Media organizations at Whittier College are a place of sanctuary for many Poets hoping to be future journalists. They are a practice ground for reporting, writing, and providing information to a community. For graduating fourth-year Matthew Park, the Quaker Campus (QC) and the Whittier College Sports Network (WCSN) have been central to his experience at Whittier after transferring into the College in the Fall of 2015. Park is a Whittier Scholars major in Journalism and Digital Media Studies and is the President of WCSN and Managing Editor at the Quaker Campus. We at the Quaker Campus hope to honor his service to these organizations with an interview that exemplifies his time here at Whittier and contributions to student media on campus.
QC: When did you join WCSN and the QC?
Park: I got involved with the sports network my first semester here. I came in Fall of 2015 as a transfer student. I immediately got involved with the sports network because broadcasting was my desired career field at the time. It served as the jumping-off point for my involvement in student media. Second semester, Spring 2016, I got involved at the QC after taking digital journalism over JanTerm. I loved every second of it from the moment I started.
QC: What has been your favorite part of being involved with the QC?
Park: Taking journalism classes with Joe Donnelly. I really learned the importance of media and social context. [At the QC,] it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, what story I’m writing; I really believe that what I’m doing is important. I believe that students need to be informed, and journalism is important. There’s lots of stories to tell and ways we can improve this campus, and student voice is crucial to that. Being an advocate for social change here on campus is special and important to me.
QC: What about WCSN?
Park: WCSN is a fun and exciting opportunity. I had never heard of students running a sports media and sports broadcasting group. To me, it is a very strong career opportunity, giving people experience on the mic, calling games every week, and that is a rare platform to have as a student.
QC: What will you miss most about being involved with these organizations?
Park: Well, the late nights at the QC for sure. There’s nothing like staying here past 12 a.m. on Wednesday nights. One of my biggest fears about leaving college is not being sure if I’ll have an opportunity like this in the future — I probably won’t. I can only hope that whatever career field I go into will provide me a job that is as awesome as these two organizations have been. The QC is my family; it’s very special. The QC and WCSN will be the two things I think of most when I reflect back on Whittier.
QC: What will you miss most about Whittier?
Park: I’m going to miss waking up on campus everyday and seeing the same people and going through the daily routine. I’m going to miss the C.I. food. Honestly I can’t believe I’m saying that. The tight-knit community that Whittier is, that’s what I’m going to miss most, seeing the same familiar faces every day. I love this school, and I think that’s why I’ve been so involved here with media: because I want to do everything I can to make Whittier College a better place for students.
QC: Do you have any farewell words for the QC staff or the WCSN staff?
Park: I love you guys. That’s pretty much it. I know I’m not the most outspoken person in the office or in general, but I want to get that across — you guys are the best. The first time I came to QC, I felt like this was the place for me, and I finally found the place I fit in. WCSN, I’m so proud of all of you guys. This organization was me and two other graduating seniors. I’m blown away [by] what it has become. I look forward to following both organizations. I believe in you guys.
QC: So what’s next for you?
Park: Being a Journalism major, I’m not too optimistic about the market right now because of where we are socially and the way we value journalism. It probably isn’t where it needs to be. I intend to remain in the Southern California area. I think my plan is to get involved in sports media once I graduate, and see what ways I can contribute.