It’s always hard to start a goodbye letter, but this one is particularly hard. MUSE strolled into my life in the second semester of my First Year. I was in CoGro to grab a celebratory slice of end of year cake, when I found a copy of MUSE sitting on one of the tables. After flipping through it, I immediately thought to myself I’m doing this next year. Also, WHY DID I NOT DO THIS THIS YEAR?

Flash forward three years, and here I am, about to leave the club I wanted to be on so desperately. That sucks to write, and trust, it sucks to feel.

But this letter is not all doom and gloom! I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of my favourite pieces from the past year, as a celebration of MUSE and what we bring to campus, and some landmark moments of the world in 2019/2020.


On the Pod, we kicked off the year talking about VSCO Girls and Caroline Calloway. Online Contributor Hareer al-Qaragolie talked about what it’s like to be Muslim at Queen’s. Formal impeachment proceedings began against US President Donald Trump. At home, a photo of PM Justin Trudeau in brown face at a costume party sparked a discussion about race relations in Canada. Christian Dior’s exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London drew a crowd of almost 600,000 on closing.  


Happy HOCO Queen’s! Online Intern Claudia Beattie asked you to describe the day in one word. MUSE’ing’s Editor Sam Turnbull and Online Editor Claudia Rupnik matched Drinks to Pants in our first mini-Editorial.  Simone Biles became the most decorated gymnast in history. The first test of a nonstop flight from New York to Sydney by a commercial airline took 19 hours 42 minutes. The Liberals won a minority government in the federal election. Northern Ireland legalized same-sex marriage and abortion.


SPACES (created by Online Editor Alex Jones) showed off what student life at Queen’s looks like behind closed doors. Online Contributor Meg Fanjoy investigated our obsession with being busy. MUSE turned 10 years old, and we celebrated in style. Olivia Newton-John’s black leather outfit from Grease sold for 405,700 at auction. Disney launched Disney+. Joker became the first R-rated film to earn $1 billion at the box office. Online Contributor Charlotte Mingay told us what kind of bagel we were based on our horoscope.


MUSE releases issue XIX. Boris Johnson won the UK Election. Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You reached No.1 on the charts 25 years after it was first released. Rapper Juice WRLD died of an OD in a Chicago airport, sparking another conversation about the use of narcotics in the rap industry. Miss World is won by Miss Jamaica, Toni-Ann Singh, in London. For the first time, all five major beauty titles are held by black women.


Queen’s student Amir Moradi is tragically killed when Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 is shot down in Tehran. Memes about #WW3 circulated on Twitter. Jillian Michaels commented on Lizzo’s body, and we commented right back on the Pod. In our second annual Mental Health Week, Online Contributor Tiasha Bhuiyan wrote about coming to terms with Rory Gilmore Syndrome, and Online Contributor Kaia Depelteau critiqued what we mean when we say “self-care”. Australia experienced massive bushfires that ravaged wildlife and communities across the country.


VIA Rail and all freight rail traffic was stopped by protests in solidarity with the Wet’su’weten land defenders in BC. Love was in the air so we asked you to describe your worst hook up in one sentence. Online Contributor Elana Yamanouchi wrote about what she learned from sharing a bed with her best friend. We celebrated Leap Day – and the first Palindrome Day since 1111. The US Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump on all charges. Parasite became the first non-English language film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.


Online Contributor Devon Cole talked about the music we’ll show to our kids someday, and the MUSE team dressed like our kid selves. Guest Contributor Tayler Hill wrote about what it’s like to navigate Queen’s as a teen mom. The spread of COVID-19 is declared a global pandemic by the WHO and Queen’s began online learning. Through it all, Music Editor Ella Stewart gave us some wholesome tunes to jam to, and we asked you to share what are you’re doing to distract yourself during self-isolation.

It’s so hard to be sitting in Kingston, unable to do distribution for Issue XX, or to celebrate with the MUSE team, but ultimately it’s for the best. That’s what makes the pain slightly easier to swallow. I cannot say how proud I am of this team enough times: my team, for the content they’ve created and the work that they’ve put in. It’s been a year of mini editorials, podcasts, crowdsources, and some truly beautiful personal pieces. We’ve strived to be a place of expression and inclusivity on campus, and a voice for the student experience. However, we wouldn’t be able to do any of it without you, our readers, and for that we owe you a debt of gratitude. Thank you for supporting us this year, and I hope you stick around.

For my own personal thank yous. To my editors: Taylor, Claudia, Alex, and Ella. To my CTO Andrew, to my Intern Claudia, and to my contributors: Kat, Meg, Tiasha, Devon, Carly, Amira, Maddie, Kaia, Charlotte, Hareer, Tessa, and Elana. I am so grateful to you. Thank you for all that you’ve created this year. To the heads team: Jane, Donavan, Lauchland, Ben, Anna, Rachael, Jonny, Josh, Noelle. Thank you for being so good at your jobs, and such good friends.

In my final words as Online Director, I’m going to share a quote I’ve turned to recently in this emotional time. Even though I love to write, sometimes other people have just written it in a way that gets to your soul more (see: all my writers’ work this past year).

From the Desiderata, by Max Erhmann:

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here…

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should…

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

What a beautiful world. I’m so happy to have made a small, wonderful part of it here, with you, called MUSE Online.

For the final time.


Trish Rooney
Online Director 2019/2020, Class of 2020
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