It has been my great honour to tell your stories for the last year. I watched the students of this university celebrate their highest achievements and tackle some of the most profound issues. I listened to your anger and fear, but also your hope.
Reporting on a community while being a part of it is difficult. You must put aside your personal feelings and give other voices a platform. Such is the life of a journalist, always an observer, never a participant. While I agonized over commas and adjectives, you have done the truly hard work of speaking up. I only hope I made you proud.
But while the last three years as a member of The Aquinian have been incredibly transformative, that transformation has been painful. This job breaks you down, much like a caterpillar liquifying in the chrysalis.
Being a student journalist is never easy. We work 13 hour days, seven days a week, in a political climate that wavers between tolerance and outright hatred of our profession. In my time as managing editor, we received threats of a lawsuit, an accusation of sexism (ironic as The Aquinian has been a women-led publication for the last four years) and our peers’ constant criticism.
So why stay? Why show up every day and put in long hours to the detriment of my mental health? Because the work, people and the stories are worth it.
When I sat down to write this letter, I tried to think of how best to encapsulate the last three years. I thought about the twists of fate that led me to my first story meeting, the late-night impulsive decision to apply for the brand new social media and web editor position and my EIC, Hannah Rudderham, when she told me she wanted me to be her managing editor. Without these moments, I would not be here, both as a managing editor and person.
I am endlessly grateful to Hannah for being my voice of reason. Thank you for sitting by me through every difficult moment and allowing me to not be okay. Hannah, I am proud of you, proud to know you and call you a friend. You are truly one of the most incredible young journalists of our generation. You deserve every moment of praise and credit for this publication. It has been a privilege to stand by your side.
I am incredibly proud of the team’s relationships this year. Hannah and I made the conscious decision to prioritize our editor’s mental health over stories. We choose to operate with as much openness and honesty as possible and build an environment that fosters trust and support. The results were incredible. The level of commitment this team has shown us is unbelievable. They work so hard and give us everything they can every day.
To Brooklyn and Aaron, I cannot wait to see what you will do. The powerhouses that you are individually and the relationship you have built blows me away. I do not doubt that the way you will continue the legacy of The Aquinian will make us proud. Just know if you make a mistake, Hannah and I will be there to catch you with compassion and care.
To Estefania, the pride I feel in watching you take over the position I pioneered is beyond words. In a matter of months, you surpassed me and all my expectations. Your talent, passion and humour are an inspiration.
To Jessi, Summer, Peter and Rachel, my fellow fourth-years and non-returning members of The Aquinian, thank you for being on this crazy journey with me. Whatever you do for the rest of your life, I hope it is much less stressful. You deserve all the rest in the world.
Finally, Jacob and Giuliana returning to the team next year as features and news, respectively. I cannot wait to read your work and brag about how I used to be your boss.
Leading you all and watching you grow has brought endless joy. Thank you for supporting me as much as I supported you.
With all my love,
The 2021-22 barely Managing Editor.