COLUMN: A non-journalist writing what needs to be heard

Ellen Dooley, Opinions Editor

Hello! My name is Ellen Dooley. I am a sophomore special education standard major. I am the opinions section editor. This is my third semester at the News. I wrote last school year and even over this past summer.

You may also see me in music ensembles, at the front desk of Andrews Hall, or organizing Residence Hall Association events.  

The history of the Daily Eastern News runs in my family. Both of my parents went to EIU in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Well, one music fraternity bonfire and a couple of years later, me and my sibling came along.

While my father attended EIU, he drew cartoons for the newspaper. I recall one about how South Quad seems to turn into a small ocean every time it rains. Funny how 20 years later- nothing changes. So, when I told him I started writing for the News, it was clear he was extremely excited.  

I started my time at the News as a columnist. I attended Pantherpalooza and met then Editor-in-Chief, Corryn Brock. It took me a few days to pull the trigger and call her back to talk about writing. I started writing the week after and the rest of it is history.  

You may be asking, “an education major is an editor?” Writing is not for just journalism or English majors. Anyone can write. For me, writing for the News is a way to amplify my voice. To amplify my voice about my campus, state, country, and world around me.

I write about what sets my soul and mind on fire.  

Before I start a column, I think about what my passions are and what I see in the world around me. I have grown as a writer during my time at the News.

My first column was about bikes lanes on Eastern’s campus. One of my latest columns during this summer was about the impact of the Texas school shooting. I began to look at the world around me and what settled deep in my mind.

I asked myself, “what needs to be heard?” While not everyone in the world reads my columns, I hope that I at least reach one person. 

Although the year has just begun, I have many plans for this semester and school year. I hope to encourage columnists to speak about what they genuinely care about. I want them to have the courage to speak up about issues and the world around them.

I want to empower these budding and veteran writers to put their best foot forward.  

So, cheers! Cheers to a fresh start and new school year. This year you can expect opinions about films, LGBTQIA+ issues, disability issues, educational issues, politics, and philosophy. I am so excited to work with my fellow columnists, editors, and writers yet to come!

As always, we intend to “tell the truth and not be afraid.”  

Ellen Dooley is a special education standard major. She can be reached at 217-581-2812 or [email protected].