Aaron Sousa is The Aquinian's editor-in-chief for the 2022-23 academic year. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

I collapsed at my kitchen sink when I got the call of a lifetime.

“We’d like to offer you the position of The Aquinian’s editor-in-chief for the 2022-23 school year,” said Hannah Rudderham, The Aquinian’s current EIC, no doubt with a cheery smile on her face.

What a dream come true.

I remember coming to St. Thomas University in August 2019 as a scared first-year, ready to pursue my journalistic passion. Little did I realize that passion would drag me through a pandemic, protests against racial discrimination, political upheaval, union strikes, freedom fighters and war in Europe — the latter of which sounds like something The AQ’s 1939 EIC could have written.

After I got off the phone on that cold Saturday afternoon, I reminisced about my time with The Aquinian. I’m a pretty sentimental person, so this shouldn’t be much of a surprise for those who know me.

I met with Ryan Sullivan, STU’s vice-president of enrolment management, for a headshot on campus back in February. It was a full-circle moment since he was my first AQ story. We chatted about it briefly and he questioned if I was indeed a first-year based on my question line.

Truth be told, I kept texting Diana Chavez, 2019’s news editor, to brainstorm questions because I was so nervous.

I compared the two photos side-by-side when I got home. I’m still surprised the one I took in 2019 got published. I knew nothing about photography back then, so the old photo looked terrible. But after two years as photo editor, and my honourary photo assistant Mitchell by my side, I’m glad to say I improved — slightly. 

I became a journalist because I care about people and the stories they have to tell. People can drive down Regent Street and merely see a row of apartment complexes and houses. But when I do it, I think about the people living there, each with their own stories.

And that’s what I’m excited about doing next year — sharing the stories that matter in the best way possible.

To Hannah and Hana — thank you for putting up with me in my moments of stubbornness and stress. Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to take my time and I don’t always have to be a hamster running on its wheel. (But let’s just say, a hamster never skips leg day).

To Brooklyn, the incoming managing editor, if only our first-year selves could see us now. From that cold bus ride during welcome week — where we made a pact for one of us to be editor-in-chief, the other managing editor — to now.

We did it, girl, and I’m so excited to run this paper with you and a fantastic team. Now let’s kick ass!

For 2022-23, I want The Aquinian to become a leading news source for the STU and greater Fredericton communities. We are young, independent journalists, and we want to share stories that reflect the people who live here.

Covering marginalized or underrepresented stories, especially those involving Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and international student communities, is crucial to The Aquinian. It is vital. I want to ensure these stories are told truthfully, fairly and respectfully.

However, as tough a pill as it is to swallow, I know we’ll make mistakes. If you catch one or two, let us know! We want to make things right. We’re budding professionals and mistakes are the only way to learn.

We are here to listen, so never hesitate to reach out.

To our volunteers — you are the future of journalism. You all have talent and it grows with everything you create. You are rockstars and know that we will always support you and cheer you on.

That way, you can also collapse at your kitchen sink when you receive the call of a lifetime.

See you in September,

Aaron Sousa

Editor-in-Chief 2022-23