Finding the Answers
With his sister and brother at home in Luling, it was tough for Brandon Thomas to convince his parents that he should remain at Nicholls.
Once classes moved online, he could come home. Yet, he is the station manager of KNSU-TV. Though he was not required to stay, he wanted to keep fellow student informed.
“In a situation like this, it is important to make sure people have accurate information from their news about campus and the community,” Thomas says. “Today, it is all about what do I see on social media for how people get information. So we have to ensure that KNSU is putting out the right info, timely and accurate.”
Together with the Nicholls Worth and KNSU-radio FM 91.5, student journalists are reporting on not only the latest university updates, but on ways to cope with this new reality.
They have interviewed Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune, Lafourche Sheriff Craig Webre, Thibodaux Police Chief Bryan Zeringue, as well as healthcare experts and various campus services personel. Stories have also leaned into campus news, such as SPA and SGA meetings. But they also tackled angles such as birthday celebrations during a pandemic, unemployment among Nicholls students and how the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons might help you cope. And when the pandemic is over, Brazan says they will be here for exploring what returning to normalcy might mean for students.
“Our job is to help students understand every aspect of the crisis, and find answers to their questions so that they can be better informed, protected and hopefully find some sense of comfort,” says Collin Brazan, Nicholls Worth editor.
Reporters for the Nicholls Worth are working from home to conduct interviews. Brazan says keeping the Nicholls Worth updated, along with his school work, was at the top of his priority list.
“Today, it is all about what do I see on social media for how people get information. So we have to ensure that KNSU is putting out the right info, timely and accurate.”
– Brandon Thomas, KNSU-TV Station Manager
“Most importantly, it teaches us empathy,” he says. “Tragedies show us how much larger the world is than a single individual, and how impactful our actions can be together if we put ourselves in the shoes of someone less fortunate and act on that, rather than acting for ourselves.”
Radio Station Manager Dylan McElroy understands how this pandemic can affect people more than most. His lost his job as a DJ when the bars closed on March 16.
He says these experiences help him empathize with other students going through this and other issues. It helps him recognize the importance of his role in student media.
“I think it is important that we get the facts out,” McElroy says. “We are out of toilet paper and bottled water at the stores, and that’s because people are treating this like a category five storm. They are misinformed, and we have to do what we can to change that.”
McElroy says the station is livestreaming their updates and music on live365.com for listeners who can’t pick up the station’s broadcast.
The experience has been surreal, says Thomas. Earlier this semester, he recalls being quizzed on this virus developing in China and now it is in our backyard and changing our way of life.
“I had a general idea about how to cover a hurricane in the fall semester,” he says. “But in the spring? I never expected something like this, Especially not to this magnitude.”
One silver lining is this situation has made him grow.
Thomas says if a hurricane were to hit in the fall, he would know how to keep the station running and the student body informed.
– Cain Madden
“Tragedies show us how much larger the world is than a single individual, and how impactful our actions can be together if we put ourselves in the shoes of someone less fortunate and act on that, rather than acting for ourselves.”
– Collin Brazan, Nicholls Worth Editor