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Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

A Letter from the Editor: The Cluster is alive

Conner Wood, The Cluster’s editor in chief, enjoys a small coffee at a restaurant in Tampa, Florida.
Conner Wood, The Cluster’s editor in chief, enjoys a small coffee at a restaurant in Tampa, Florida.

If The Cluster were an independently-owned hotel, letters on the marquee would spell out an apology about the weeks our website was offline this summer and a banner would hang over the front entrance with the words ‘Under New Management.’

Thank goodness The Cluster is not an independently-owned hotel.

Instead, we are a student newspaper independently operated from Mercer University.

We are under new management, but in this context — and not the hotel scenario — this is not a scary thing. I hope you don’t say to yourself, “well, I won’t be reading that publication anymore.”

Nick Wooten, the new managing editor, and I feel well-prepared for the coming year’s challenges and triumphs, and we hope you trust us to continue delivering fresh perspectives and truthful reporting.

Maybe more importantly, the words on the marquee still are required and deserve an explanation. I would like to issue an apology on behalf of The Cluster’s staff concerning the website.

The website at suffered some glitches and technical difficulties this summer, and I’m afraid the details would bore you, dear reader, to sleep. So I shall spare you.

There is no need to worry about if you will still receive news relevant to you. The site is up and running again. Although a few missing photographs and unattributed bylines may persist, please understand that we are working diligently to straighten out all the kinks.

Ultimately, The Cluster has set a goal this year to strengthen our digital presence tenfold. And anything that aims at development is bound to suffer a few growing pains along the way.

We plan to increase our presence even more on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, hopefully reinvigorate our mobile application and post almost daily on our website.

Follow me for a moment if you will as we drift further away from the hotel analogy. Unlike a building that houses out-of-towners, The Cluster is alive. Just as a coral reef is alive and just like a bear lives and breaths, The Cluster does too.

It is alive with the stories of students from the Mercer community and beyond, such as the story about Mercer’s housing crisis with which Marin Guta treated with tremendous care.

The Cluster also exists as an outlet and as a tool for students to express themselves. If you are upset about anything happening in the world today, send your point of view to

I encourage you to write an opinion for us about anything and everything. We welcome new and experienced writers who want to share their beliefs in a civil manner.

The Cluster should always serve the student body, no matter what. I hope as editor this year I am able to continue the long-held tradition of the newspaper being, first and foremost, a service to the community.

I want to thank all of The Cluster’s editorial staff for remaining resolute in seeking positive change for the paper and keeping a smile on their face as the stay committed to using their journalism skills in service to others. Also a huge thank you to the writers and photographers who have a won’t-quit attitude.

As my first “Letter from the Editor” comes to a close, I would finally like to say, welcome back friends and peers. Hopefully this year will usher in a wave of supportive energy as we grow as a student body and grow as a publication.


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