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Pass the Torch

Simone Bélanger

Arts & Culture Editor; Future Editor-In-Chief

First of all, who are you? Where do you come from? Where are you going?

I am a transcendentalist, a naive idealist, an incurable romantic, and a delusional sentimentalist. Paradoxically, I am also a science student, shamelessly more passionate about literature than I could ever be about molecular orbitals, Newtonian laws or the obscure (at least in my eyes) theorem of calculus. I would say I come from the books I read, and although a corny statement, I believe my mind to be malleable to the works that come into my hands, making me the adopted child of a disparate collection of authors and their pens. I think I come from my younger sister more than from anyone else: she raised me in a way a parent could not, they teach me every day to love, to savour, to let go, yet to fight, and the relentless drive in their gaze gives me the strength to persist in a world that drives us to nihilism and ultimately to the asylum. Now, where am I going? I believe I am on a journey to reclaiming my freeness: slowly growing out of old, ingrained habits, places, and people that do not correspond to me anymore, while also healing at my pace (which I wish for every single reader), creating, learning, reconnecting with nature, and getting out of my comfort zone. I feel the incandescent need to embrace my free will, to wield it once and for all. On a more serious note, and potentially contradicting myself, I want to pursue higher studies… in science. Exactly what field, who knows? But something tells me the choice lies between botany, mycology and geology.

How would you say your experience with The Plant has been? Any favourite moments? Memorable instances?

Being part of The Plant has been a singular, wonderful experience. My only regret: not applying any sooner. The Plant made me feel at home in an environment that rhymed with stress, deflection, and sometimes loneliness, especially during my first semester. It provided a much-needed outlet for all the silly thoughts I had, which, when adequately channelled and edited, became pertinent and resonated (at least I hope) with a community of Dawson students who paused once a month to read their paper. The Plant was an opportunity for me to be heard and valued, yet above all, to listen and learn from the sharp, beautiful minds that compose this team. The multimedia product we collectively construct every month is the result of an intricate, synergistic teamwork, and as one’s ideas make another’s flourish, I am, every time, baffled by the vivacity and brilliance that lie in a single room (2C.12). Jumping to an eclectic list of memorable moments: the sci-fi club holding highly obnoxious quiz nights during our weekly meetings, our beloved EIC Mathew handing out issues in a very (in)appropriate yet pompous French, the frenzy of article due date as a perfectionist procrastinator, the indispensable question of the day, and many more.

What are you looking for as the new Editor-in-Chief? What’s the first thing you’re planning on doing? Any big changes planned?

First mission: buy a gavel and proceed to use it excessively at meetings. Seriously, I am overly thrilled at the prospect of reading the applications that will flow in, and genuinely cannot wait to build a new team of brilliant writers from all backgrounds. Next semester, my top priority will be to expand The Plant’s scope and enhance its visibility. Resuming the work initiated by Mathew, and through discussions with the CLL, I will strive to make The Plant’s monthly issue sent out by Mio, thus making the paper accessible for all Dawson students. Another ongoing initiative consists of rendering the issue available in cafes near Dawson, increasing the number of printed copies by the same fact. Regarding the content itself, I wish to create a rubric dedicated to the Dawson community, in order to promote intramural events, initiatives and student-owned businesses, share news and celebrate our cegep’s diversity, working hand-in-hand with Dawson’s clubs and associations. The Plant is student-run and funded: my purpose will be to carry the vibrant, ebullient voices of our rich community. On the conceptual side, I wish to bring back The Plant’s previous, old-school format, evocative of the traditional newspaper. No matter what, I’ll have much to learn; I am not young enough to know everything.

Are you afraid?

Absolutely terrified yet absolutely serene. I feel exhilarated, vivified, inspired, and confident: if Mathew trusts me, then doubting myself is out of the question. Thank you, Mathew, for your faith, for placing your baby in my hands, and for being the kind, clever, generous, audacious, hilarious, and sassy Editor-in-Chief you have been. I will do right by you and honour The Plant’s legacy, it’s a promise.


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