I just finished eating what may have been the most delicious pizza ever. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something incredibly fulfilling about eating a late-night dinner at 9 or 10 pm on a Tuesday night. It’s like a family gathering of some sort, the way everyone sits around the table in the Phalanx Room, editors frantically scanning over printouts of their section of The Poly while they wolf down a slice before a fight breaks out over who gets the last garlic knot, or who’ll get to finish off the bottle of Coke.
If you haven’t seen The Poly on closing night before, you’re missing out. Not that The Poly isn’t exciting the rest of the week, as articles are written, events are attended and photographed, and news happens all over the campus, but Tuesday nights are when it all goes down.
Maybe you’ve never thought about how The Poly is put together each week. It just shows up in Commons, the Rensselaer Union, and lecture halls of its own accord, no?
Well, that’s not exactly right. The way it works is something like this: Every Tuesday, the past week’s articles are collected and laid out on each individual page by their respective section editor and other staff. Once they’re laid out, pages go to copy for proofreading, and then are edited by a senior staff member before they can go to print; it isn’t uncommon for a page to still be in progress at 2 am. And, as a benefit of working on The Poly, you get free pizza!
My job is to read copy. As a copy editor, I am one of a handful of people who read over the paper page-by-page, combing it over for errors (whether grammatical, style, or aesthetics) and correcting it before the pages are sent to print. Copyreaders come in on both Monday and Tuesday nights to help fix articles.
See, the newspaper you’re holding is the product of hours of work. Hours went into preparing the articles, and hours went into making them look as professional as possible. It’s a tough job, and most of the Poly staff is a little frazzled by the time Tuesdays finally wrap up, but the final product is what makes it totally worth it. It’s a great experience to see everyone so proud of the work they’ve done, and to see how hours spent staring at an open InDesign window or figuring out your Google Calendar can result in a paper that’s made for RPI students, by RPI students.
Don’t believe me? Just come visit on any Tuesday night. Come a little before 9 pm, help out, eat some pizza and meet new people. And, if you want any garlic knots, grab ‘em while you can. They tend to go fast.