When I saw the true state of the Express office, and the amount of work to be done, I really had to grin and bear it. You have no idea how much rubbish a room can accumulate when it’s not in use. I have a pair of jeans that have a lot of newspapery fingerprints on them, my back has an odd ache to it and I think I’m allergic to dust.
I’m not really known for my DIY Skillz. This is important, you understand: generally my family wouldn’t give me a rawlplug lest I demolish something. The fact that I know what a rawlplug is should tell you that I know lots about DIY in theory. In practice, it is an entirely different kettle of tropical fish.
There were layers of dust on everything in the room, and the sign on the door said “Student’s Union”. There were bundles of papers from 2004 and a nasty stain on the floor from spilled coffee had defeated us for months. Computer screens were grey with grime and one of the walls has never, ever been painted. One of the seats cracked when I sat on it (heifer, I hear you mutter), and it smelled like something died in there (it didn’t; I thoroughly checked).
There was cleaning, there was a lot of reclaiming space and there was much heavy lifting. There may have been a moment when someone nearly pulled the wall down in trying to remove an old photograph. The whiteboard is on the wall, as is the newly acquired notice board, which fitted pretty on a conveniently placed nail. There are colours spread across the office, and we even have a (small) archive of previous issues.
What it adds up to is that the Express has a legitimate hub of its own. We’re in the basement of the student centre, accessible via the stairs opposite the SU Box.
Having a permanent office is, we have established, is a smart move. We want to be closer to the student body and we want to be able to hear more from the students at all times. So if something’s getting your goat, now you have a valid place to air your thoughts. We have a set of new email addresses from which there will always be replies and prospective writers no longer need to fear a lack of response. The email addresses are at the front of the paper; feel free to mail us for a rant at any hour.
It has taken a lot of racing and a lot of thinking, but the Express that sits in front of you now is the product of much hard work and many attempts at improvement.We’re a small newspaper and our resources are smaller still. Even though we’re stretched tight, we intend to use what we have to the best of our collective abilities. The new Express, though littered with similar people, is a different publication. It’s a brave new world- and we are very much so open for busine