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October 20, 2023
By Annalynn Mueller, junior English Major
Pictured above: Editors Allan Jones (left) and Rebekah Hopp (Right) having fun at a Siskiyou meeting.
The Voice of SOU Students
The Siskiyou has been around on SOU’s campus for nearly 100 years! Starting in print in 1926 this paper has been widely loved by students, faculty, and community members. This first edition of the paper can be found in SOU’s Hannon Library in the Special Collections room. One of the things that makes this publication stand out is the fact that it has been student-led and run since its beginning (to read more about the early editions of the newspaper, check out this article). The Siskiyou focuses on the voices of SOU students and events on campus, in the community, and in the world that are relevant to students. This idea is further reflected in The Siskiyou’s mission statement: “to generate the highest quality newspaper in an unbiased manner to the students, staff, and faculty with newsworthy, entertaining, and stimulating content.” The publication was switched from paper to an all-online format in 2012 with the goal of reaching a broader audience and more flexibility in weekly reporting.
Pictured Above: A 1975 publication of The Siskiyou in the Hannon Library
Since the start of 2023-24 school year, The Siskiyou has experienced some changes in leadership. New co-editors Rebekah Hopp and Allan Jones are optimistic about their plans for this year. They were both previous staff writers for the newspaper and were offered the position of editor by the students who previously occupied those roles and were graduating. Allan and Rebekah shared similar visions for the upcoming year that include “diving into the community even more and becoming a place where people turn to find information and community.”
“I hope to feature what SOU students find important and give them a place to share that.”
– Rebekah Hopp
Rebekah and Allan each have a unique set of skills that sets them apart as editors. Rebekah is a creative writing major and a digital cinema minor. She has aspirations of becoming a professional writer and a creative writing professor. She hopes to use her strengths and her position as editor to “be creative and help others learn how to write well.” She loves writing in all forms, but has a strong affinity for writing fiction. As far as journalistic writing goes, Rebekah’s favorite thing to write about is on-campus events. Some of her articles include information on the SOU Student Film Festival, Rouge Earth Day, and play reviews. She hopes to write more stories about campus life to “provide information to help students make their time at SOU more than just the monotonous rhythm of going to class and then going back to their dorm because there is so much more in store for students here on campus.”
Allan Jones is a Theatre major and hopes to work in the entertainment industry. Allan states that he “brings a positive, albeit goofy, attitude to The Siskiyou team, and captivating, but truthful, storytelling in my writing.” Allan loves writing creatively and about the arts, as well as using writing as a tool to “empathize with the everyday person.” Previously, Allan has written a wide variety of articles. Many of his featured articles focus on community events like the 10 year anniversary of the Fringe Festival, Alumni awards, and updates with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s season. Between the two of them, The Siskiyou has great leadership and is set up for success.
“Beyond writing stories to fill a paper, we aim to keep students engaged in our community.”
– Allan Jones
The Siskiyou tells all kinds of stories by covering everything from campus news, community events, politics, sports, entertainment, and opinion pieces. It also regularly covers ASSOU (Associated Students of Southern Oregon University) meetings. Similarly to The Siskiyou, these meetings fight for issues important to the student body and focus on making students’ lives better. The editors highly encourage student writers, but also accept articles from community members. The goal of the paper is to encourage student voice and participation, so the publication is malleable to what the student body wants to write!
Pictured Above: One of the many ASSOU meetings covered by The Siskiyou. Story written by Addie Mcilroy.
This year, Allan and Rebekah have specific goals to focus on within the newspaper. Rebekah hopes “to build a more active and visible presence for The Siskiyou. We are going to bring even more uniquely relevant stories for the student audience and connect students to the larger SOU and to the small clubs that are harder to find.” Allan is excited to share “stories from our college community, and stories from the greater US” through “captivating writing, photography and news stories.”
Pictured Above: Past and present Siskiyou writers working hard at a club fair. From left to right: Kate Swartz, Kadence Markovich, Dakota Johnson. Story written by Riley Bowen.
Rebekah and Allan are opening the doors for new student writers. While writing experience and skill is valued, it is not necessary to join The Siskiyou. Rebekah is open to teaching writers about journalistic writing and helping students bring creative stories to SOU: “No matter their skill level or confidence, they can be involved in the Siskiyou. We are ready to help them sharpen those skills!”
“The Siskiyou is welcome to anyone willing to learn and hone their writing skills.”
– Allan Jones
To become a staff writer, submit publications, or to learn more about The Siskiyou, contact Rebekah or Allan through their SOU emails. Students are also encouraged to show up to the weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 6pm in the ASSOU lounge in the Stevenson Union. To read more articles from The Siskiyou, follow them on social media, donate and support the newspaper, or contact the editors, click this link.
Interested in being featured on the English Program blog? Or know someone who is interested? Contact English Program blogger Annalynn Mueller at email@example.com .