Like many other UK seniors, I sat through my last class before spring break wondering if it would be the last time I sat in a college classroom.
I don’t remember much from the class—who isn’t distracted right now?—but I can remember our professor’s final farewell.
With that uncertain look that everyone seems to have these days, he dismissed us with the classic “I guess I’ll see you all when I see you.”
I’ve had to give our senior-laden Kernel staff a similar goodbye. Like the rest of UK’s students, they’re now spread across the city, state and country. With commencement delayed and calls for social distancing heeded, there’s no way to know when we’ll get to see each other again in person.
But that hasn’t prevented us from putting out a final, remotely made print newspaper. After this paper, we’re suspending the Kernel’s print operation for the rest of the semester. We’re hoping that as the students move off campus this week, that they can take this paper with them to remember a half semester cut short by an unprecedented global pandemic.
I’m not sure if at any time in the Kernel’s more than century-long history has the newspaper been forced to stop printing in the middle of a school year. But with students leaving campus and with local businesses barred from incoming foot traffic, the print Kernel no longer has a place to land.
Online, we’ll be as busy as ever. The Kernel will continue to deliver its 24/7 daily online coverage and is going to ramp up our output of email newsletters so that no matter where you’re waiting out this pandemic, you can still stay up to date on University of Kentucky news.
We're still going to be making a paper every week. It just won't be printed and will only be available in a digital format. You can find upcoming papers and this week's paper on Issuu.
This pandemic will undoubtedly create new challenges for the university and its students that the Kernel, as the university’s independent student newspaper, will be specially equipped to tell.
As this now online-only semester slogs on, our incoming editor-in-chief, Natalie Parks, will be assuming the top position on staff.
To my seniors on staff, I want to publicly thank you for the incredible job you’ve done this year. I miss you all every day and I can’t wait for the moment when we can all walk together across the graduation stage.
I’ll see you when I see you.
Rick Childress is the 2019-2020 Kernel Editor-in-Chief.