I asked to work on social media, where we didn’t have much of a digital presence at the time. I’m so glad that we were able to take the account on X, formerly known as Twitter, that I started that year and turn it into its own section of the staff with an amazingly talented team that has expanded our reach across platforms. 

Even as I moved from social media to managing our website, it has been so fun to watch our section and content grow, and I can’t wait to see where they take it from here.  

There is a saying someone came up with on staff a few years ago: “ I came for the [blank], but I stayed for the Communiqué.” The original statement was made to describe the influence the Communiqué had in keeping them from transferring out, but it explains my attachment to the content we create and the amazing staff. 

I came for Chatham, but I stayed for the Communiqué.

Our editors and the rest of the staff work tirelessly to put out issue after issue while taking classes, having a social life and attempting to follow a somewhat normal sleep schedule. I also want to credit so much of the newspapers’ and my personal success to our faculty advisor Sara Bauknecht. Working with her has been an honor and a pleasure and I’ve learned so much about personal and professional tools for success. I’m constantly in awe of the amount of care and work she puts into everything she does and her ability to keep a straight face when we are goofing off in meetings.

Never in my life have I felt more supported and celebrated for my work than at the Communiqué. Being on the staff has given me the opportunity to create content that I’m proud of.

Sure, I’ve written some interesting articles that have sharpened my interviewing and writing skills, but I’m mostly referring to the important but niche skill I’ve developed for figuring out the best way to dress up our opossum mascot on the back page.

I took over the back page of our print editions a few years ago, and I am thrilled at the amount of silliness I was allowed to get away with in each issue. I’m thankful for the editors who have let me express my creativity, even if it’s in the form of a resume for the mailroom opossum to become the University president.

When people ask me what I’m going to miss most after graduation the answer is easy. My time at Chatham has been defined by the Communiqué and the amazing people I’ve met as a part of it. I wish everyone the best of luck and can’t wait to see what you do next.

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About the Contributor
Jorie Meil
Jorie Meil, Digital and Social Media Editor
Jorie Meil ’24 is a communications major with a concentration in public relations and minors in marketing and Jewish studies. Coming from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Jorie came to Chatham for the academic programs and location. Jorie is the Communique digital editor and a contributing writer. At Chatham, Jorie is an executive board member of the Jewish Student Association and Chatham Student Power. To learn more about her work, feel free to contact Jorie via email at [email protected].

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    Cari MeilDec 5, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Congratulations, Jor! What an awesome reflection piece. Communiquaint