Sept. 20, 2000
Itís no easy job being the editor in chief of a weekly college newspaper.
Generating story ideas, setting up the budget, dealing with advertisers, keeping up office standards, mediating staff issues, making sure the paper gets out on time, and, of course, writing editorials all fall within the editorís list of duties. Itís not uncommon for the editor to spend upwards of 35 hours a week on the job.
Nathan VanderKlippe, editor in chief of Calvin Collegeís student newspaper, Chimes, seems undaunted by the weight of these responsibilities. In fact, he relishes his job, speaking nonchalantly of working on the paper from 9 in the morning until 7 the next morning.
Says VanderKlippe: "I want to make this something that I at least have a chance of doing well." The first issues of Chimes under VanderKlippe's editorship suggest heís accomplishing this goal. Already the layout has been revamped and new additions include a crossword puzzle and a humor column. Perhaps the most obvious change is that for the first time in history, Chimes is in color. VanderKlippe hopes that these renovations will help Chimes appeal to as many members of Calvinís diverse community as possible.
VanderKlippeís greatest goal for Chimes is nothing less than to "measure the heartbeat of the Calvin community." VanderKlippe spends "a lot of time just talking with people, keeping my ear close to the Calvin community." That community includes, for VanderKlippe, the Chimes history. "Although the history behind Chimes does not play into day-to-day operations, he says, "there is a sense that we are part of something bigger. This is an institution that has lasted through wars and student protests."
The Calvin community also includes a fair number of people, including Nathan VanderKlippe, who hail from Canada. VanderKlippeís position allows him to give a voice to this Canadian contingent and to increase campus awareness of Canadian news and issues. His citizenship also affords him an outsiderís view of American events.
VanderKlippe, a graduate of Smithville Christian High School, began his climb up the Chimes ladder quite casually. "My first year at Calvin, my best friendís sister was the Opinion editor for Chimes," he says. "She asked if I wanted to help her out, and I kind of got dragged into this office."
VanderKlippe moved up the ranks swiftly, becoming News editor by the end of his first year. After spending another year in that position he had a pretty good handle on how things worked at a weekly newspaper. This year he became editor in chief, a post he hopes will be a prelude to professional journalism.
Following his graduation with honors in May, the French major and Journalism and Political Science minor hopes to supplement his education with studies abroad, perhaps in Russia. His ultimate goal is to be a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Globe and Mail.
However, VanderKlippe cautions, "life has a funny way of mangling plans. In the end, I just want to live a life thatís rich."
--Written by media relations writer Abe Huyser-Honig (class of 2004)