Letter from the Editor: Welcome

Ellie Shackelford on April 27, 2020

Over the past few years, we’ve been in survival mode. I remember learning in a high school psychology course that when our bodies face life-threatening circumstances, unnecessary processes, like digestion, come to a halt. Digestion doesn’t seem so unnecessary to me, but this is an apt analogy for recent Pub history. Our activities were pared down to the very necessary; we scraped together submissions, funding, and whatever time our small staff could dedicate to produce an issue. Even projects that seem necessary for a publication in this digital age, like keeping up social media or updating a website, were put on pause while we re-established our identity as a publication, gathered an enthusiastic and talented staff, and developed sustainable fundraising methods.

This semester, we can confidently say we are coming out of survival mode. We have seen a huge growth in staff, and as a result, a more realistic disbursement of responsibilities, a wealth of creative energy, and an urgency to engage our community more frequently. In these happy circumstances, The Pub has become able to pursue projects that engage our audience in new ways and fulfill our newly-unearthed mission.

Since The Pub was founded in 2006, its intention has been to fill gaps and adapt to the needs of the Wheaton community, and we carry on that mission with the launch of this new website. In fourteen years, this is not the first time The Pub has ventured online, but it may be the most timely––after all, this launch comes in the midst of a global health crisis that has flung Wheaton students off-campus mid-semester.  We hope that developing an online presence will encourage students to engage with the intersection of faith and intellect while we are apart and when reunited in the 2020-2021 school year. Here, in conversation with and complementing our print presence, The Pub will publish essays, reviews, reflections, poetry, narratives, and artwork that are easy to access and share, in conversation with recent events, and reflective of the diverse experiences of Wheaton students, alumni, faculty, and staff. 

This website is an excellent example of how The Pub collaborates to produce beautiful and meaningful media. Elliot Young has dedicated dozens of hours to the development and design of this site, infused it with his sense of style, and accommodated many of my changing goals and ideas for the site over the past six months. Loren Ladd has been instrumental in completing the digital archive through communication with Pub alumni. Finally, it is thanks to Megan Kim for directing the stream of online content released over the next several months. 

I don’t think there is a team I am more proud to be a part of than The Pub. As I approach the end of my time as editor-in-chief, I am struck by the growth every member of the team has made possible. Each one has brought their creativity, intellect, and energy to the table, and I am grateful that their diligence and vision for a farther-reaching and increasingly inviting Pub space will now be accessible beyond the limits of 250 print copies. 

Cheers to The Pub!

Ellie Shackelford