AMIR BASHA – Analytics/Website Web Team Developer
My engineering classes clearly didn’t prepare me to write anything like this, but I’ll try my best. I joined the Daily back in my junior year, but despite my short tenure I truly found a place I could call home. Being that quiet person who always (and honestly still does) sits in the back and does their own thing, the Daily became a place where I could branch out of my comfort zone and meet so many amazing people along the way. I’ve learned a ton working with the extremely talented members of the web team and really feeling like I was having an impact on the Daily and campus as a whole.
To Hassaan and Casey, thank you guys for keeping the web team afloat and committing so much of your time into making sure there was always something to do. You guys are the backbone of the web team and it wouldn’t have lasted without you. With the growing size of the web team, I’m super excited to see what new projects will be spun out in the coming years.
Special thanks to Hess for handling all of the backend website stuff that I barely understand and maintaining it all. Thanks to Bob and Jordan as well for helping me along with joining the team and getting Bobbot up and running on Slack.
Outside of the web team, thank you to everyone else at the Daily for simply making my college experience so much better. Thanks to sports for teaching me how to play euchre and beat Tien, and thanks to every other team at the Daily who puts in so much work almost every night to spin out the best goddamn paper in the county. Seeing how late you guys stay to finish the paper every night is insane, huge props to you!
A final thanks to Maya and Finn for the amazing work you put in to help push out the paper each day (and the payroll reminders). You’re going to do amazing things in the future, and I wish you and the rest of the staff the best of luck.
Once again, thank you to everyone at the Daily for making my experience at Michigan all the merrier, you guys rock!
ASIF BECHER – 2018 Summer Editor in Chief, Daily Arts Writer
I’m gonna do my best not to get too sentimental here. I’ve really loved being a part of the Daily. I love sitting cramped on the floor at elections, being belligerent in the world’s worst Facebook group message. I love splaying out on the back couches before Sunday meetings, sometimes crying and sometimes laughing, but never alone. I love Arts parties that go till 4 in the morning and Books dinners that end at 11. I love how strange everybody is, and how this place gives us the space to stretch into that strangeness. Most of all I love how the Daily is 129 years strong and people still show up, night after night, to keep it going, writing their beautiful things and being their beautiful selves.
Some people I want to shout out: my very first editors, Jacob and Rebecca. You both terrified me as a freshman, and you made me a better writer. Sophia, the true mother of the Book Review, you created a really wonderful thing in the Books section and I’m so grateful that you trusted me with it. Shoutout to the Summer 2018 crew — Emma, Jack, Cass, Lorna, Jack, Alec, Grace, Emma, Rachel, Jacob, Tien, Emma — thank you for jumping in the lake, for playing monopoly at 2 a.m., for being the best. To the Books section: I love the things you write, I love how ferocious you get over Booker prize results, I love gabbing with you. You are all so so talented. To Arts: you brilliant beautiful weirdos, thank you for being a safe place to come back to every week for four years. To the new writers: I hope you get whatever you want to get out of the Daily. I hope you write really weird things in styles you’ve never tried before, I hope you write about your passions, I hope you share all of it with the people around you, and I hope you find real joy in each other and in what you’re doing. I really don’t know what college would be like without the Daily. There’s some kind of magic in that newsroom, probably the only place in the world I could spend 8 hours in the blink of an eye and feel like no time has passed. It’s a house that built me. I’m gonna miss it a lot. Damn.
MARK CALCAGNO – Senior Sports Editor
I’ve always loved watching sports. It’s been that way since my dad started taking me to college basketball games near my hometown on the north side of Charlotte.
The Daily gave me the chance to get closer to that passion in more places than I could’ve ever imagined. Madison Square Garden, the Final Four, Notre Dame Stadium, just to name a few. It’s almost hard to believe how lucky I was to experience all the sporting moments that I did.
But when I reflect upon my three-and-a-half years at the Daily, the games are secondary. It’s the people, small moments, and traditions that made the experience special.
It’s cliché, but it’s also the simple truth.
I’ll remember getting lost in the backwoods of Indiana at 3am trying to avoid highway tolls with my basketball beat mates — Max Marcovitch, Mike Persak, and Ethan Wolfe. I’ll remember doing unnamed, ill-advised things on a 12-hour drive to New York — only to do the same things on the way back less than a day later. I’ll remember spilling an entire coffee down press row and nearly wiping out eight computers on far too many occasions. I’ll remember completely botching a voice mail to a former Michigan athletic director. I’ll remember desperately trying to out-snack everyone else in the softball press box each game. And that’s just the half of it. (Really. I could go on and on about going 4-0 in State News games.)
I have plenty of people to thank for those memories.
First, my parents for reading and supporting my work. For years, I talked to them about the Daily more than anything else — though they probably wanted to hear more enthusiasm about my classes or internship searches.
To all the MSEs I worked with — Max, Jake, Kevin, Betelhem, Orion, Mike, Laney, Max and Ethan — thank you for your belief in me, your help, and your patience.
To Max, Mike and Ethan, thank you for it all — even when I made it difficult. It was one hell of a ride.
To Orion, thank you for all the opportunities you helped facilitate for me. It always meant a lot that you believed in me.
To all the editors I had over the years, thank you for your assistance and presence. You all helped show me how strong leaders act.
To all that that still have time left at the Daily, love it and cherish it. I’m confident that you all will do great things — both inside and outside journalism.
Oh, and thanks Paige’s dad.
All of you helped make my Daily experience memorable for reasons that are far more meaningful than just a game.
JORGE CAZARES – Assistant Sports Editor
I’d like to think of this goodbye more in the sense of not being physically present at the Daily anymore. In reality, there is no goodbye for me — the relationships and experiences I’ve gained through the Daily will extend far beyond the three and a half years I spent writing and editing here. The impact the Daily has had is so intertwined in many aspects of my college experience. Let me try and explain.
Sophomore year, I attended my first Daily Birthday Party at Orion’s house. It just so happened that one of Orion’s roommates invited some of his friends who were not on the Daily to the party. It was at this party that I met one of my current roommates, Carlos — he was invited by Orion’s roommate and he lived on north campus with Tien, who was really my only “friend” on the Daily at the time and the main reason why I stuck around after freshman year. We bonded over the fact that we were both from Chicago — actual Chicago, not the suburbs. So Carlos and I became friends after that. It turns out that Carlos was freshman year roommates with this kid named Greg, who, oddly enough, was in the same Calculus class with Tien and me freshman year. I liked Greg, he was a funny dude. We got along pretty well but never chilled outside of class or anything. Now, I live with both Carlos and Greg and they’ve become two of my closest friends. If I didn’t join The Daily, I’m fairly certain I would have never met them nor the rest of the guys that we live with.
At the time, I was still finding a group of people that I was comfortable with and could relate to on a deeper level. I can confidently say that I found my closest friends because of the Daily. Funny how that worked out. It’s also funny that even if I had quit the Daily after going to that party, it still would’ve had a long-lasting impact on my college experience.
But I didn’t quit the Daily. And because of that, I got to travel around the country, covering games and press conferences involving some of the biggest names in Michigan athletics and in some historic venues. From Harbaugh to Juwan to Madison Square Garden to Sault Ste. Marie, the Daily has created some unforgettable memories. The opportunities presented to me through the Daily were great in and of themselves, but what made them even greater was the people I got to share them with.
First, I want to shout out my softball and hockey beat members. Aria, you’re a star and I have full confidence you’ll go far as you continue to pursue your writing career. Rian, it was a pleasure sharing both beats with you. That Burger King run we made at State College was legendary. Bailey, you set the standard for professionalism on our hockey beat and personally kept me motivated to be the best sportswriter version of myself. Tien, you’re my boy and you know that.
Akul, I couldn’t have asked for a better co-MSE over the summer. We probably had one of the busiest and most eventful summers in Daily Sports history and had a damn good time covering it. Even if we were burnt out by the end of July. I’m still not going to accept your Venmo requests though.
Ethan, if your squash skills are anywhere near the level of your writing skills, you could be an Olympic squash player. Theo, anyone who spends time around you can see how much hard work you put in and how passionate you are about both the Daily and your writing. I have full confidence in you guys as MSEs. Connor, you get a check mark in the “Pleasure To Be Around” category of the personal report card I just created for you.
Lane, my fellow Chicagoan and therefore the second coolest person on the section, I hope you never have to take an economics course again. Stay cool. Lily, I’ll never forget when you fell off our raft 10 seconds into our journey. Stay strong. Avi, you’re the homie. James and Kent, playing IM soccer with you guys was a blast. Daniel, I’m gonna need you to step up this year in IM basketball (yeah, I know that wasn’t a goodbye). We’re gonna be feeding you all day baby. Let’s get these t-shirts.
To the rest of the sophomores and juniors, Aidan, Abby, Brendan, Drew, Jacob, Teduardo, Lily, Jack, I’m definitely forgetting some people, but every one of you contributed to my experience at the Daily. I’m fortunate to have been around so many talented people, and I cannot wait to see where life takes everyone.
To the freshmen, I don’t want to skip anyone, but if you’re reading this, there’s a reason everyone holds the Daily in such a high regard. You’re joining a long and vast network of, not only writers, but also professionals in many different industries. At the very least, The Daily is a place where you can harness your writing skills and be a part of a historic organization that will extend long beyond your four years here. Leverage the resources, leverage the connections and don’t forget to live in the moment because it really does fly by.
To the rest of my seniors, I’ll express my appreciation for you all in person, so I’ll keep this short and sweet: I couldn’t have asked for better people to share this ride with. I’m honored to call you guys my friends and will miss the late night productions, coffee runs, food runs, Cohen tournaments, Daily parties and elections (not really elections). You all will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Ight imma head out.
NA’KIA CHANNEY – Managing Michigan in Color Editor
“won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life?” – Lucille Clifton
When I joined Michigan in Color in 2018, my goal was to find the language to describe my identity as a Black woman for myself. I wanted to be liberated from internalized misconceptions and controlling images that had left my self-determination stifled and misaligned. It is through Michigan in Color that I discovered the inherent beauty, joy, and brilliancy in my Blackness. Thus, it has been one of my greatest honors to have been able to serve as co-managing editor for Michigan in Color. As MiC has helped me cultivate my narrative, voice, purpose, and self-love, I am thankful to have been a part of a platform that has helped others shape there’s.
To my Podcast, Blog and Creative Content Editors: I am in awe of what you have been able to accomplish. From the creation of the Creative column, our podcast, and the expansion of the blog, I am so incredibly proud of your vision and direction. You have been instrumental in expanding Michigan in Color beyond the written page and increasing methods of self-expression. I hope that you all continue to foster your imagination and creativity and that you never stop pushing your ideas into reality.
To the editors of the column: You have all been such a delight, and your hard work has not gone unnoticed. You all have been so amazing in helping us to continue the mission of our section. Each and every single one of you as expanding the capacity of Michigan in Color to serve students of color, and I will be forever thankful for your flexibility, dedication, and commitment.
To my wonderful, intelligent, beautiful co-managing editor Carly: Thank you for everything. More than I can express, you are what has kept me solid throughout this journey. Your kindness, direction, and diligence is admirable, and the section is so lucky to have flourished under your leadership. In addition to being the best co-managing editor that I could have ever asked for, you have become such a dear friend to me, and I genuinely will miss the sliver of peace that you bought for me every Sunday.
Lastly, to the new managing editors of Michigan in Color Maya and Ana: I am so incredibly excited about your leadership and visions for the section. You two were meant for this position, and I am confident that MiC is in powerful, capable hands. Know that my faith in you will never falter and that I will be supporting you for days and days to come.
The Daily has become a second home, and I will remember it fondly for all of the laughs, challenges, and innovation that has come from its walls. It is such an honor to have been able to contribute to the legacy of the Daily and its commitment to journalistic freedom. The students here have all inspired me so much, and it is through the leadership and fellowship that I’ve witnessed from others that I have begun to believe in myself.
Michigan in Color, you have been both the ends and the beginnings of my weeks for the longest that I can remember. You have been both the solace after a busy week and a burst of energy for the coming weeks’ trials. As MiC strives to amplify the voices of people of color, I look forward to carrying this commitment with me for decades to come.
ROSEANNE CHAO – Managing Design Editor
WOOOW ITS OVERRRRR. Two years of being Managing Design Editor and then half a year of being a staff designer before that.
The first time I heard of the Daily was when my ex and his bro told me that I should join the web team because the team needed more girl coders (I don’t know anything about coding). But after I found out. Still remember coming into the Daily mass meeting on a Sunday, sitting on the floor looking at the other managing editors thinking how POWERFUL they looked? I always thought the Daily had some huge influence on the university so to be able to work there is a huge honor. I also clearly remember thinking that I wanted to be one of the managing editors one day.
(Wait I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to write in this senior blurb thingy. It’s like 3 a.m. and I’m just going to write everything on my mind and not care about the typos LOL)
I applied for the design team and was super thrilled that I was accepted. I remember spending quite a while making a mock infographic for the application (when I look back on it now, it looks SO bad and I don’t know how I got accepted…). Anyways, though I applied to be an infographics designer, there was one night when the team needed an illustrator. Nobody was available, so I took up this chance. Somehow, the EiC and manager really liked my illustration so much that they used it to create a sort-of special front cover design.
From then on, I became more motivated to contribute to the Daily. And I think the hard work paid off, because within half a year I became Managing Design Editor. It’s been crazy since then. I became friends with so many great people, built up my portfolio with tons of infographics, flyers, posters, illustrations, and was able to learn how to manage people and delegate work, as well as collaborate with other departments. I was able to make connections with alumni from the New York Times, and finally, a mentor who wrote my Los Angeles Times internship application (best summer spent!). I know everyone complains about the 6 p.m.-1 a.m. work time, but looking back on it all, we’re always super glad to have made it this far and spent HOURS in this newsroom. My proudest work created at the Daily is definitely my Rosshole illustrations, my Tide Pod illustrations and something about the CCTC that later was rejected because it could have potentially sparked “conversations.” But the drawings I made that caused dissatisfaction amongst certain readers definitely made me the happiest. My favorite contribution is definitely writing very strange stories for our Daily parties for facebook, and making the Facebook cover photos for them. And finally, I think what I can proudly say I am leaving behind is that I’m glad I pushed very hard to create different layout designs/special front covers for the newspaper. I believe that designers are artists and should be free to experiment more, and I hope that this continues even when I’m gone!
HERE ARE SOME OBLIGATED THANK YOU’S (smh):
TO THE DESIGN TEAM: THANK YOU!! People came and went, some people stuck around, and although we were more of an independent group, I’m super thankful that whenever we met up together, we all vibed and had a great time. I still remember one dinner where we all went to Asian Legend and Casey talked about how her hamster ran lose in Courtyards and Willa saw it running around. And this year’s election night where we “quietly” played charades and it got SO intense people were staring at us and we were on the floor dying. I’m also thankful that you guys dealt with me at my best and worst, sometimes I was on top of things but sometimes I had no idea what I was doing. I definitely learned a lot working with you guys, and I really hope you guys will continue to do great things at the Daily!
TO JACK: Sometimes I feel like you have just accepted my random BS. That I am thankful because if you never did, I wouldn’t know how to act myself around you, or the design team. I’m thankful that you have picked up on stuff in this job when I couldn’t and that we are able to handle different tasks well without being told to. I couldn’t have asked for a better co to end my final year at the Daily with. You’re an amazing sports designer and I hope that next year you continue to do wonderful amazing designs for them!
TO SHERRY: You’ll make a great MDE next year. You’ve always been so committed and enthusiastic about your work, and also you were really easy to vibe with. I’m glad to have met you and hope we can meet up next semester. If you need anything, I’ll be more than willing to help! Thank you for making me worry less and know that I have someone to depend on when I need help as well, and that I know with you as MDE next year you guys are gonna do just fine!!
TO OG PHOTO X DESIGN (ALEXIS, CASEY, KATELYN): Somehow we worked together a lot, and somehow we ended up as the BEST combination of people. Tacos will always be number one in our hearts and I hope we continue to meet up next semester as well (KATELYN COME VISIT MORE OFTEN!!!). I enjoy all our conversations about INSIDE STORIES, or anything juicy ;). I honestly would never know half the things going on in the Daily if it isn’t for our meetups and talks. Thanks for making Daily a funn-er place.
TO THE CHING CHONG PARTY: OMG IT STARTED OFF WITH HOT POT, AND NOW WE’RE A SUBTLE ASIAN TRAIT. I can’t believe we took the Daily paper and used it as table mats for all our hot pots. Thank you Ashley, Brian, Tien and Casey for making the Daily a more enjoyable place! Seeing Tien get his first dimsum in his life, Ashley bringing in HAINAN CHICKEN RICE, the Asian mart run with Brian and just all the “Asian” stuff we do. We bring color to a canvas of white at the Daily. LMAO JK but not rly.
TO CASEY AND HASSAAN: Thanks for still being in the Daily the second year. We probably all clocked out around that point and I feel like if it wasn’t for you two, I wouldn’t have been able to keep the remaining grind going. I’m glad to have other people with me that are on the same page as me. We definitely tried to get together more often to smash (the game, what are you thinking??) and I’m happy that we finally did. More wholesome smashing next semester right???? Also Hassaan owes me tons of rupis for my bday still. And for stealing Casey.
MORE FOR CASEY: Hi baby. Remember the first time we met each other was on the day of the first design meeting where we were both borderline late and couldn’t figure out the door code? That was the fateful day. You looked a lot more normal back then. Maybe cuz you still had natural hair (I’ve definitely seen you in 10 different colored hair by now) and looked super calm. And then the next time we met, we were MDEs together. I still can’t believe that you betrayed us for the web team. But anyways, I’ve never worked SO comfortably with anyone ever. It was insane how well we clicked and complimented one another in terms of what we liked to do, what we did and how we contributed to the design team. I remember during the ME retreat, I made a comment about how every ME pairings kinda are like Soul Eater pairings where everyone compliments their partners somehow and work really well together. I made that reference without knowing whether or not you knew what Soul Eater was but I just KNEW you were a WEEB and it turns out THAT IM FRIGGIN RIGHT HA. Talking about weird animal private parts with Matt, eating your food, eating microwaved spaghetti with ketchup and mustard and teriyaki sauce, calling each other work inappropriate names across the room and other stuff that I shouldn’t be writing on here… thank you for being probably one of my closest friends not just at the Daily but in Michigan. If I never met you, I honestly probably would have lost 50 percent of my incentive to stay in the Daily. No homo bro.
Finally, thank you just for this wonderful place. I spent 2+ years here and it definitely took up a majority of my later college years, but I’m so glad everything was worth it. I look forward to not coming back and not working anymore, but I will miss it. I will miss everything about it. Thanks everyone!!!!
JULIA FANZERES – Daily News Reporter
When I first walked into the Daily I was still an aspiring opera singer. Between musicals and opera productions, I was looking for something different — with the potential added benefit of improving my writing and allowing me to attend local political events. Two years later, I not only have abandoned the insane idea to be an opera singer, but I’ve picked up an even crazier idea — being a journalist.
I am so incredibly grateful for every single member of News this year who has made the Daily feel more like a home than ever before. To Leah, the most wonderful editor I could ask for, a champion for the government beat and a force to be reckoned with – thank you for always reigning in my chaotic energy with your kind but no-nonsense attitude.
To my Traverse City Trio — Meghann and Max.
Meghann Norden-Bright: an incredible writer and an even better human being. I’m so grateful to have you in my life to be able to sit around, play Bossa-Nova, take spontaneous road trips and dream about our future apartment in Montmartre together. You are forever mon petit chou.
Max: Throughout the craziness of senior year you have put up with me throughout all hours of the day. Being around you is a constant reminder of what a great person and diligent journalist should be. Thanks for grounding me, I feel incredibly lucky.
And an incredibly special thanks to Lizzy, who was the first person to make me truly feel welcomed at the Daily. During our time investigating, you – a year younger than me – single-handedly taught me about FOIAs, journalistic ethics and how to handle sensitive interviews. You also have had to deal with more than a fair share of my weirdness but you still continue to be the most welcoming, wonderful human that you are. I can’t wait to see how you will shape this paper in this upcoming year.
And to my mom — I’m sorry I won’t be an opera singer, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.
REMY FARKAS – Senior News Editor
I vaguely remember the mass meeting Danielle and I went to during the second week of school. There were of course no more seats left in the back of the newsroom so we sat squished on the floor in front of the vending machine nervously ready to enter the world of college journalism.
I dove head-first into the Daily. When the first semester of freshman year got tough, I buried my nose in trial stories to avoid reality. I remember crying and freaking out when a source wouldn’t respond for my second trial story. I was convinced I ruined the paper and I wouldn’t make it on to staff. But, surprise, I am still here.
When Amara and I were recruitment chairs, we began training the next generation of writers, little did I know some of those newsbies would become some of my closest friends.
I would like to thank my fellow SNEds, Amara, Sayali, Leah and Rachel, and MNEs, Grace and Lizzy, for their endless wisdom and support.
To my cherished CSG winter semester beat, Barbara and Parnia, your enthusiasm for CSG and excitement for every meeting was contagious. You helped me love everything about our weekly late night CSG meetings. Our four months together were incredible from impeachment gate to a new love of quidditch, the late night mems and inside jokes have bonded us and will definitely last forever. Our fun will live on through the CSG Peeps excel spreadsheet. Angelina, you have continued this excitement into this semester and have only boosted my love of CSG. You keep the tea piping hot and are always available. And of course to Alex, who has kept us grounded and rational through our TMD ups and downs.
Gotta give a shoutout to Business beat, you’ve been cool and fun.
To Leah and Sayali, wow, I can’t believe we’ve known each other for like five years now. Our time at Cherubs was clearly formative in our journalism experience and critical to where we are now. Leah, you are the world’s smartest human, I cannot go a nightside without learning a new vocabulary word or fun fact. We’ve been working together on nightside all year and my favorite memory was your commentary on the State of the Union address we watched and fact checked together. Your quotes are incredible and your colloquial syntax and diction are unmatched. Sayali, you are the sweetest, most caring SNEd. We haven’t gotten the chance to work together, but everyday I am impressed with how you balance being a pre-med double major and this job. Cherubs was a journalism bootcamp preparing us for this. Who would’ve thought five years ago when we were up until 11 p.m. doing rotating rewrites and writing 10 stories in a day we would be here now, staying up until 2:30 a.m. making a paper and editing multiple stories a day. Good luck as MNEs, you’re going to kill it.
And finally, Maya, you were the first person I ever interacted with at the Daily. When I came to college I was in search of a new role model, when I came in to my training workshop on your Monday ANEd shift, I knew I had found one. You were the SNEd who oversaw my beats both semesters, your time as SNEd and EIC has taught me so much about journalism and you have lead the paper by example. Your wisdom is beyond your years and your strong moral compass guided TMD successfully through the ups and downs. Can’t wait to see you covering the news in the future.
TESS GARCIA – Daily Arts Writer
I was shocked when I walked into my first Daily Arts meeting as a freshman and other kids actually wanted to talk to me.
I didn’t want to be at U of M that year. The thought of going to football games stressed me out, as did the idea of drinking and dancing on hay bales for hours beforehand. In time, though, my friends on the Daily’s Arts section made me realize I didn’t have to do any of that. Our ragtag group showed me how to enjoy college in Ann Arbor on my own terms.
I should probably tell you what I did here at the Daily, but I honestly don’t feel like it. I’ve spent the past four years talking about myself. Those who need to know what role I played already do. Instead, I’ll tell you that today, I’m not nearly as involved with TMD today as I was two, even three years ago. Still, the nights I spent working production at 420 Maynard were foundational to my college experience.
Some thanks are in order for the Arts writers and editors who came before me. Anay, thank you for convincing me not to transfer schools. Caro, thanks for showing me what it means to be a Pisces correctly. Thank you, Ben Rosenstock, for getting dinner with me at Hunter House the night of my first editor-in-chief election. Natalie, Carly, Dom, Danny, Jack, Rebecca, Madeleine, Melina, Sam, Avery and even Karen, whom I somehow grew to know and love even though she graduated before I arrived: Thanks for welcoming me. We ate Famous Amos cookies and drank Cherry Coke and edited newspapers really damn well. Plus, some of you laughed at my jokes, which I’ll never forget. (If you didn’t laugh, please watch yourself.) I know I’m missing names, but I’m still in touch with most of you, so just send over an angry text if you feel compelled.
To those who will graduate with me in the spring of 2020: You’re all a bunch of nerds, especially Asif because she got into medical school. But you’re my nerds, and I’m also a nerd! Please, let’s stay the same when we go. Arya and Verity, I contributed basically nothing during your tenure as Managing Arts Editors, but you didn’t need me. You’ve turned this section into a flourishing and eloquent little community. It’s been a joy to witness.
To my friends who won’t leave the confines of Maynard Street any time soon: You know what to do. Please continue to make Arts a refuge for every kind of student, and when in doubt, choose simpler words over the smarter-sounding ones.
I’ve reached the end of my column and I still have no idea what any of this says, but here’s this: In-state tuition should be free. Off-campus housing is way too expensive. Undocumented students deserve more resources. U of M needs to divest if they want another cent from me after graduation. Finally, there’s no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism, but you already knew that.
Here’s to 129 years of editorial freedom.
MAYA GOLDMAN – Editor in Chief
During the polar vortex of January 2019, the University of Michigan canceled classes for two days in a row, the city shut down and people were advised not to leave their houses. But over at 420 Maynard Street, in -30-degree temperatures, a group of editors gathered to make a newspaper, business as usual.
As we like to tell prospective staffers during mass meetings, the work we do at the Daily matters, and it lasts. We gather based on a shared purpose: to hold the powerful accountable, to inform our community and to make a paper. And we’re going to do those things come hell or high water (or sub-zero temperatures).
That said, I think a lot of us who find our homes at the Daily already take ourselves pretty seriously when we walk through its doors. So I’ve come to understand that what the Daily really gave me over the last three and half years was a license to take myself less seriously. What we do here is important. But so is making ridiculous music videos in the newsroom, playing euchre until an irresponsible hour and jumping into the Huron River in the middle of the night. We hug each other through the tough times and celebrate each other during the good ones, and that’s what I’ll remember when I look back on these days.
I walked into this building an overwhelmed, underconfident freshman, and I’m walking out as the Divine Feminine (thank you, Verity). The Daily has seen my blood, my sweat and my tears, all three as recently as this week. It has given me everything, and in return I gave it all that I’ve got. It still doesn’t feel like enough, but at this point it has to be.
There’s not much left to do now except say thank you.
Sophie, Riyah, Andrew, Kaela, Matt and Carly: I would not trade the utter chaos our SNEd year for anything in the world. The five of you taught me how to be silly and how to be a journalist, and for both of those things I will be forever grateful. One day all of us will be in the same room again and it will be magical.
Colin: You were the first person who made me feel like I could be a leader in this space. In spite of it all, I’m glad the fall of 2017 happened.
Alexa: No one gets it like you do. Thank you for answering my endless barrage of texts this year and for always believing in me so wholeheartedly. I wouldn’t be here without you.
My 2019 managing editors: It’s been such a privilege to do this with you all, even when you’ve tested my ~patience~. Thank you for entertaining my bad story meeting ice breakers, for getting (most) of your staff on Slack, and for all your hard work over the last year. Individual letters and thank yous coming soon because you all deserve more words than I have to give you here.
Lizzy: This is yours now, and I’m so excited for you. Enjoy every second of the year, even when it feels impossible. Especially when it feels impossible. I’ll be there if you ever need anything.
Hannah, Amanda, Izzy, Lucie, Lillie, Lara and all the other friends I’ve been lucky enough to find outside of 420 Maynard: Thank you for being some of my biggest supporters over the last few years, and thank you for coming to the newsroom with Catan so I could play too. I can’t wait to finally hang out again. A special shout-out to Brett, the editor’s editor — you make me a better writer and a better version of myself.
Mom, Dad, Eva and Rikki: None of this would have been possible without the four of you. I am endlessly lucky to call you my family; there is truly no one better out there. To Mom, especially: thank you for answering all of my phone calls — even when I accidentally called you instead of Michigan Web Press at 1:30 a.m. I love you all.
Finally, Finn: You’ve been the best partner for this most absurd journey and I couldn’t — wouldn’t — have done it without you. I hope we’ll be in each other’s lives for a very, very long time. See you at trivia next semester for a round of G&Ts on me.
And one last thing for those who are just getting started here, or those who have been here for a while but aren’t necessarily sure why: Even when it seems like a waste of time, or when it becomes too stressful or when you aren’t sure how to find your place in the newsroom, keep going. This place and the people inside of it will change your life if you let it.
I know it changed mine.
MATT HARMON – Deputy Statement Editor
When I was a junior in high school, I visited my friend who just started as a freshman at UMich. Sitting on the floor in her Markley dorm, marveling at the modular furniture and fairy lights, she pulled out a copy of the Daily from her desk drawer.
“If you get in here, you have to be a part of this,” she told me.
Two years later when I showed up in Ann Arbor, I followed her advice and went to the first mass meeting. It was there that I met two friends that I will hold close to my heart for decades to come. I’m getting ahead of myself.
I thought I exhausted all of my tears last year when my time as senior news editor was over. You know when you’re on the verge of crying and you just need one thing to help break the dam? On my walk home from the last night of production, I popped in my headphones, blasted Phoebe Bridgers, and almost got lost because I couldn’t see the sidewalk through my tears. I knew I needed the Daily in my life and was so happy when Andrea and Statement took me in for another year.
That’s what the Daily does — it takes you in and keeps you safe. Over my four years here, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever thought was possible. It’s safe to say I’ve shared a lot of secrets in the pages of the Daily and Statement, in particular. From reckoning with my mental illness to my sexuality, I didn’t think I would ever be comfortable enough to speak these thoughts into existence, let alone write them out for people to read. But I knew that no matter what happened, the Daily and the people within it would be there for me, to dry my tears and make me laugh.
Okay, here’s the part where I cry all over my laptop.
To Carkey and Maya, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you both. Frankly, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for your support and friendship. Walking from South Quad to the newsroom together first semester of freshman year for the Mass Meeting, I thought you two were the most genuine, funniest and strongest people I had ever met. I still think this. You two are going to give this world a run for its god damn money. Nothing can stop you. Thank you for your years of friendship. I love you both immensely. Newsbies 4 Life.
To Kale and Hiyama, I hope you read this because I want you both to know I look up to you as stellar writers and stellar individuals. You made me feel so welcome and whenever I see you around, my entire day is made.
To Sopho and Riyah B, holy shit I have never met anyone more badass than either of you. You both were there for me at some really dark times and I wouldn’t trade our conversations for the world. Can’t wait to cheer from the sidelines while you abolish prisons and — to quote Riyah’s senior goodbye — free Palestine.
To Andrea, our friendship gives me insurmountable joy. From that photo freshman year to finishing our time on Statement together, we have seen so much together. You are such a radiant energy in my life and I know I can always talk to you about whatever’s going on. Please keep my copy of The Bell Jar. In the words of Allen Ginsberg, “O Victory, forget your underwear. We’re free.”
To Shannon, you have this level-headed humor where you always know how to make me laugh while also getting me to chill out and get stuff done. I appreciate it more than you probably know. Getting to work beside you this past year has truly been a highlight of my time at Umich. I’m going to miss you so much but I’m only a text or call away. I’ll always be here for you. P.S. I forgive you for kicking my toe and I hope you forgive me for bringing it up.
To Kate and Liz, you both put up with so much from me, I have no idea how you do it. You two are creative forces to be reckoned with and I wish you all the best. Love, The @gloveontop Team.
To Lizzy, sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if the Housing Gods hadn’t cursed me with Solly as a roommate (I kid, I kid) and met you. I can confidently say my life would be so much worse without you in it. Your drive, compassion, and sense of humor inspire me daily. You’re gonna kill it next year. And the year after that. And all the ones thereafter. Eunice says hi.
That’s all I’ve got. Goodbye, 420 Maynard. Alexa, play “I’m a Stranger Now” by The Tallest Man On Earth.
SARAH HURST – Daily Sports Writer
I sat in the common room of Betsy Barbour my freshman year with five minutes before the last mass meeting of the semester at the Daily. I was so nervous about going to the meeting by myself, I had been putting it off until the very last minute. I was on the phone with my mom and she told me to just go and that I would regret it if I didn’t just go.
I ran across the street and made it just in time. Afterwards, I awkwardly introduced myself to Max Bultman and Jake Lourium who told me to come on Sunday to the next sports section meeting.
My mom was right — I would’ve regretted it if I didn’t go.
Though my role at the Daily has waxed and waned, the people have remained constant.
I want to thank all the people that came before me, who read all my less than perfect stories my freshman year and were so patient with me as I improved. Thank you to all the MSE’s who gave so many great opportunities and who were always there to laugh with me, Max Bultman, Jake, Betelhem, Kevin, Mike, Orion and Laney.
To my other senior girls, Molly and Shira, thank you for making my senior year at the Daily so much fun. I’ve loved going to Denny’s with you both and practicing for the State News game.
Lane and Lilly — My DG girls! Thanks for keeping me up to date with DG and Daily stuff because I am old and washed up. Keep killing it girls, you guys are rock stars.
Max, Ben and Anna —My whole experience at Michigan would not be the same without you guys. I would not replace the lunches and hours in the newsrooms or out at bars for anything. It’s so funny to think about the first time we hung out and where we are now, I love you guys so much.
Max, thanks for always making me laugh. I am so proud of how much you’ve accomplished. The first group chat we made was called “Future MSEs” and it’s funny to think that was actually true for you. I love catching up with you everytime we run into each other at Skeep’s or anywhere else.
Ben, thank you for being my confidant and for listening to me vent for hours. I have loved traveling literally all over the world with you, seeing you in London, Florence and Rome was so much fun and I’ll remember it forever. Thank you for coming to pick me up and drop me off everytime I went to a Daily meeting or State News practice.
Anna, my day one. I can’t believe how lucky I am that you and I happened to end up at the same orientation. I really don’t think I would’ve joined the Daily at all if it weren’t for you. I love thinking of all the late nights we spent in the Betsy Barbour basement trying to do homework and eating pizza rolls. You are so smart and accomplished, I am so proud to be your friend. I love you so much, I can’t wait for our future adventures together (hopefully in D.C.)!
There were a lot of clubs and organizations I could’ve joined but I am so glad I picked this one. The Daily has allowed me to participate in amazing traditions, cover some of the best coaches and athletes in the world, and introduced me to the most amazing people.
BAILEY JOHNSON – Assistant Sports Editor
In October of sophomore year, my parents got fed up with me texting them football takes 24/7 and told me to write for the newspaper. I thought that sounded like a good idea, but it took me until January to send an email and until late January to turn up for a meeting. My roommate forced me out the door — I will forever be grateful to you, Dale, for that one.
I never could have predicted that that one meeting would change my life.
I remember being really shy and awkward at first, and I didn’t know anyone. But I kept coming back, and I looked up one day and realized the Daily was my favorite place to be. It was clear that I didn’t want to be anywhere else and that this was what I wanted to do.
The ensuing almost two years have gone by way, way, way too fast.
I have done some of the coolest things I could have ever dreamed of at this place, and plenty more I never dreamed of doing to start with. If you’d told me two years ago that in January of 2019, I’d drive across the country with the hockey beat (and Alex!) to cover Michigan against Penn State at Madison Square Garden, I would’ve laughed in your face. If you’d told me I’d be writing the flash gamer from that game, 364 days after I’d shadowed and started this whole journey, I would’ve fallen on the floor.
But I did, and the word unforgettable doesn’t even begin to describe the experiences I’ve had here. From covering the men’s gymnastics Big Ten Championships in March of my first semester, to being the only person to cover a national champion that year (shoutout Ben Flanagan), to my two phenomenal seasons on the hockey beat, this has been an absolute dream.
Every time I flip through the photos on my phone, I’m awestruck by the memories I’ve made. It starts all the way back on Jan. 27, 2018, with a photo of my first credential — men’s gymnastics against Oklahoma. I still have it, and I still have every credential that came after it.
From there, I have a photo of my first real story in print — men’s gymnastics again, this time topping Ohio State. The first of many, many photos of 420 Maynard appears Feb. 18, because I can’t not take photos of this building when I leave. Then there’s the candid Scott Kemps snapped of me talking to Kurt Golder — possibly my most on-brand photo of all time. Men’s gym beat writer for life, honestly.
There’s a photo from every rink I’ve been to, and almost all of the adventures along the way. I don’t need the photos to remember the moments imprinted on my heart, but I’m glad I have them anyway.
I know deep down this is the best job I will ever have, and I’m okay with that. I don’t know how anything could possibly be better.
I keep trying to tell myself this isn’t really a goodbye because I’ll be around next semester writing and editing. But there is something undeniably, unbearably final about writing these words.
This place, this building, this community has given me more than I will ever be able to give back to it.
So, I’ll stop rambling about how much I love 420 Maynard — which, if you couldn’t tell, is more than anything — and get into the part where I thank everyone who made this so wonderful.
To everyone who came before me, thank you for teaching me everything you could and for helping me in every way possible. I would not be half the writer I am now — and probably wouldn’t be writing at all — without your help and support. I love you all.
To my seniors — Max, Molly, Tien, Rohan, Jorge, Ben, Anna, Kopnick, Mark, Shira, Sarah and everyone else I’m forgetting — I’m so proud of our class. I know I was a late addition, but you all made me feel welcome from my first awkward days. Thank you for that, and thank you for everything. I love you all.
To the juniors — Sears, Theo, Connor, Rian, Aria, Bennett, Teddy, Akul and everyone else I’m forgetting — I can’t wait to see how you lead this section in your final year. It goes by way too fast, so make sure to always remember what this place means and never forget how important you are to what we do. I love you all.
To the sophomores — Lane, Lily, Kent, Jacob, Brendan, Abby, Drew, Daniel, Jacob, Aidan, Avi and everyone else I’m forgetting — keep being awesome. I am blown away by your dedication to what we do each and every day. I can’t wait to see what you do in the next two years. I love you all.
To the newcomers — Abbie, Arthur, Brandon, Brandon, Jack, Jared, Lily, Nick, Nick, Spencer, Steel and everyone else I’m forgetting — this section wouldn’t be the same without you. I’ve always believed that the Daily calls to the people that are meant to be here. I’m so glad you came, and I can’t wait to follow your growth. I love you all.
Finally, to The Michigan Daily, my favorite place, my home. Thank you for calling to me and showing me what I love to do. It changed everything. I will love you forever.
ANIK JOSHI – Columnist
I transferred to Michigan at the start of my junior year without much of a clue about what I wanted to do.
A lot of things about that first semester flew by but one of them that I still vividly remember is the loneliness. That followed me around for those first few months and it no doubt would have followed me for longer had I not found TMD.
Applying for it was a shot in the dark and when I found out that a good friend of mine from a Middle East class was going to be in it, I was all the more interested and the rest is history.
Because of the Daily, I’ve made a number of new friends both inside and outside of class and I feel like I’ve learned not just how to write but how to write well. I’ve enjoyed every editboard and will really miss everyone’s informed points and Maya’s pained icebreakers. Thank you guys for making me laugh, but more importantly, making me think.
The Daily is so much more than ink on paper – it’s a collection of smart, effective people who have used the written word in incredible ways. Although I’ve learned many new words since I started here, I still can’t think of ones to properly express my pride at being a part of this legacy.
I’m grateful to Michigan for a lot of things and the Daily will always be one of the things I am most grateful for.
BEN KATZ – Senior Sports Editor
My high school journalism teacher once told me the story of how her son decided where he would attend college. When he visited a school, he would try a pickle at a campus restaurant, and based on where he found the “perfect pickle,” he ultimately went to that school. She advised me to find my “pickle,” to help me figure out where I would spend my next four years.
In my case, the pickle was the school newspaper. Growing up with a writer for a mom and a former college newspaper editor-in-chief for a dad, I understood my calling at a pretty early age. I wrote for my elementary school’s newspaper, The Ribbit Report, dissecting all the latest news surrounding the Burning Tree Frogs — huge pieces like Q&As with new teachers and a solid, 300-word review of the 2006 animated baseball movie classic, “Everyone’s Hero.” Years later, I joined my high school newspaper, The Black & White, writing sports features on state championships and doing page reads as a copy editor.
While applying to colleges, I looked at every school’s newspaper. And when I toured Michigan, I immediately sought out a newspaper box. I took one look at the Daily’s print edition — obviously turning straight to the sports pages — and was hooked.
I had found the “perfect pickle.” I had found the newspaper for which I wanted to write over the next four years. I was going to go to Michigan and write for The Michigan Daily.
Fast forward to Labor Day, when I anxiously walked into 420 Maynard for the sports section’s first meeting of the year. Someone walked up to me and asked if I was a freshman. Thankfully, he was also a freshman who wanted to write for sports.
That kid ended up being my first friend at Michigan. The two of us went on to cover the softball team together that spring. And three weeks ago, Max and I popped champagne in East Lansing as members of the four-timers club after The Daily beat The State News in football for the 15th-straight year.
So, before I even started college, I went to a sports meeting, made a new friend, stressed through the icebreaker and officially joined the newspaper. Guess I knew where my priorities over the next four years would truly lie.
Throughout college, the Daily has given me the opportunity to cover Big Ten Tournaments and the Frozen Four, interview top draft-picks and legendary coaches and talk hockey on ESPN Radio outside in the dark during a fire drill in my dorm. I’ve played euchre until sunrise, eaten at the home of the buffalo wing in Buffalo, New York and met a ton of great people along the way.
I never joined a frat. After class one day freshman year, a kid asked if, because I wasn’t in Greek Life, I just sat in my dorm room and watched Netflix every day. No, I proudly told him, I was actually a sports writer for the Daily. I explained how I was on the softball beat, hung out with Daily friends all the time and not once did I have to clean up puke after a frat party at 3 a.m. I’ve never felt more like a baller than during that conversation.
The Daily has always been my frat, and it’s due to so many people who have helped shape my college experience. They gave me a word count (probably knowing I’d drone on for way too long), so I won’t be able to thank everyone here, but know I appreciate every person who’s been there for me along the way.
Jake and Bultman, thanks for welcoming me into the section and making me feel a part of the community right from the start. Your pride in our work and love for the people who produced the work made me understand early on what makes the sports section a family.
Anna, between The Black & White and the Daily, we’ve had a helluva ride over the past eight years. From pizza-tasting in D.C. for a high school food article to flying on the hockey team plane to Madison, thanks for all the great memories.
Sarah, I knew we’d be friends when we went to Piada freshman year and I correctly guessed, on the first try, which of the 50 states was on the back of your quarter. Thanks for the Roman Holiday (in actual Rome) last semester and being the center to my left tackle.
Mark, when you shadowed me and wrote a flash gamer before I even wrote one sentence, I knew we were lucky you joined the section. Working together in the newsroom and on the softball beat was a blast — except when we were swindled into covering the St. Patrick’s Day game.
Bailey, Jake, Jodi, Jorge, Kopnick, Maya, Molly, Phillip, Rohan, Shira and Tien, you all have added so much to the senior class and it’s been an absolute joy getting to know and work with each of you.
To the juniors: It’s your time to lead and I have full faith you’ll do well. Sophomores, in less than two years, you’ve made such a positive impact and I know you’ve only just begun to leave your mark. Freshmen, you’ve already shown the future of our section has great promise; I hope, over the next three years, you’ll fall in love with The Daily as much as I have.
To my roommates, thanks for understanding the missed dinners and lost nights of hanging out over the past four years. Excited for all we have planned for our last semester — plus, maybe I can win another game or two of 2K before graduation.
Finally, my family. Sophie, thanks for (sometimes begrudgingly) reading all my articles. I’m so proud to be your big brother every day. And to my most important editors, Mom and Dad: Thank you for your unwavering support and for believing in me even when I didn’t always believe in myself. I hope I’ve made you proud.
The Daily was never just another extracurricular for me. It was my reprieve from all the craziness going on in my life. It was my place to watch sports, try every State Street food spot and play chair monkey all night. It was my second home on campus.
It’s been my perfect pickle.
GRACE KAY – Managing News Editor
I didn’t know anyone at the University of Michigan when I first transferred here. I remember thinking I was one of nearly 50,000 and telling my Mom I just needed to get through my time here. I already couldn’t wait to graduate.
Facing my last semester at U-M three years later, The Michigan Daily has become one of the primary reasons it will be hard to leave.
When I came to my first mass meeting at the Daily I was filled with awe. I’d been to my fair share of mass meetings and members of the Daily carried themselves differently than any other organization on campus. It was like they were writers and editors first, students second. They were passionate about the work they did. The words they wrote, the content they created — it mattered.
I remember my first trial story for News, sitting tentatively at a corner of the News desk. My hands were shaking as Riyah read through my story. At the time, I wasn’t sure I belonged. The next day I saw my name in print. I was euphoric, filled with that narcissistic rush that could only come from seeing your byline.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen my name alongside a story – I’ve been more caught up in helping people write their stories then my own – but even without the adrenaline of frantically typing out a city council story in time for the deadline or trying to find the nerve to ask a question at a press conference, the Daily has continued to present me with greater opportunities still.
The Daily has become a home to me – so much so even Google Maps thinks I live at 420 Maynard. This place is so much more than an organization, a building or a newspaper. It’s my favorite place on campus, one of the few places where I can step in the door and let everything else go. I walk in the door and I am confident in who I am, what is expected of me.
Ultimately, the Daily has given me a lot of people to be thankful for. I want to thank Sofia Lynch for convincing me to join three years ago and Alec Cohen for being the first friend I made at the Daily. I’m thankful for Alice, Rachel, Tien, Asif and the entire 2018 summer staff for being the reason I decided to continue working at the Daily and pursue further leadership positions. That night we jumped off the docks is still one of my favorite Daily memories.
Alice, thanks for being my rock, that summer and ever since. Tien, thank you for all the dad jokes. Right off the bat Alice and I were convinced you were weird; now we know. Thanks for the rides home, harassing the News section at 1 a.m. and being so doggedly positive all the time.
I’m thankful for Bowkunngo (I’m still not sure what it means) for all the memories and Alexis for dealing with all seven of my personalities. Nightside is ten times longer without your sassy self. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself without our food runs and late night chats. Thanks for pushing me to do new things (sometimes literally), taking pictures even when I don’t want to and responding to all my paranoid texts.
Maya, thank you for being the picture of grace under pressure even when we’re past deadline and the page isn’t coming together. I’m also thankful for each and every one of the SNEds. I feel like we’ve been working together for longer than a year, but in the best way. Thank you to Amara for the NYPD runs, Remy for all the CSG tea, Rachel for always finding the hot gossip on campus, Leah for the inexhaustible government knowledge and Sayali for always being the friendly face at the news desk. Sayali and Leah, you guys are going to do great things next year. Lastly, I’m thankful for a great co-MNE. Lizzy, you were all that I could ask for in a co and more. Thanks for being the calm to my storm and the good cop to my bad cop. I can’t wait to see what you do next year!
JACOB KOPNICK — Assistant Sports Editor
Throughout my time in college, I like to think that I have few regrets.
For all the countless pre-college advice I collected in high school, I believe I hit the ground running. I joined as many clubs as I could, I came in with an apprehension for bathroom cleanliness and I made some life-long friends right out of the gate. But now, after three and a half years, I can confidently say I have one lingering regret: I wish I had joined the Daily sooner.
Having blundered around Michigan’s campus for a year of pure ignorance, I wisened up my sophomore year and went to my first Sports meeting.
I knew I had found something special from that first meeting.We went around the room, introduced ourselves and answered a quirky quasi-sports related icebreaker about “What was back.”
In that one meeting, I got a glimpse into how my life was going to change. I witnessed moments of unbridled laughter, mentions of the State News game and the comings and goings of the sports section. I knew it was a community I desperately wanted to be a part of from that first meeting and the first time I heard Tien drop his now-patented introduction of his name, year and infamous hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
From that moment on, I jumped head first into the section and the Daily. I religiously covered one event a week, determined to find my place in the section and work my way up the ranks. And boy am I glad that I did.
Since that first day, I have had so many incredible memories with this paper that it’s hard to itemize them here or even fully capture just how amazing they all were. From covering Liverpool in the Big House to interviewing professional sports players to ridiculous debates in the newsroom at midnight on a Tuesday, it’s all just been more fun than I ever thought was allowed for a student organization.
And perhaps this is why at first it felt so strange to have found this community and made the friendships I have. In the midst of this excitement, I have discovered someone who has made tremendous personal and professional growth and is having an incredible time doing it.
Alright, while I can wax poetic about the Daily for a longer amount of time than anyone wants to read, I’ll move onto the thank you’s section of my sendoff.
First, to all my fellow seniors, Max, Ben, Anna, Sarah, Tien, Jorge, Rohan, Finn, Molly, Bailey, Jake, Mark, Maya — you all are incredible human beings and I’ve loved sharing this experience with every single one of you.
To every one I’ve shared game coverage, a story meeting or even any time at the newsroom, while I still have a bit of time left and am going to milk it for all its worth, I am truly going to miss your consistent presence in my life and all of the incredible experiences the Daily has to offer. Daniel, Connor, Abby, Aria, Bennett, Avi, Aidan, Jack, Brendan, Rian, Shira, Theo, Teddy and anyone I’m missing, that means you guys.
To the freshmen, you guys have all have an incredible energy that I know is going to carry on the spirit of the sports section for years to come. I’m excited as hell to see what you guys come up with, I know the section is in incredibly capable hands and has a very bright future.
To the 2018 summer staff, you are all incredible people and my time as summer MSE brought some of my fondest memories of the Daily. We had a truly special group that year, and I am unbelievably proud of the work that we did.
To the ones who came before: Kevin, I want to thank you for being unwavering in your support for all new writers, including yours truly. The first time I felt like I truly found my place at the Daily came after one of my stories made its way onto the Most Read page, and you sent met a Snapchat blaring some ridiculous song zooming in and out on my article title. It was hilarious, and I thank you for it.
Mike, you are easily one of the most charismatic human beings I know, and if anyone out there is keeping track of how many times anyone has made someone in the newsroom laugh or feel like they belong, there is no doubt in my mind you are at the top of the leaderboard. Thanks for making The Daily the best place to be on campus.
Avi, thanks for sneaking me through the Rick’s backdoor every weekend that summer, you are a true king — I’ll always treasure the super awkward photo of us and Chase Winovitch outside Rick’s. I know that you’re going to be a voice I can always count on.
Lastly, to the section and the Daily: it has been an honor and a privilege to have my words printed on those pages. It’s rare to find the perfect combination of talent and community, but it exists, and it’s sitting right at 420 Maynard St. Thank you for everything.
ROHAN KUMAR – Daily Sports Writer
I’ll never forget the first time I wrote a story. It was the last Sunday production of my freshman year, and I was doing a men’s golf phone cover.
The Daily was so unfamiliar to me back then. I barely knew anyone yet, so I just sat there at the edge of the sports section, minding my own business while cranking out some words. At some point during the evening, Max Bultman came and sat next to me. He introduced himself and we made some small talk, but I didn’t think much of it at the time.
Leaving the Daily that night, I had more questions than answers. I didn’t know why the seniors weren’t the ones leading the sports section. I didn’t understand why the editing process was so intense. I mean, three rounds for one story? Seemed ridiculous. And to be honest, I didn’t know for sure if I’d ever return.
The next morning, I grabbed a copy of the paper to read during breakfast. I sat there in the dining hall, flipping through pages for my name only to come up empty-handed. At that point I was ready to call it quits. I didn’t know that so many others probably wrote the night before, too, and that there’s only so much room in print.
While glancing at the paper, though, I came across Bultman’s SportsMonday goodbye column. Basically, he talked about how beginnings and endings are often hard. He said they don’t have to be perfect, because the experiences in the middle are what matters most. He then talked about all his great memories from his time at the Daily, before ending with a passage that changed everything for me. Here it is:
“Right now, I’m watching Kevin give edits to a kid who is writing his first story. I have no idea whether he will ever come back — whether this is his last story, too, or whether it’s only the beginning. I don’t know whether he’s going to experience all these feelings and places and people who make this place so special.
“But he walked in the door, and he started. Sometimes, that’s the hardest part.”
I set down the paper and knew deep down that I had to give it another shot. If the Daily meant so much to others, maybe there was a chapter waiting for me. And I’m so glad I gave it a second chance, because from sophomore year on I had the time of my life.
Bultman, even though I still barely know you, my first thanks goes to you. That was so cool of you to mention me in your final story and it made the beginning much easier for me.
Thank you, Kevin and Betelhem, for leading the way and giving me so many opportunities early on. Ted, I’ll always remember playing defense with you during my first State News season.
Hunter, thanks for guiding us youngsters on the dub hoops beat, and thanks for all the rides, too.
Orion, thanks for being a true friend since back in the day. I would have never walked into the newsroom to begin with if it weren’t for you. Thanks for being so encouraging throughout, too, and for giving me every reason to stick with it.
Mike, thanks for making sports fun. Laney, thanks for being Laney. To Ethan, Rob, Jake, Avi, Paige, Efe, Kennedy: Thanks for all your wisdom and for making our section the best.
To my seniors — Jorge, Bailey, Molly Shea, Tien, Kopnick, Max, Mark, Sarah, Anna, Ben, Phil, Jake and Shira — we made it! There’s no other group of people I would’ve rather made these memories with. Thank you all for everything. Now check those jars!
Connor, Teddy and Bennett, we probably shouldn’t have all skipped availability that one time. But thanks for making our beat so chill.
Theo and Ethan, the section is in great hands. Ethan, we’ve been in it together from the beginning. It’s awesome seeing all that you’ve accomplished, all starting with our time on the dub hoops beat.
Avi, Kent, Rian, Akul, Aria, Lane, Daniel, Lily, Abby, Aidan, Arthur, Steel, Matthew, Alex and many others: You’re all superstars. Stick with the Daily; I promise it’s worth it.
To the 808 homies, I’m glad we finally got tape. You guys are amazing. Evan, thanks for being a stellar roommate and for all the late-night questions. Samy, thanks for teaching me hockey, old sport. Simon, maybe one of these days I’ll listen and read everything you send me. Blue Herons for life. Jack and Alex, thanks for all the good times.
Collin, you know what they say about a two-goal lead in hockey. Stop by our place more often. Justin, it’s going to be weird not hooping after we graduate. But for now, IM at nine? Shout-out to my favorite Yooper-soon-to-be-dentist, Matt, too.
To my parents, sister and dog: Thanks for all your love and support, for reading my stories (and not chewing them up!)
Thank you to the Michigan Daily, for giving us all a home.
Writing this goodbye has been difficult and bittersweet for me, and I’m sure my fellow seniors feel the same. I put it off till the last moment. You’d think after all our damn writing practice, composing these farewells — which we’ve known were inevitable since the start — would be easy. And yet it’s not. But that’s okay. That in and of itself shows how much this place means to all of us. There’s just so much to say, so many memories for us to cherish. So many people for us to thank that we’re bound to miss some names.
So I see no better way to end than this: Thank you to everyone — those I’ve mentioned and those I’m forgetting — for all that you do.
Thank you, for making what happened in the middle so meaningful for me.
TIEN LE – Daily Sports Writer
The picture of Madison Square Garden that I took in person still gives me chills to this day.
The glow of the Penn State and Michigan colors illuminating the awe I had on my face at the time captured just how I felt about the Daily, the reason I was there in the first place.
I’ve had so many unbelievable experiences and met so many people that I’m thankful for that I can’t explain in words. But here’s my attempt to anyways:
Jorge, these last three years were so fun primarily because you were there with me along the way, the entire time. My partner in every event, my beat mate and my friend, whenever and wherever. Love you bud.
Alexis, you listened to me when no one else did, you helped me when few did, you were always a pillar when I needed something to lean on. Grace, when you stood up for me, it meant the world. You’re wildly fun, really caring and one of the most thoughtful people I know. Alice, your friendship was so genuine.
Ethan, I’m grateful you looked out for me, even in my lowest of lows. The way you care for people is special and don’t ever let anyone say you’re unapproachable, you’re not. Theo, my heart stopped when I went down the waterfall and didn’t see you come up. You come off brash and hot headed at times, but if only people knew how soft you are on the inside. Good luck next year.
Mike, I never had an older brother, but there were times you made me feel like I did. Production doesn’t feel the same without you there. Let’s kayak again soon.
Laney, your hugs and hand holding always lit up my day. You were there for my first event ever and have been with me ever since. We used to joke you were the mom of the group, but you really were family.
Shoutout to “Ouch” and “Dim Sum squad.”
Jake and Max, thank you for trying your hardest to keep me a part of the section when I first joined. Y’all were the reason I stayed after the first meeting and the reason I got to experience so many of the traditions — Denny’s and State News — for all four years. Kevin, you were the first MSE I knew on a more personal level and first person I went to for help.
Orion, you basically taught me how to write here at the paper. You mentored me and cared about how I grew as a person and a writer.
Ashley, how funny is it that I knew absolutely nothing about you a year ago, and since then, you’ve been one of my confidants and go-to advice giver. Thanks for the good times. You were the best euchre partner I’ve had.
Max, you really were the perfect MSE anyone could have asked for. I know things weren’t always great with me, but the times in between some of the best. If only it was as easy as river jumping away our worries.
Anna, you were one of the euchre OGs. Last four years have been so great!
Ben, when I confess all my worries to you, on any occasion, you didn’t blink an eye. You didn’t judge me for any of it. There were some rough patches, but I’m glad you were there for everything else. Thank you.
Kopnick, you’re one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and wouldn’t have traded that summer with you for anything.
Finn, magic hands, thanks for being real, you’re the only person I’ll ever admit is close to my euchre level.
Bailey, I thought you hated me until you compared me to Chipotle because everyone loves Chipotle — ironically enough, I actually hate it, but I’m glad we made it work. Thanks for the amazing two years. Rohan, I was so excited you got to do hockey with me and you’ve been a staple here at The Daily.
Connor, I always chirped you but you took it like a champ. You’re one of the few people I’ve always felt comfortable around from the start.
Lane, your ability to make people smile is second to none, you’re going to kill it. Lily, your openness to spontaneity is the reason I loved hanging out with you so much. Kent, it’s crazy how much you grew on me within seconds of meeting you. You’re unbelievably kind. Avi, you being around felt so natural, and I hope you had as much fun as I did hanging out. You guys are next.
Sam, Lucian and Michael, I was told people barely stay friends after orientation. Four years later and you three are still my best friends — through thick and thin. There were so many tough days where hanging with y’all cleared all my stress and anxiety. I couldn’t imagine a world where I didn’t meet y’all.
Akul, Adam, Aidan, Bennett, Jack Silberman, Brendan, Daniel, Drew, Jack, Jacob, James, Teddy, Brandon, Nick, Spencer, Jared, Arthur, Abbie, Lily, Steel, Matthew, Rose, y’all are part of something great.
To Han, the voicemail I left you after my birthday said it all. I don’t remember much of what I said that night, but I remember saying how thankful I was for having you in my life and how much I loved you. And all of that still holds true.
To Paige, you had a knack for making a regular day into a special memory. There’s never been a second I’ve hung out with you that I didn’t love because all the fun and joy you bring each and every time.
To any Daily Writers I didn’t mention, you really don’t realize how special this place is until you have to leave. Treasure it.
And to Molly, you remind me of Memphis, and that’s honestly the biggest compliment I can give. I don’t go home often — twice a year maybe — so whenever I feel homesick or missing family or friends, I just turn and talk to you, and it all goes away. Because you’ve always made me feel like I’m home.
MAX MARCOVITCH – Managing Sports Editor
There’s a misunderstanding I’ve always had when reading these, a perception that everything that’s happened these past four years can be placed in a box and tied up with a neat bow.
It’s really hard to say goodbye. There’s no proper way to sum up a place that’s meant everything to me for four years and the incredible people I’ve spent them with. No real way to impart the memories that have so brightened my life. Like that time Sears, Mike and I literally spent the night at a Denny’s after the 2017 National Title Game in San Antonio, talking until our ride came to pick us up and drive us to Dallas in the morning. The waitress kept asking if we wanted anything; by 4 a.m. we had to tell her what was up. Or the time I stood in the tunnel at Michigan Stadium, turned around and saw a man sprinting down, hoisting the Paul Bunyan trophy over his head. That time I stood up, mouth agape, and suddenly came to the realization that I needed to write words about that Jordan Poole shot. On deadline. Right away. Or the drive back, a 14-hour marathon, buoyed by sheer adrenaline. There were the times writing inside empty stadiums. There were late nights and early mornings, and often both in the same day. There were games of “Heads Up” and Euchre late into the night, impromptu jumps in the Huron and post-production Taco Bell ventures. There were a whole lot of laughs and just as many tears. The Michigan Daily is a special place. I’ve never lost sight of that magic.
But the reason it’s so hard to say goodbye is because everything that’s good in life happens too fast. I still feel like that overly-anxious little freshman, walking into the newsroom for my first meeting, spotting another nice-looking Jewish boy and starting what I can only imagine became a surface-level conversation about sports. He was from Bethesda. He wrote on his high school paper. He was, indeed, a nice Jewish boy named Ben. I’d soon meet Anna and Sarah and Mark and Tien, too. Sharing these past four years with you — along with Jorge, Bailey, Rohan, Phillip, Shira, Kopnick, Molly, Jodi, Jake and Maya — has been an honor.
I still feel like the aspirational kid who desperately sought validation from his older mentors. I wanted to be Max Bultman and Jake Lourim. I wanted to be Orion Sang and Mike Persak. I wanted to be Laney Byler (Tbh, I still do). Max, Jake, Orion, Mike, Kevin, Betelhem, Ted, Rob, Avi, Ethan Wolfe, Kennedy, Paige, if you’re reading this, you’ve impacted me in ways I can’t even describe. As a person. As a writer. As a friend. As a mentor. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Thank you to Brandon, Abbie, Lily, Jared, both Nicks, Paarth, Spencer, Arthur, Jack, Joseph, Steel, Matthew, Rose, Claire, Livi and the rest of the newbies for helping remind me why I love The Daily. You’re all talented writers and wonderful people. Keep on going. I’ll be here if you need anything.
Thank you to the sophomores — Lily, Lane, Abby, Aidan, Daniel, Avi, Drew, Brendan, Jack, Kent, Jacob — who continue to flourish beyond belief. You’ve all grown so much in this last year. Having a front-row seat to that growth has been such a joy.
Thank you to Aria, Theo and Ethan for writing the gamers I didn’t want to write, letting me drive when I wanted and get coffee when I needed. The three of you are just so freaking immensely talented. Take care of each other.
To the OG basketball/football beat — Mike, Mark, Ethan Wolfe (and Laney!) — I love you guys. Individually. Collectively. From Chapel Hill to LA to ATL and everywhere in between. McDonald’s No. 4s with coffee on me soon. And one day we’ll all come together in rural PA and try that dude’s gas station chicken. Oooooh wah ah ah ah.
To the rest of the sports staff, for whom this pesky word limit precludes individual recognition but for whom my heart does not, I love you all more than you know. We are the best college sports section in the country. Every last one of you is the reason why. (And thanks for putting up with my impeachment updates in the emails. Not that you had much of a choice, but still.)
Thank you to the rest of my ME class, who taught me that life exists outside sports and sometimes all you need is a little … patience. To Maya and Finn, in particular, you guys are two of the strongest leaders I’ve ever met. Thank you for making my year exponentially easier and more enjoyable.
Julia, I can’t really imagine this year without you. Your patience, understanding and empathy have made me a better person. I’m excited to Traverse (hi, Meghann) more adventures together in the near future.
Theo, cherish every moment of this next year. It’s stressful. It’s challenging. It’s rewarding as hell. And man, it flies.
Ethan, you’re the most talented writer and reporter I’ve ever met. Being able to run this section with you has been the experience of a lifetime. I can’t believe it’s over. Really, truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.
Lastly, to complete the circle, thank you to Simon Kaufman and Max Cohen, who first introduced me to 420 Maynard on a college visit more than four years ago, giving me my first glimpse of the place I now cherish most on earth. And for buying me drinks at that bar in San Antonio. It’s time for me to pay it forward.
ANNA MARCUS – Senior Sports Editor
While walking through law school classrooms on a campus visit to Michigan my sophomore year of high school, my mom picked up a newspaper out of a large stack.
She turned to me and my best friend Julia, casually stating “maybe one day, you guys will work here.” At the time, I was one month into taking an introductory journalism class, in part because I wanted to improve my writing, but mostly because my dad constantly raved about his experience working for the sports section of a high school newspaper. I remember staring at that copy of the Daily, and thinking, no way. I had no idea where I would be attending college, and I definitely didn’t think I would be on the staff of a daily student newspaper, period.
However, two and a half years later — and less than two weeks into my freshman year of college — I found myself standing outside of 420 Maynard for an interest meeting.
Upon joining the sports section, I was immediately introduced to the thrill (and sometimes, stress) of covering Big Ten sports. On the day I was shadowing for my mock story, due to a last minute car issue, the older writers and I showed up 10, if not 15 minutes late to the soccer game we were covering. The score was still 0-0 when we arrived, but I was freaking out. It was the first time I had been tasked with writing about a Big Ten team, and I thought I had missed out on notes I would need to write a comprehensive game story. I still managed to end that game with at least eight full pages of notes, as I had written down quite literally everything that I saw happen.
I then spent five days writing and editing my 500-word mock story because Max and Jake, the managing sports editors at the time, told me I could take as much time as I needed. Max Bultman, I don’t know if I ever told you, but the kindness you showed me when we sat down to talk about that story provided me with the confidence to write another one. Thank you.
I remember being amazed that the writers I attended that first game with, Betelhem and Fahd, turned their stories around within 24 hours. If you had told me then that a year later, I would be putting up flash gamers as the buzzer sounded at hockey games, I would have laughed.
But this is precisely the kind of thing the Daily empowers people to do, all the time. I cannot thank this paper and every member of our section enough for consistently pushing me to achieve so much more than I ever realized I could.
Because of the Daily, I have also found myself in many unexpected situations.
Going on a 13-hour car ride to Boston to cover the NCAA hockey tournament. Arriving in Boston (actually, Worcester), where full lobsters were served for lunch at hockey regionals. Driving with Ben back to Ann Arbor for softball’s Big Ten tournament only to go back to Maryland within 48 hours. Finding out that the Airbnb I thought we got a “great deal” on in Madison only had one room and one twin bed. Landing at a private airport at 5 a.m. after a hockey trip and going to bed when the sun was coming up.
I never thought these things would be a part of my college experience at all, but they are now what defines it.
On nights I have gotten back around 3 a.m. from the Daily — and there have been a lot of them — my friends have tended to ask how and why I consistently choose to stay at the paper so late. There is a large part of this answer that I simply cannot put into words. I think that sometimes, people view the Daily just like any other club. For me, it has always been so much more than that.
Sarah, Max and Ben have been there for me from the beginning, inside and outside of the newsroom. I’ll never forget celebrating with you guys at the end of state news this year.
Laney and Paige spent over three hours at the mall with me to help me find a dress. I never found one, but we ended up just having the best time. Laney, I also think someone owes us a record for the number of mozzarella sticks that we have consumed.
With the hockey beat, I sang (quietly!) and danced in the press box to the band playing “Everytime We Touch” before third periods at Yost. With the softball beat, I experienced my first beat (we all did) and got to cover a Big Ten tournament. I’m still sad we never wrote that walk up song power ranking story — it would have been fire. With the sports section, I laughed, cried and played way more euchre than is probably healthy. You guys are the best.
Every year when I have visitors at school, I always take them to the Daily. I’ve felt like if I didn’t show them, they’d be missing out on an important part of who I am. There isn’t a building on campus I have spent more time in these past four years, and when I walk up the stairs to the newsroom, as I did just last week with a friend, I become overwhelmed with emotion. This paper has truly meant the world to me in college.
I don’t know the perfect way to end this, and maybe that’s because I’m not ready to. But I do know that next semester, when I will senior edit for the last time, I will be working on a staff where half of the sports editors will be women. I am so proud.
It’s things like this that make me glad I don’t really have to say goodbye, at least just yet.
REECE MEYHOEFER – Senior Copy Editor
It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you next semester. I’ll be revisiting the newsroom next semester with another editing position because I can’t get enough. The Daily has been essential to my college experience and I’m compelled to keep giving back to something that’s given me so much: the people, the atmosphere, the editing experience. My sophomore year, Miriam nearly dragged me to the Daily to take a minor copy editing position, yet in hindsight, I shouldn’ve sprinted to 420 Maynard at the opportunity. My senior year, Emily told me the Daily is what you make of it; and, having accepted that challenge, the Daily has rewarded me with more than I envisioned. So to everyone: thank you for making the Daily so hard to leave.
ARYA NAIDU – Managing Arts Editor
This is just another goodbye on a long document of goodbyes that all wax similarly poetic: I love The Daily, I met my best friends at the Daily, my world was absolutely rocked and radicalized by my time at the Daily. And I’m really happy for all of you, and I’mma let you finish, but this is my goodbye, and Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.
To the cool kids who came before me: Madeleine, it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll. Shev, you think I’m gorgeous, you want to kiss me, you want to hug me, you want to smoooooch me. Thank you a million times over, mama. Call me. Dayton, I respect you very much. Thanks for showing me how weird you are. Dom, I can’t take all of these muggles, but despite all of my struggles, I’m still alive! Jo(e) Fraley, we are going to be friends until we both die reading a novel a day in the desert somewhere. I don’t see another way for this to end. Natalie, I’ve been meaning to text you this headline I saw from when Matt Berninger abandoned Mo Pop: “THE NATIONAL GETS ENGAGING AND THEN GETS STRANGE.” Shima, you just came out of the water. You’re fresh from the water, you’re a mermaid here. How are you so fucking shiny? Can you fetch me an inhaler? I can’t breathe. Tl;dr: My reverence for all of you is precious in a way that I’ll never be able to articulate in writing. Thank you, I love you.
To my sexy editors, I am going to miss you. I’ll miss our hot, hot gossip and turning Trina into a swan and listening to Fiona with Clara and cackling with Sam and rom-com loving with Emma and melting into Cassie’s arms and eating Cassie’s plastic and letting Cassie beat the shit out of me and planking on the floor to prove my strength after Cassie beat the shit out of me. Stephen, I’m glad we can be friends again. Sayan, lmao. Izzy and Margaret, I’d like your pink jacket and funky pants (respectively). Mike, thanks for singing along to Liz Phair. Ally, come over ASAP (I have … wine). John, wait.
To the future: Hi John. You and Julianna are sensational. I love you, and I’m always a call away. Copper boom, baby.
To my fellow Managing Editors, thanks for laughing at my jokes. I’m sorry I never filled out story sheet, but I really loved story meetings. Finn “Barbeque Tongs” Storer, it’s my brother’s birthday.
Maya, you are so good. Your insurmountable kindness and grace is overwhelming. I admire you more than you know. Can’t wait to go to Rick’s seven nights a week next semester.
Verity, my sister of the moon. I have a lot to say, but only to you (I will not fucking perform). See you tonight for midnight margaritas.
And finally, to Jack: One day I’ll write a rom-com that involves raw cashews in the meet-cute. Promise.
There’s nothing left for me to do at the Daily except to leave, but “sad” isn’t the right word for how I feel because I’m tired, and I’m so proud of Arts and Jack and Verity and me and this thing that we all did. Our newsroom is cyclic and radical, and I’m lucky to have been a part of its orbit.
Catch you on the flip, posers. Xo, Arya.
MOLLY NORRIS – Daily News Reporter
When I walked into the newsroom for the first time, I knew I would have trouble walking out for the last time. The energy upon entering that room was palpable and intoxicating. I could not believe that this group of students was making this paper run, on their own time, purely out of love and passion for journalism. I always felt like the newsroom was a microcosm of college; a cafeteria of sorts, where the sports section watched basketball games while tossing around a football, the news section discussed the latest events and the arts section blasted the newest music. I loved it immediately.
Now, four years later, I can’t believe I am a part of that group of confident, smart, and dilligent students who make this paper run. It has been one of my greatest pleasures at Michigan, and the place where I feel like I have the agency to really reach my fellow students at U of M.
That is not to say that this confidence was easily attained. I never would have gotten to this place of security without the help of the SNEDs and MNEs who made me feel welcome. Matt, coming in every Monday as an ANEd after attending a 2-hour long SACUA meeting was always easier because I knew you’d be there to crack jokes while I took my sweet time to transcribe my quotes. Kaela and Carly, watching the two of you banter was always a reason for me to stay at the Newsdesk a little later than I had to squeeze in a few extra laughs as the day faded into night around us. And Maya, without your support on my Adderall story, the story I am most proud of, I never could have gotten it done. Thank you for believing in me.
I’m sticking with this place till the end, so this isn’t really goodbye, but I wasn’t going to miss a chance to thank this paper and these people for everything they’ve done. I truly believe The Michigan Daily has made me the journalist that I am, and will forever influence the journalist I hope to become.
I wandered into the Daily’s newsroom the beginning of my sophomore year not knowing what to expect. I had yet to find my thing in college — something that brought me both comfort and excitement, that made me feel useful and productive. Having worked on my high school’s news magazine, I had a hunch my thing could be somewhere at the Daily if I gave it a shot. I didn’t know how right I was.
The Daily taught me to be a better journalist. It taught me how to dig for information, reach out, show up, be present. It taught me how to talk to strangers and write for varied audiences, how to become a pseudo-expert on mini topics. It taught me that anything can be interesting if you take the time to learn about it. I can thank the Daily for giving me a platform to talk to a collection of brilliant students, activists, faculty and politicians. The Daily has opened doors for me that I could have never dreamt of.
More importantly, though, the Daily taught me to be a better person. It taught me how to approach interactions with transparency and ask questions with honesty. It taught me how to listen to what someone is trying to say, not what I want them to say. The Daily taught me to communicate and collaborate — to get the thoughts out of my head and into the world. It taught me to stop being so insecure about sharing my writing publicly. The Daily showed me how lucky I am to work and learn alongside such bright and passionate people.
If this sounds cliche, it’s because it is. I’m so grateful for this newsroom and the people it’s exposed me to. I couldn’t ask for a better thing.
DANIELLE PASEKOFF – Daily News Reporter
I wanted to be a part of the Daily before I even began my freshman year. I looked up the Daily online, found an email address and expressed my interest in joining News. I found an amazing freshman year roommate (hi Remy), who also shared an interest in writing for the paper, and we decided to sign up for the email list together. Soon enough, we both started receiving TWATD emails and updates from the News section, which was both overwhelming and exciting. Since then, my nervousness in the newsroom has dwindled, but my excitement and passion for this paper has continued. From staying up until the wee hours of the morning writing CSG stories in the Union Starbucks, to standing in the pouring rain covering Bernie Sanders’s visit to campus with prospective reporters by my side, this experience has opened my eyes to the diverse student experience at Michigan and given me so many opportunities to interact with people and communities I never would have otherwise. Every story came with new lessons and more chances to grow as a writer, but also as a person. My college experience would not be the same without the incredible friends I’ve made as a result of joining the paper, and for that I’m so grateful. When every other place on this campus felt unwelcoming or scary, I could always retreat to the News section of 420 Maynard to spend time with those who I appreciate the most. I may be cutting my time at the Daily a year short, but I will never forget all the memories and experiences I have had at this special place.
ANDREA PÉREZ BALDERRAMA – Managing Statement Editor
My journey at The Michigan Daily started with an interview I did for the Community Culture beat on Arts with SMTD Professor Jerry Blackstone. Only a sophomore at the time, I remember rubbing my sweaty palms as I heard the rings of the telephone, waiting for him to pick up the line.
The interview went well, he answered my questions over breakfast and cut the conversation when he realized the had to start his commute to campus. He went on about the concert he had directed, and I only used two of my twenty prepared questions. That page is still in my notebook somewhere.
Now, two years later, my time at the Daily is ending as I give up my Managing Statement Editor position. I still think about that first interview and wonder how I made it this far, but then I give it a second thought and realize it probably doesn’t matter. Or it shouldn’t matter.
What matters now is that Tuesday nights have become my favorite night of the week. That every time I’ve had a bad day, going to the Daily makes me feel like myself again. That I somehow carry a miniature baby toy in my wallet as an inside joke. That everyone says their age as part of the icebreaker during Statement meetings. That everything I have accomplished at the Daily has happened because of the passion and dedication of those around me.
So, thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey at the Daily.
To the Statement team: I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with each one of you. I believe that part of my job as an editor is enabling my team to be the best editors, writers, photographers and designers they can be. I am proud of each of you because I think you are well on your way, but mostly I am grateful that you gave me the opportunity to be part of your journeys.
Matt and Shannon, thank you for putting up with my crazy ideas and chaotic energy, even though you probably wanted to tell me to shut up sometimes. Kate and Liz, thank you for bringing your passion and talent to our table, and for always having a vision for our pages. Danyel, thank you for not sitting at the photo desk during production. Thank you for always being there for everything we asked you to do and more, for investing yourself in our work. You became a key part of our team. Eli, thank you for your neverending work and willingness to go the extra mile every time one of us faltered. We would not have made it through this semester without you.
To Alex, Hannah, Arjun, Meghann, Martina and Ivy, thank you for opening up yourselves and bringing your best ideas and writing to our pages. Each one of you has such a unique take on the world, and I always look forward to reading your columns. Know that you are an essential to Statement, and that our section would not function without your dedication.
Everyone, thank you for giving me the space to make mistakes. Thank you for helping me be the best writer/editor/leader I can be.
MICHELLE PHILLIPS – 2017 Managing Design Editor
In high school, I loved doing my homework at the kitchen table. It was the perfect mix of loud and quiet, and I was able to listen to the news, talk to my mom and still get my work done. The beginning of college was hard for me. I struggled to find my place on campus (like every other freshman ever, I know). I didn’t like studying in study rooms they were too quiet and isolating. I didn’t like studying in coffee shops, they were too loud and distracting, I never really felt welcomed in those spaces unless I was with someone I knew.
I went to the first mass meeting not knowing what to expect. I didn’t think I was the best writer and feared joining a writing-heavy section would be too much work. I over-extended myself in high school, and I didn’t want to do the same in college. I loved graphic design, the power of illustration moved me, and I loved having the ability to create something that would spark meaning for an audience. I came to the mass meeting with the intention of joining the design team. I came into the newsroom and was immediately overwhelmed. The managing editors seemed so much smarter than me, so much more mature, with so much more knowledge than I had and skillsets to show for it.
A few months later, I found myself in the newsroom every night. I had found my place. It was the perfect in between of quiet and loud, and it was inspiring to see so many people passionate about what they were creating every night for something so much larger than themselves.
The managing design editors approached me one night and asked me if I had any interest in becoming the managing design editor for the next calendar year. Me? A freshman? Were they being serious?
I feel like I should mention I’m a Leo. I never step down from a challenge; holding a position of leadership is always something I am interested in. I said yes, obviously. It was an experience I would never forget, and I was ready to give everything I could to this paper.
The year of 2017 was one of the most challenging and fulfilling years of my life. I got to come home every night at 6pm and stay until one or two, only to see what I created on the stands all around campus the next morning.
I would not have had the success I have had in college if it were not for the Daily. This place taught me about resilience, standing up for what you believe in, and to look at the world with an open, optimistic eye.
To the people that made the Daily a home, thank you.
Maya, I met you freshman year and was always slightly intimidated by you. You have cultivated a community of love, support and kindness this year, and that is something I will always admire and remember. Thank you for making my cat ears famous, I was never able to rock them as well as you did.
Tess, we started this together and we have ended it together, sort of. Thank you for always coming to the newsroom and giving me a little piece of home. From high school newspaper to today, I seriously could not have done it without you. I cannot wait to see where life takes you, you are going to absolutely crush it wherever you end up.
Max, I didn’t know that I would find such an incredible friend in you. Your passion for writing inspires me and your commitment to this paper is hard to come by. I wish I would have followed a similar path; it would have been unreal to be in the same ME class as you. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. I know it is going to be epic.
To Jake Lourim, not sure if you will see this, but here goes. You probably don’t know who I am. The first time I walked in the daily I thought you were a real-life adult. I asked Anjali if you wore a shirt and tie every night to production, and she said yes. I never understood why, until now. Your commitment and excitement that you brought every night to the newsroom was impressive. It was reassuring to see someone in the newsroom every night, who never wanted to be anywhere else.
To Jack, Roseanne and Casey, thank you for keeping our beloved section in-tact and nourishing it year after year. I was so glad to have you guys and I am so proud of the work you each have done to make the design section incredible.
This paper is so much more powerful than meets the eye. I would not be the person I am today without the Daily. I know it is cliché but I mean it. I have never worked harder for something in my life, and I have never had more fulfilling conversations than those had in the newsroom.
Every Thursday night, I envied my friends who were going to parties. Feeling like I was missing out on the quintessential college experience. It took me some time, but a few months into my managing editor term, I realized that the Daily is exactly the place to experience the quintessential college experience.
Nowhere else on campus can you find someone from nearly every major and college in the same room. You can’t find a more passionate group of people that have one common goal: to create a paper that compels students to be their best, stay informed and challenge the norm.
The Daily has and always will be a part of me. It was the first place in college where I felt I truly belonged, no organization or publication will ever be the same. Thank you to those who made this experience everything I hoped for and so much more.
ALEXANDRIA POMPEII – Senior Sports Photo Editor
Oct. 20, 2012 — My family sits at a restaurant, eyes glued to the television screen above them. It was the annual Michigan vs. Michigan State football game. As the game clock ticked down the Michigan fans erupted in celebration. Michigan had ended Michigan State’s four year winning streak, with a victory at home. As the team rushed to the student section to celebrate all I could help but notice was the group of photographers mixed with this crowd. Each one hoisting their cameras to capture the team’s emotion. It was then that I told myself, one day I would be one of those photographers on the sidelines capturing every aspect of the game and the emotion that comes with sport. Had I ever touched a DSLR camera in my life? No, but somehow I knew this was what I wanted to do.
Fast forward to 2017, I’m a sophomore at the University of Michigan. It was Festifall as I walked through the Diag with my camera in hand. Someone stops me and asks if I was a photographer. When I replied, the individual listed a number of potential opportunities that the group had photographers attend: special lectures, concerts and sports to name a few. As I started to walk away I was handed a Festifall-themed booklet, which in bold letters read “The Michigan Daily.”
From awkwardly standing in the back of quiet SACUA meeting to photographing speakers at the Stamps Lecture Series, I was fortunate to be exposed to a wide variety of events. From sitting under the hoop at Crisler, standing in the rafters of Little Caesars Arena and kneeling on the sideline at the Big House to photograph my first football game on my 21st birthday, my time at the Daily was unforgettable. Each time I get to photograph a sport I would wonder: How was this happening?
I never expected myself to become so attached to 420 Maynard, but oh how I was wrong. Winter semester 2019, I became the Senior Sports Photo Editor, which ultimately changed my life. The Michigan Daily has taken over my life in the best way possible. My room is filled with stacks of newspaper with my photos, Sports Monday’s line the walls, my everyday apparel most likely has one piece of Michigan Daily gear. I honestly couldn’t imagine my college experience without the Daily.
Nov. 16, 2019 — It’s the annual Michigan vs. Michigan State game. I’m not watching the game on TV, this year I was going, not as a fan, but as a photographer. With my 300mm around my neck and my 70-200mm in hand I walk through the tunnel at the Big House. The words, “The Team, The Team, The Team,” pass overhead as my heart rapidly starts beating. I exit the tunnel to over 100,000 people getting pumped up for the game. I have to almost pinch myself because seven years ago I had this wild goal of standing exactly where I was that day with a camera in hand. Once again as the game clock ticked down the players rushed the field grabbing the Paul Bunyan Trophy and running it over to the student section. A few steps away in a sea of photographers and players, I was able to capture the celebration shots I once dreamed of. I get goosebumps every time because The Michigan Daily allowed me to accomplish a dream.
To Emma, Amelia, Evan, Katelyn: It all had to start somewhere. Thank you for taking a chance on me and hiring me to photostaff. Evan, thank you for teaching me the ins and outs of being SSPE. Katelyn, although I was only on staff with you for a short time, thank you for always being the most welcoming and caring person on staff.
To Alexis: Wow it’s been a journey! I first remember meeting you when you took over as MPE with Katelyn. When you were running again for MPE in 2019, I mentioned being interested in SSPE and you sent me to shadow Evan. Being very quiet and not having done sports, or really knowing many people on staff, you believed in me. I cannot thank you enough for giving me this opportunity, it’s been a dream! From Sunday productions, to special editions you made me feel at home in the newsroom. There was one thing you said that will always be with me. When we were in the press room at Penn State a security guard stated, “You’re still here? You poor girls.” At the time it was around 1:00 am and you replied, “Well, we love what we do.”
To Alec: From working as editors over the summer, to flying across the country to photograph my first football game with you, it’s been an adventure. Thank you for always being someone I could have hours of conversation with and someone I could count on.
To Natalie: I remember the day you asked me how to join the Daily and look where we are now. The day we became senior editors will always be in my memory as we ran down East Liberty at 1 a.m.
To Tien: We have only known each other for a short amount of time, but each time we were on assignment together it was as if I had known you for years. When I told you about a crazy new idea to try you were in full support, such as getting me access to stand on the grid during the Ohio State game. Thank you for being so welcoming to the realm of sports, even though I didn’t have much experience.
To Sports: Ethan and Max, thank you for listening when we nagged about updating sports crops. To every writer, it was a pleasure to photograph each event. Summer editors the SSC Napoli vs. FC Barcelona game will forever be one of the most insane things I’ve done while on staff. To the Hockey beat, my first big sports event was covering the craziness that was vs. Penn State at Madison Square Garden, so there will always be a special place for you all in my memory of the Daily.
To my family: I can’t really put into words what your support has meant while I was on The Michigan Daily photo staff, but I guess I’ll try. Game after game I photographed you made it a habit to attend. Sometimes I think you paid more attention to me taking photos, then to the actual game unfolding in front of you. Mom I’ll always appreciate the texts asking “Still at paper?” Although I told you not to, you always waited to make sure I got home each night. Who would have thought I would be where I am today? Well, I guess you all did.
BECKY PORTMAN – Daily Humor Columnist
I applied to write for Daily Arts on a whim after I was unjustly rejected from a certain campus satirical news outlet. For my application I wrote about singing along to the “La La Land” soundtrack in the Markley showers and prepared myself for yet another rejection with a heaping plate of MoJo cookies. When I got an acceptance email from Danny Hensel I nearly lost it. Freshman Becky needed a win and she got it. I may have not gotten into Yale or The Every Three Weekly but this was sure as hell going to be my Rory Gilmore moment. Spoiler alert: it was.
From a lowly film beat writer to Senior Arts Editor to the Daily’s resident Humor Columnist, I have worn many hats in my three years at this paper. But my favorite hat is the red beret I bought after listening to Carly Rae Jepsen all night at production and wondering if Nicholas Cage was cool in an ironic way or weird in a non-ironic way.
If it were not for the Daily, I would not be studying Film (I didn’t even know SAC (rip) was a thing before I started writing film reviews). If it were not for the Daily, I would not be doing improv (I heard about Midnight Book Club from former TV writer Emily Bice and auditioned alongside former TV Senior Editor Nabeel Chollompat). If it were not for the Daily, I would not have met my best friend (this one is for you Danielle Yacobson). Honestly, if it were not for the Daily, I would not be who I am today. My roommate once said to me: “I don’t remember who you were before you joined the Daily.” To tell you the truth, I don’t really remember either. I think I was a terrified, perpetually neurotic college freshman with a crippling fear of rejection. But look at me now, now I’m a slightly less terrified, perpetually neurotic college senior with a crippling fear of rejection and a column. This paper shaped me from an uninteresting pile of freshman anxiety to a pop culture comedy queen. And for that, I and the rest of the world, thank you.
ELI RALLO – Daily Arts Writer
When I came to the University of Michigan in September 2016, one of my goals was to become a staff member on the Michigan Daily. The Daily’s existence helped motivate my choice to attend the University. That being said, it took me a full semester to submit my application. Why I didn’t join right away I can’t answer myself. Many don’t know this story, but instead, I rushed a sorority –– allowing shallow, vapid “sorority” stuff to consume my calendar and my time, pushing my application to The Michigan Daily to the backburner until late November. I remember the morning I woke up in my east quad dorm room and realized I didn’t know who I was anymore. Maybe that’s dramatic, but in joining greek life I’d managed to dismiss other opportunities. This I take full responsibility for. The first thing I did that morning, in a haze of anxiety and sadness, worried I was wasting my collegiate experience on parties, was apply to the Daily arts section. It was November 28th, 2016. The following week, three years ago this time, I walked up to 420 Maynard Street for the first time and changed my life.
I would be disaffiliated from said sorority the following year. The Michigan Daily quickly became my priority –– every moment of extra time I have is spent in the newsroom or in writing a piece for the Daily –– so much so that I wonder what I’ll do next year without this outlet for creativity and reporting.
In my three years writing for the Daily, I have witnessed greatness. In reporting, in writing, in friendship and in leadership. The students who have inhabited the four walls in the Student Publications Building –– ravenously writing and editing –– are tremendous journalists and human beings. This newspaper is a tradition. It is a homebase. It is a gift. It is a necessity. It has afforded me the opportunity to interview and report on some of my heroes (Pasek and Paul, Jane Fonda), it has given me the voice and the confidence to share my story, it has taught me vulnerability and professionalism. It has given me the hope and the knowledge that print is not dead. It has given me my food column and opened my horizons to food and travel journalism. It has consistently provided me with a challenge and a constant. I will never have the words to thank the Michigan Daily, and the people who are a part of it, for everything they have done for this newspaper and for me.
To Andrea Perez and Matt Harmon and Shannon Orrs and Danyel Tharakan –– thank you for believing in me enough to bring me on The Statement magazine team, thank you for providing me space to share my story (more than once), thank you for publishing articles about all my ex-boyfriends, thank you for being you.
To Arya Naidu, Asif Becher, Tess Garcia, Izzy Hasslund and Trina Pal –– thank you for inspiring me and my writing. Thank you for being the best Daily Arts team anyone could ever ask for. Thank you for always reminding me if I’m over word count and giving me brand new books to review.
To Maya Goldman and Finn Storer –– thank you for all your tireless work, for your commitment to excellence and to your incredibly positive attitudes. None of this would’ve been possible and as flawless without you.
To anyone who has ever read any of my writing for the Daily –– even if you’ve left angry anti-New York pizza comments, I love you so very much, thank you.
I will miss the hours sat at the Statement desk, waiting for articles to return to us on production, fueled by bagels and various forms of sugar and caffeine. I will miss the heat in my neck as I rush to make a deadline coming right from an interview. I will miss Sunday arts meetings and the silly icebreakers. I will miss the hundreds of google documents labeled “food column” and the thousands of times I was told I went over my word count.I will miss reading my friends’ and peers’ work and my eyes filling with tears, my heart with pride for the level of talent that rests on this paper. I will miss seeing my name in print, my byline blinking back at me on the Michigan Daily website. I hope my time at the Daily is not the end of bylines and deadlines; instead, I hope it’s only the beginning.
ALEXIS RANKIN – Managing Photo Editor
I can’t believe it’s finally my turn to say goodbye. As a freshman standing outside the Daily on the phone with my grandma, panicking because I was locked out of the newsroom and didn’t know the door code, I never could have imagined where I would be now. It’s been a privilege to work with such smart, talented people and I’m honored to be a part of the legacy of outstanding student journalism at the Daily.
Amanda and Grant, I might be the last person who can say this, but thank you so much for giving me my start on photo and at the Daily. I’ve come a long way since then, and I’m so grateful to you both.
To everyone on photostaff, past, present, future, you all inspire me every single day. I’m constantly amazed by your creativity, talent, commitment and drive and working with you all has been my favorite part of the Daily. Even when my second-year-ME fatigue started to set in, being a leader, mentor and team member of photo was still the most important and fulfilling part of the Daily. From photography to leadership, you all taught me so much. Thank you for putting up with me for two years.
Allison and Annie, I’m so excited to see what the two of you do as the 2020 Managing Photo Editors. I can’t think of two more creative, talented, smart, powerful women to lead the section into the next decade and to continue the photo legacy of strong female leadership. It’s been an amazing experience working with you over the years and I’ve loved seeing you both learn and excel as a part of this staff. Your dedication to this paper, to the section and to your work is going to take you incredibly far and I can’t wait to see what you do together. You remind me so much of me and Katelyn, and it makes me so happy to think that you two will have as much fun working together as we did. Remember to take care of yourselves and each other and know that even when you make mistakes, because you definitely will, you will learn from them and become better leaders, photographers, and people as a result. I’ll always be here if you need anything. Congrats.
Alexa, Emma and Amelia. You three are the most strong, smart, talented, independent women I’ve ever known and I am so incredibly lucky to have you in my life. Amelia and Emma, thanks for making me feel like an integral part of photo staff even as a freshman. You two inspired me to take risks and challenge myself and I’m so thankful that photo brought us together. Katelyn and I had big shoes to fill, but we learned from the best and I’m so glad you were still there with us. Alexa, I’m so proud of everything you’ve accomplished, from EIC of the Daily to WSJ and Automotive News. You are an absolute star. I’m grateful to call you a friend and I’m so thankful for everything you taught me about leadership, friendship and confidence.
Grace, Tien and Alice, you three became my closest friends and I’ll be forever thankful that you let me infiltrate your summer staff squad. I wouldn’t have made it through this year without you guys and I’m so excited for all the fun adventures we’ll have next semester. Bowkunga forever. Grace, thanks for always being there to talk me down or hype me up. I’m so lucky to have you in my life and I’m so proud of everything you’ve accomplished. Your friendship means the world to me. (Did reading this make you cringe as much I did writing it?) Alice, thanks for always being the voice of reason in all our Bowkunga shenanigans, even if you don’t mean to be. You’re an amazing friend and person and I’m so impressed by everything you do. Tien, thanks for always making the Daily a fun place to be; this place wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you for making me feel welcome at sports and always being there for me no matter what.
Katelyn — my co-MPE, my best friend, my Rick’s Queen — thank you for being you. You are the most talented, kind person I’ve ever met and you inspire me every day to be a better photographer and person. Most people don’t go into this job as co’s and leave as best friends, but we did and I’ll forever be grateful to the Daily for bringing us together. Thanks for always being on the same page as me, for supporting me in everything (even from Texas), keeping me sane in this crazy year and helping me grow as a photographer. I love you.
Mom and Nam, thanks for everything. Your support for my photography and the craziness that I committed to at the Daily was crucial to my success here. Thanks for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and go for things I didn’t think I was capable of doing, like shooting football and running for MPE. I love you both.
MICHAEL RUSSO – Editboard Member
I stumbled into The Michigan Daily as a dazed freshman on a rainy Wednesday night. We discussed a ban on plastic bags in Michigan and I was hooked. For four years, the Daily has represented for me the best of what reading and writing can achieve outside the classroom. We’ve discussed the travel ban and DACA, #MeToo and Brett Kavanaugh, PFAS and climate change and countless other issues. The conversations the Daily has fostered have enriched my college experience dozens of times over.
To my friends on Opinion, I have cherished the opportunity to get to know each of you. Editorial Board meetings have held a special place in my heart, and I have always been thankful for the space to debate, exchange hot takes, and most importantly, learn from and with you.
I am grateful to the Editorial Page Editors who have helped me refine and rewrite over the last four years, especially Rebecca and Anna, Anu and Ashley, and Maggie and Joel. Thank you for tolerating my instinctive Oxford commas and em dashes, and for your wisdom that has undoubtedly improved my writing. To Emily and Miles, your predecessors have left large shoes to fill, but I am certain you are equal to the task. I look forward to seeing the great things you will do as EPEs.
To be a senior at the University of Michigan and at The Michigan Daily has been bittersweet and sentimental. But above and beyond all of the nostalgia that comes with closing this chapter of my life, I feel a profound sense of gratitude: for friendships, for thought-provoking dialogue and for a sense that what we do — writing — matters. So much happens in the world that is outside of our control; it has been a gift to come to the Daily, put words on a page and leave knowing that our opinions help frame the conversations of tomorrow. I leave here with no shortage of fond memories, and wish the very same for the next generation of journalists that will grow, and will be grown by, the Daily.
P.S. The Constitution permits a former President to be indicted and tried for the same offenses for which he was impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate…go Blue, vote blue.
CARLY RYAN – Managing Michigan in Color Editor
There’s a unique vulnerability in attaching your name to words, having them printed 7,500 times and distributed to every building on campus. Even though I’ve done this nearly 100 times in my four years here, as I sit writing for the Daily one last time, I can tell you it never gets easier.
But I sure have grown up since Emma Kinery assigned me my first story and set my world in motion. I’ve come a long way since being that shamelessly try-hard freshman: running down to the South Quad lobby to pick up a paper each morning, taking three shaky breaths before calling a source, wanting so badly to do right by the stories I had been awarded the privilege to tell.
In time, I became one of the editors who basically lived in this building, who finally found out what the heck MDesk is, who was pulled into the time warp that is making a newspaper, emerging at 12 a.m. with the distinctly shrill headache that can only be produced by the sports section’s playlist, and who complained about my job, but only because that was easier than explaining how I could possibly enjoy spending 20+ hours in the newsroom every week.
But it hasn’t been without sacrifice. By pouring myself into 420 Maynard, I neglected friendships, requested (and was denied) countless essay extensions, strained relationships and ceded many good night’s sleeps. I’ve stuttered through innumerable interviews, laid awake thinking about typos, cried in every room in this building and somehow attracted the attention of Steve from Utah, who for a time left angry comments on each one of my articles.
But here, I found purpose and community. The work I’ve done at the Daily has felt more meaningful and productive than any other assignment I can think of. This place really is a means to make great change. If you have a story to tell, the Daily will listen.
I have no idea what a college experience looks like without this place, but I take comfort in knowing the Daily is evergreen. More women of color will take up space above the fold. More articles will hold the powerful accountable and give a platform to the overlooked. More freshmen will trudge up the steps of the newsroom bewildered, ambitious and unaware they’re about to take on the most rewarding experience of their lives. I can’t wait to read what they have to say.
To those that made this place a home, Boo Boo, Kaela, Sophie, Matt, Maya and Riyah, you guys are some of the most formative friends I’ve ever had. I still can’t believe we did that. It was so crazy and so special. We made a really good team.
To my dumplings, you’re truly the cool older girlfriends I always wanted to make in college. I don’t know who I would be if you hadn’t taken me under your fashionable, graceful, uncommonly literate wings, and I don’t ever want to find out.
To Na’kia, you’re something so special and everyone who meets you can feel it. I really can’t imagine a better leader or a more loyal friend. It’s me and you forever.
To the MiC staff, the work you did this year mattered. I can’t thank you enough for your diligence, your words and your hugs.
To all of this year’s managing editors, I’m not sure in what other context a ragtag bunch of individuals like us would be found in the same room, but somehow, it really worked. Thank you for being so fearless and fun in taking on what was probably the craziest learning curve we’ve ever encountered. The result was extraordinary.
To Finny and Maxy, as our very own Joel once said, “The Michigan Daily really has some of the best white men out there.” You guys are the best of the best. To Joel, there’s no one I’d rather be canceled with. Thank you for always knowing just how to make me laugh. Tuesday nights were always the best part of my week. To Maggie, for always being 100 percent true to yourself –– no matter how uncomfortable it made people. You light up every room you walk into. Just don’t go wearing too many skirts, especially in front of [redacted]. To Maya, everytime I think about our friendship for too long I cry, so I’ll just say thank you for growing up with me. I’ll be here from 5th Bush to beyond.
420 Maynard, there’s nothing like you. Thank you, again and again.
AMARA SHAIKH – Senior News Editor
As I sit here trying to think of what to say, I’m realizing just how difficult it can be to tell your story. With that said, I am so grateful to, and so humbled by, every single person who trusted me to help share theirs. Your words will always stay with me.
My first semester at the Daily, I remember being nervous about even pulling up a chair to the news desk when I’d come in for a read. I was so afraid of making mistakes, of rubbing anyone the wrong way, and of making more noise than I needed to.
But so much has changed since then. I leave the Daily now as a more confident person. A person, who since that first semester, has made, and will continue to make mistakes, but won’t ever stop trying to grow from them. A person who has learned that in telling the stories that really matter, not everyone will be happy, and that’s okay. A person who no longer is nervous about pulling up a chair, but instead, confidently makes room for herself and others, and truly believes she belongs.
The last three years were not always easy. There is still work that needs to be done and conversations that need to continue to happen. But I won’t ever stop believing in the Daily’s power to do good because I have seen, firsthand, what we are capable of.
I’m so grateful to everyone who encouraged me during my time at the Daily. Whether it was walking with me to meetings, listening to me and offering advice, or supporting me throughout my time here; it all meant so much to me.
To my fellow SNEds: You guys are amazing. From surviving countless computer issues to staying up late waiting on stories, you were there through all the ups and the downs. Each of you have made my time at The Daily so special — and I am grateful to you all. Sayali and Leah, I’m so excited to see all you accomplish next year as MNEs. You’re going to make us all so proud.
To Grace and Lizzy: I don’t know what I would’ve done without you this year. From your advice to your patience to your dedication to making the news section the best it could be; it has been such a pleasure working with you both. Lizzy, I can’t wait to see where you take The Daily over the next year. You are so talented, so strong and so capable and I am really excited for you.
To Maya: As my former SNEd and now EIC, working with you has been such an honor. You are such a bright light in the Daily and you have this incredible ability to make everyone you engage with feel welcome and at ease. Thank you for everything that you have done for The Daily, we are so lucky to have had a leader like you.
To the incoming news editors and staff: The Daily really is a place like no other. Enjoy and learn from every single moment you have here.
MOLLY SHEA – Daily Sports Writer
The first time I ever stayed late at the Daily was the final night of production last fall.
I hesitated going because I’d written just four stories. I didn’t really know anybody, and nobody knew me. But I went anyway. That night is one of my favorite memories, it’s how my Daily story started. And now it’s time for goodbye.
But how do I say goodbye to something so special?
The reason it’s so special comes down to one thing, and it’s not the fact the ceiling’s soft. It’s the people.
So, Connor, thanks for showing me the ropes. I can’t believe I didn’t bring a computer or something to take notes. Thanks for taking me seriously, and for keeping me and Sears alive while rafting.
Tien, you’re the first friend I ever made at the Daily. You made me feel like I belonged in the newsroom. You’re always hyping me up and you believe in me and my writing even when I don’t. I could use all 800 words to say goodbye to you. It’s impossible to think of the Daily and not think of you and what a critical part of my experience you’ve been. I know I give you a hard time, but it’s only because you’re so important to me.
Bailey, I’m so glad we’ve had the chance to get to know each other because of hockey. I wouldn’t want anyone else as my justice wagon copilot.
Max, you edited my first story. You were so encouraging, and you’ve been that way for every story since. It’s a big part of the reason I’m the writer I am today.
Kopnick, I think you’re one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I’m envious of the way you’re so unabashedly yourself.
Ben, I’d heard so much about you. I didn’t think you’d live up to the hype, but you have. Thanks for the pep talks, they’ve meant a lot.
Rohan Kumar, you’re a legend. I can’t believe you saw JS in the bathroom at Raising Canes! Jorge, congratulations you have all your letters. Going to Pittsburgh with you was so much fun, I’ll always remember you saving me from falling out of the raft.
Anna, you’re one of the most ambitious people I’ve ever met. Coincidentally, you’re also one of the sweetest. You’ve been such a great role model for me in the section.
Laney, I love you. Thanks for always being there for me and teaching me that spiral mac and cheese is superior.
Paige, I’m so glad we bonded over cookies and you unknowingly reading a 1D fanfic. I love that you love TSwift, and it meant so much to me when you came for my 22nd.
Alexis, what’re you dreaming about? I love that the first time we talked my head was in a trash can. Here’s to Thursdays at Rick’s and shooting hockey games.
Sears, every time I start writing this I start crying. You’ve been incredible as MSE, but an even better friend.
Theo, I’ll never forget the Super 8 in West Virginia or the 4 a.m. trip to McDonald’s when you wanted a Big Mac. You’re going to kill it as MSE. Aria, I’ll always remember the time you flexed on me by proving you know every word to “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Keep writing fire content.
Lane, you bring positivity and energy to the newsroom. Please don’t ever change. You’re one of the biggest reasons this section is so welcoming. The haters are wrong, you’re great at euchre. Kent, you’re my shadow buddy. Your stories are incredible. You’re the best euchre partner ever, and you’re the reason I accomplished my dream to be on the jumbotron.
Abby, I’ve watched you grow so much. You’re not only a great writer, but a great person. Please believe in yourself, I know it’s not always the easiest, but you’re too great to doubt yourself. You have so much potential. I can’t wait till you realize it.
Lily, Lily, Drew and Jack, you guys were the best shadows ever. Everything you write is incredible; I’m so glad you’ve stuck around. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.
To all the newcomers: Nick S., Brandon, Steel, Jared, Spencer, Arthur, Abbie, Rose and anyone I forgot. I can’t wait for you to discover how special this place really is.
Lindsey, thank you so much for waking up to let me inside that night. You’ve been a great roommate. Apartment 6 forever!
Hannah Lane, you’re the greatest. Literally don’t know where I’d be without you.
Mom and Dad, thanks for always reading my stories and supporting me. I love you.
All my life, I’ve wanted to feel like I belonged, like I fit in. And that’s how I feel every time I step into 420 Maynard.
The Daily brought me a group of friends like the ones you see on TV. You know, the kind where your friends are down for anything, always there for you, and every time you hang out it’s the best time ever.
So to everyone who’s made my Daily experience so special, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
KATHERINA SOURINE – Daily News Reporter
My first article for the Daily was an event-coverage, a lecture from the former President of the Maldives (Mohamed Nasheed; served 2008-2012). I brought a pizza back to the Daily, courtesy of an event-organizer, excited to share it with the editors, and I still remember the awkward minute of silence after I announced loudly that I brought Food Donated To The Daily From Event Organizers. It took another 30 seconds before everyone decided it was okay to eat the pizza (except Alexa, who stayed vigilant) Needless to say, I’m the type of learner who has to make a mistake before I actually retain information. But thank you Lizzy and Grace for providing testament to my character growth by trusting me as recruitment chair to train the young minds of tomorrow’s Michigan Daily.
I don’t remember much about that specific event, but I remember how it made me feel. It’s the same feeling I get with almost every article I write: there’s something so exhilarating to hear about someone else’s life, understand their story and what they care about, what they want to stand up for. That feeling is the one consistency at the Daily from freshman to senior year, while everything else changed around me. I think along the way, I met a lot of students who taught me how to listen better, how to connect the dots, how to ask the right questions. But the core essence of what we’re doing is universal to writers at all stages, both washed-up seniors (like myself) and incoming writers. This shared cause is a beautiful thing and I’ll always be so thankful I’ve been able to be a part of it.
Thank you so much to Alexa (who responded patiently to all of my panicked freshman texts), Sophie and Riyah who made me care about MNE elections for the first time, all my lovely co beat reporters through the YEARS, Amara because I distinctly remember you being ‘chill’ about doing the Daily during our sophomore year vibe-check and now you’re finishing as SNED, Maya and Kaela because we manifested, Abby Takas because you’re such a good driver, Matt because you roasted me, Andrew because community affairs fall 2018 was the peak of my life (causation?), Carly because of Gurgi!!! Especially thank you to my amazing fellow gov/city beat reporters (Julia, Ben, Madeline) and Leah for keeping us on track during this TUMULTUOUS semester. Oh also Dan Levin at the NYT because without him I’d never be famous (but I’ll also still be unemployed so if you are reading this please pull some strings)
I’d love to list off the billions of other friends I have but I SIMPLY don’t have the time. Everyone at the Daily is extremely special, and I’m honored to have shared a newsroom with you all and am always amazed at the strong, intelligent students that populate our newsroom. Please, keep doing the work that you do and passing down that torch. Because to someone out there, sharing a story means the world.
Oh also shout out to my mom, whose non-native English still catches the most meticulous errors in a way that can only be explained by the power of motherly love.
TIMOTHY SPURLIN — Columnist
When I first joined the Daily, I was terribly nervous that I wouldn’t be good enough (whatever that means) for such a renowned newspaper – it is truly impossible to picture the traditions of the University of Michigan without The Michigan Daily. Perhaps that is why, while I am sincerely sad to have to say goodbye, I am incredibly thankful to have been a small part of it, even if only for a fleeting moment. The people who fill this newsroom are among the smartest, kindest and most encouraging people at Michigan, and I want to thank everyone for welcoming me into the family. The reason the Daily is such high quality is because the people inside it are. And despite the fact I will have only been here for a few semesters, I can’t seem to picture what my college experience would be without it.
To Erin: You’re one of the nicest, funniest and warmest people at the Daily, one hell of a writer and most importantly a dear friend. I am incredibly proud you are going to be Managing Editor next year – you deserve it! I had the wonderful privilege of working alongside you as your senior editor last summer, and every second was a blast. You taught me so much, and I wish you the best as you continue along (without me there to distract you with wanting the latest tea or playing cards with three incomplete decks.)
To Zack: Hey, Blumberg. This is my official documentation that I’m always super jealous of your writing. You may be younger than me, but your ability to synthesize a brilliant, nuanced argument about complex international topics is leagues ahead of me. Keep up your great work!
To Joel: The first time I read a column you published and saw your face in the paper, I audibly shouted “That’s my son out there!” I’m happy you started coming to editboard last year, and happier you joined on as a columnist. I love what you write about criminal justice (even if you wrote the same thing as me about capital punishment). Also, I’m really glad we got to know each other well and became friends outside the newsroom!
To Solomon: I wanted to give you a much-deserved shout out after you shouted me out in your last column. As a fellow environmental opinionater, I really envy your ability to craft such compelling arguments. Not to mention all the great work you do on campus and with CAM – the university is better with you on it!
EMILY STILLMAN – Copy Chief
Reece and I have been texting all morning about how we can’t write our senior goodbyes, and it’s true. After all, we’re editors — we don’t write. All I’ll say is that so many versions of myself have walked into the newsroom. I’m proud of the person who will walk out of it today and I have so many people to thank for that.
Silas, I couldn’t be more grateful to have walked into the newsroom in June and find you single-handedly running the Copy Desk. You stepped up as a leader in a time where we really needed one, and I’m grateful to have had such a dedicated, supportive and well-dressed co-chief by my side.
Maya and Finn, it has been an honor to learn from and work with you both. Maya, you led this newsroom with warmth, with positivity and with a fierceness that I admire. Finn, whether you know it or not, I really look up to you, as an editor and as a person. You taught me everything I know about copy, and more importantly you showed me what it looks like to be a strong leader, problem solver and friend.
Lizzy, Grace, Remy, Amara, Rachel, Leah, Sayali, and Alex, Barbara (summer<3), THANK YOU. Thank you for all the late nights, for sharing our candy and whatever Remy baked, for dealing with my impatience, and generally just always (literally) being right by my side throughout all the city council nights. You are all fantastic journalists and people and I feel lucky to have worked with you all.
Lizzy and Erin, I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next year, and I have nothing but faith that you both will be incredible leaders for the paper.
Reece, Dom and Olivia, thank you guys for all the late nights and extensive Google searches. You truly are each such thorough, patient and dedicated editors, and the work you do is so so important.
Thank you to my friends, for your constant support, even when I disappeared for hours at a time, even when you dead bolted the door before I got home, for all the rides home and surprise visits and leftovers you saved for me in the fridge. You guys make me brave and I could never thank you enough for that.
Sadia and Madison, I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next year. You both have so much potential to do great things for Copy and I’m looking forward to watching you continue to grow into confident, beautiful and strong leaders. I know I’m leaving the section in good hands. Grow our community. Be accountable. Remind every editor why they keep coming back, even when the nights are late, or slow, or whatever. Remind them how important our job is, how special and how rare it is that we get to opportunity to play a part in something so much bigger than ourselves. Also, keep the candy bin stocked and make me proud.
The Copy Desk is a special place to me, to the Daily and to the wellness of journalism as a whole. Beyond that, The Daily is a special place to all of us. I feel so lucky that this newsroom, for better and worse, was the house that raised me: within its walls I’ve navigated through challenging conversations and hilarious ones, tons of cups of coffee and a frightening amount of starbursts. I’ve always been on the quiet side, I’ve always been a little reserved. But whether you all realized it or not, the talented and dedicated staff of this paper have given me the opportunity to express myself in ways I hadn’t known were possible. I kept on coming back, even when I didn’t want to, and especially when I didn’t want to. It was only here I could have gathered the courage to write about sex and about illness and about healing. It was only here I could have learned so many things about the world and about myself, as a leader, as an editor, and admittedly, as a writer.
I’ve always said you get out what you put into the Daily, and leaving today, this sentiment has never felt more true. It has been been an honor and a privilege to help produce quality, accurate and meaningful content every day, and I’m so optimistic about the future of the Michigan Daily. I don’t know if I’ll ever find the right words to explain how I feel, but for now, thank you, thank you, thank you, will suffice.
FINN STORER — Managing Editor
There are few things you can do that produce tangible results night-in and night-out, but that’s what I’ve had the honor of doing with The Michigan Daily since my freshman year. Originally wanting to join Opinion, my friend So Jung pushed me to the Copy desk. Coming out of Copy elections my freshman year she asked if I could see myself being elected a managing editor and I shook my head. A year later, there I was. A year after that, Maya and I talked about me being Managing Editor at Birthday Party. And finally, now I finish as 2019 Managing Editor.
But we don’t come here for the titles. We come to the Daily for the shared goal of telling the truth. Whether it’s the truth that Michigan football’s expectations are too high, or the truth that the latest Kanye album is irrelevant, or the truth that the University tried to get rid of free STI testing. We gain experiences, make lifelong friends, share an incredible space, talk to students across campus, and do countless other things. I hope we’ve left the Daily a better place than we’ve found it. I love this institution — this newspaper. Keep welcoming new people into this experience, keep making it inclusive for everyone in our community and keep telling the truth.
Maya: Thank you. We’ve really come full circle from walking together to our first mass meeting to finishing as Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of the Daily. I’ve admired you from day one at this paper, and all you are and have accomplished will carry you a long way. Being in this position has given me so much and I couldn’t have imagined doing it with any other Editor-in-Chief. I’m so grateful for you and your friendship.
Lizzy: I can remember seeing you for the first time at The Daily — you know that story. And while we didn’t “meet” each other here, we’ve grown together here and I am incredibly thankful for that. I wouldn’t want to share this experience or have these memories with anyone else. You’ve been there at every turn, and you are going to be an extraordinary Editor-in-Chief. I love you.
2019 Managing Editors: You are an awe-inspiring group of people. The talent, expertise and hard work you displayed this year have been stunning. I’m so proud to have worked with you and call you all my friends. I said this in my goodbye speech, but I am confident that in 20 years I’ll find you all doing remarkable things. Thank goodness we have another semester here together. The Ann Arbor trivia scene won’t know what hit it.
Copy: Copy is social. Copy is kind. I wouldn’t want to start my Daily experience anywhere else. Thank you all for what you do for this paper, we notice it every single day. Keep making us credible.
Sports: You all display some of the best characteristics of the Daily — camaraderie and dedication. It’s been a privilege to edit all of you. I’ve had some great euchre triumphs with you all and some disastrous failures, but there’s no better feeling than sticking the 5s on the forehead. Beat State News again and be the best goddamn sports section in the country again.
Opinion: Editing Opinion this year has been a time, but reading them has always been a pleasure. I’m so thankful to have worked with all of you. I’ve always admired the ability to express a strong opinion, especially so publicly. Thanks for letting me sit in during Editboard and either say a lot or say nothing at all. Debate and argue, but have fun doing it.
2018 Managing Editors: You all helped lay the groundwork for us in 2019. I really appreciate the time and consideration you all took in making The Daily feel like home.
To family and friends: Thank you for your constant support. I wish you could’ve seen more of this experience, but just believe me when I say it’s been one of the best of my life. Love you all.
To everyone at the Daily: You are special people and deserve the world. You will all go on to great accomplishments but most of all, you will all be bright spots in the lives of others. Keep in touch.
… but, yeah, great place …
VERITY STURM – Managing Arts Editor
The summer before this past summer, Natalie Zak showed up at my porch with a six pack and asked if her nerd friend could join us. My buzz outweighed my social anxiety, so I said sure. Ten minutes later, Dayton Hare arrived. As soon as he sat down, Natalie sprinted inside, vomited, and Lyfted home, leaving Dayton and I to stare at each other in stupor. It was awkward, so we drank everything between us and talked books for three hours. Somewhere in the final hour, Dayton told me that the paper he worked for just started up a fledging books section, I seemed to know a thing or two, would I think about joining?
A few months later I’m at Jo Fraley’s for my “first” Daily party. I was somewhere between telling everyone my secrets and arguing about canine (versus feline) poetic tropes when I imprinted on Cassandra Mansuetti. We were milling about the porch and, by happenstance, made eye contact through the fog of capriccio and irony. I felt like I saw god. It was Satanic. “Who is that?” I demanded from no one in particular before bending over the railing and blacking out.
That semester I was in an English class with Arya Naidu, again. We had done that tango the previous fall, but she thought my hair was weird and I thought she was a prude, so nothing stuck. This time we were coworkers and I had a new haircut, she was forced to make small talk with me. One Friday she met our managing editor at Depresso Royale and for whatever reason I was there, inhaling a falafel pita. They were trying to figure out who could manage the section with her. I surfaced from my falafel and they were both looking at me. “I could probably do it,” I said, “but only as a last resort.”
I had staunchly avoided the Daily my first two years here, I was scared of writing and doggedly committed to a dumb notion of individuality. But I think it was always coming for me. And as this singular year has gone by, I’ve come to see it less as a yielding and more of an active engagement. Writing and belonging, in fact, made me feel more like myself. Being in a place where everybody does and believes in that work, motivated by neither money nor credit, is downright magical. I am deeply grateful for my ridiculous 18 months at this place.
And to everyone I fell in love with here. Asif, you’re the best editor and most violent friend I’ve ever had. Emily, you are a purveyor of chaos. Maya, thank you for being the divine feminine. Emma Chang, I want to be you when I grow up. Julianna, you’re tough as hell. John Decker is a thrilling investigation of the modern world. Dylan Yono, I’m so excited for you. Where is Noah Tappen? Dom, Matt and Shima: thanks for making me tough. Jo, Natalie and Shima: thanks for making me soft. Dayton, I’m glad we did book club. Jack Brandon, the love you gave me still defines me.
Cassie, I know you hate me, but you’ve been rocking my world since we made eye contact. Thank you for believing in me, and for knowing what a cupola is. Natalie, I rolled my eyes at the time, but everything you said was true. Post-magic. Thank you for loving me. Arya, we’ve been through caverns and oceans and literal shit. But I would do it again. In a heartbeat. Tomorrow?
And to the void: keep doing it. Take the piece. Do the interview. Publish your emails. Publish your love. Publish the 3-side. Learn. Review the noodles. Run the marathon. Get the haircut. Peel yourself out of his or her or their or your bed to meet the alum who emailed you, they might buy you lunch or get you a job. Talk to the nerd on your porch. Go to the party. Eat your falafel. Say yes.
DANYEL THARAKAN – Senior Michigan in Color Editor, Senior Statement Photo Editor
My sophomore year, adrift, I joined as many clubs and organizations as I had room for in my schedule. The Daily is the only one I am still a part of. The Daily gave me a community, a platform and helped me grow my passion in ways that I don’t think I would have accomplished alone; for that, I am immensely grateful.
Joining Michigan in Color was one of the best decisions I made in my college career. Being mixed-race and feeling excluded from most spaces on campus, it was exactly the community I had been searching for all of freshman year. In a society that places so many stereotypes, expectations, and burdens on people of color, MiC is a space where I could exist as both a Brown person and an individual, a place where I wasn’t immediately analyzed and categorized based on my race. It gave me a voice to express myself and my identity, to speak out against the countless injustices and annoyances I experienced on this campus. You all have validated my writing and my creative expression and given me the confidence to speak my mind in ways that I never have before. MiC gave me a community where my voice, identity and experiences were affirmed and celebrated. So, to Carly and Na’kia, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of MiC, and for being so funny and chaotic together as our bold and fearless leaders. To Anurima, thank you for doing photo projects with me, our shoots have helped me grow so much as a photographer and made me feel empowered and confident in my art. And to everyone on MiC, thank you for making this community something truly special.
Being on Photo and working with the Statement team was also an amazing experience that helped me develop into the photographer I am today. I think I’m an inherently lazy person — so despite loving photography, I don’t do it nearly as much as I should when I’m on my own. Being photo editor for Statement meant I was doing some creative photo assignment nearly every week, and I gained so much experience with software that I never would touch otherwise. Having this platform to exhibit my work gave me pride in it that I didn’t have before. I have literally thousands of negatives from over the years stuffed in drawers at home, hidden away from the world because I never thought I was good enough. When my creative photos first started being published in The Daily, and I started getting random texts or Instagram DMs from friends saying “Hey, I saw your photos, they’re super cool!,” it changed everything about photography for me. I realized, wow, I’m actually kind of good at this. And so I’ve kept at it. Without my work with photostaff, I very well may have stopped, and I would’ve lost something I’m passionate about. So, Alexis and Alec, thank you for picking me to be Senior Statement Editor and for giving me this platform. Kate and Liz, thank you for making incredible designs every week that make the photos look even cooler. Andrea, Matt and Shannon, thank you for trusting me with these assignments and validating and complimenting my work, it means more to me than you all know.
Last but most certainly not least, thank you to Maya — literally none of this would be possible without you working so hard every day to make this paper happen and everyone who works here is so grateful for you.
It took me much longer to write this than it should have, mostly because I don’t want to say goodbye. Being part of the Daily made my college experience into what it is, and helped me grow as a writer, a photographer, an artist, and an individual. I’m sad to be leaving, but so thankful to have been a part of this community for the last three years.
CASEY TIN – Managing Online Editor
I’ve been involved in student journalism since the start of my college career, yet I’ve only ever published a written piece twice (this Senior Goodbye being the second time). My ability to write is not something I pride myself on, but the Daily has become such a special place to me.
My journey at the University of Michigan is atypical – I spent my freshman year at an in-state medium-sized school with a small campus. I joined the school newspaper as a design assistant who worked productions twice a week, and the students that I was surrounded by on a regular basis became a community of close friends and mentors that I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for our mutual passions. This ended up carrying over when I came to Michigan. I joined the Daily in fall 2017 as a designer who sought an environment of passionate and bright students that wanted to make a real impact on campus, and that’s exactly what I found at 420 Maynard Street.
I don’t think I can put into words how lucky I am to have stumbled across this newsroom and sticking around with it every semester. From overseeing Daily Design and being able to meet and collaborate with people from different interests, backgrounds, and personalities, the absurdly long nights spent pushing out special editions of papers and chatting with friends, to joining and working with the Web Team and having the opportunity to work on a number of impactful projects. I can’t even capture all of the in-between moments that kept me coming back to the newsroom day after day.
Tim and Simran, thank you for your ambition and drive and taking on the challenge to lead the Web Team. I hope you two will build off of what Hassaan and I set for this year, and I’m beyond excited to see all of the incredible things you guys will accomplish next year.
Roseanne, my better design half. Thank you for being the chaotic good presence in my life that I didn’t know I needed. I couldn’t have asked for a better co-managing design editor, and I’m beyond grateful for our long-lasting friendship. Also, please never change.
Hassaan, thank you for your constant wisdom, support, and friendship. I’m glad you ended up joining the Daily after I pushed you into applying, and I’m grateful that you’ve stuck around for as long as I have. You’re insanely smart and I’m excited to see where you’ll end up in the future, and I know that we’ll stay friends for a long time.
Bob, thank you for everything. Thank you for being an inspirational leader, a great friend and a constant source of support. I wouldn’t have taken on a second managing editor role if it weren’t for your encouragement, and I’ve learned so much from you.
Hess, I don’t think I express my gratitude to you enough. Thank you for allowing the Daily to function, for being a mentor to all of us and for your support. Thank you for believing in me and reminding myself that I shouldn’t underestimate my worth. I’ll find you another temporary worker to replace me, I swear.
To Daily Design, thank you for being my first family at the Daily. Thank you for allowing me to co-lead the section and experiment creatively. Jack, we’ve come so far and I’m really proud of how much you’ve grown as a designer and as MDE. To my Web PMs, thank you for going above and beyond in your roles, and I’m glad that I got to know each of you better. To the Web Team, thank you for all of the shenanigans, and it’s been great to see the evolution of the team. You are all insanely smart and passionate, and it’s been a pleasure working with all of you.
Ashley, Brian, Tien, my hotpot and dim sum squad. Thank you for the great meals, great company, and for allowing me to flesh out my cultural identity within the Daily. Let’s get boba when we’re all in town!
2018 MEs, thanks for the mems. I couldn’t have imagined story meetings and production nights with a more whimsical bunch. Alexis and Katelyn, my photo goddesses – I’m forever grateful for your support and company on the design couch. Alexa, thank you for your appreciation of design and fearless leadership. Riyah, thanks for the pep talks during the 2 a.m. rides home. Jason, thanks for all of the ping pong games and for bringing me into a strange little organization that has become my group therapy circle. I’m really proud of how far we’ve come and love seeing the amazing things that you’re all doing. Long live the GroupMe.
2019 MEs, the weirdness is unparalleled and I’m going to miss it. I definitely didn’t have the opportunity to connect with you all as much as I would’ve liked to, but thank you all for your patience and passion for what you do. Maya, thank you for brightening the newsroom with your radiance and vision for The Daily. Verity and Arya, thank you for kombucha beer and fur coats. You’re all amazing.
It’s been a wild ride, and the Daily has definitely been the highlight of my time at college. I’m leaving this place with no regrets, and look forward to seeing how the Daily will keep growing for years to come.
ASHLEY ZHANG – 2018 Editorial Page Editor
It’s been one year since I last walked out of 420 Maynard, and I still can’t put into words the turbulent mix of emotions in my chest when I looked back at that warm, loud, chaotic newsroom for the last time. My ME year had its fair share of long, frustrating nights where I doubted I’d see my tenure to its end, but on that last night of production, I could’ve continued on forever.
The summer before I started college, I stumbled upon a column in the Harvard Crimson about the Asian American experience, and for the first time, I saw elements of my own life reflected back at me in print. For the first time, I felt seen. That moment of connection is what, in my opinion, makes Opinion so special, our work so important. Recognizing my experiences in the paper made me realize that I had a voice worth listening to — that my views mattered, too.
And so, my first thank you must be to Regan and Claire. Thank you for taking a chance on a late and rambly columnist application from a nervous and confused freshman who knew she liked to write creative fiction but knew very little about newspapers beyond her local paper’s crime and comic sections. Thank you for giving me a voice during a time in my life full of change, a platform to explore who I was and who I was becoming.
That was almost the end of the story. After my first semester as a columnist, I caught a bad case of writer’s block and didn’t submit an application for the winter semester. Anna and RT, I know now you were likely just scrambling to fill the roster for the semester, but when you emailed me on the first day of the new year offering me the opportunity to continue my column, I had never felt so validated in my writing, in my voice. Thank you for all the guidance, otter photos and science memes — you will forever be my EPEs.
And, of course, there’s everyone else who has made my experience at the Daily unforgettable.
To Max: Thank you for tearing apart my column about my beloved Memphis and helping me rewrite what is now one of the articles I’m most proud of. You taught me so much about the power and purpose of editing.
To all our columnists, cartoonists and contributors: Thank you for sharing your sharp, challenging and sometimes deeply personal work with us. Your work has always made me think, laugh and feel.
To Jeremy, Tara, Emily, Ellery, Elena and Ben: Thank you for all your hard work. Senior editors are the heart and soul of the Opinion section, and I’m so grateful for all the dinner runs and karaoke sessions to lighten a long production night. Thank you for teaching this engineer about politics, life in Northern Michigan and Scandanavian Swimmers.
To Joel and Maggie: I am so, so proud of you both and what you’ve accomplished this year. It’s been a privilege to read your hot takes about football (sorry Barstool) and (500) Days of Summer and watch you grow as writers, editors and leaders. Take a big nap after the last paper is out; you deserve it.
To Jenny: Thank you for walking me to the Daily on my first day as a Senior Editor in the middle of a rainstorm. I appreciate our friendship more than you know.
To my parents: Thank you for letting me pursue this passion even though it stressed you out every midnight walk home in the snow. But look, mama, I made it!
To Christina Qiu: You don’t know me, but your New Romantix column inspired this all. You are an incredible talent, and I thank you for making me feel seen.
To Anu: I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you, thank you for pulling me along on this crazy adventure. Your passion for Opinion and this paper inspired me to be better every day. I’m crazy proud of everything we accomplished, from CSG elections to the midterms and everything in between. Stay chill, girl.
On that last day of production 2018, I went home and wrote furiously in my journal, attempting to capture that bittersweet feeling of leaving a job that’s much more than a job, a newsroom that feels more like a home. Here’s a snippet:
“December 10th, 2018: I have given so much time, so much sleep, so many missed obligations to the Daily, but in turn, I’ve gotten to be a part of something magical.”
Thank you, Daily, for the magic.
SHIRA ZISHOLTZ – Daily Sports Writer
I’m really horrible at saying goodbye. Always have been.
Through 21 years of being on this Earth, you’d think I’d get better at it. You’d be wrong.
I thought I wouldn’t have to start saying goodbye until closer to graduation. However, much to my dismay, the Daily goes by calendar years, not academic years. So, here I am, in December, starting what will be an emotional, horribly done plethora of goodbyes.
I tell a unique story in my time at the Daily, one that only lasts the span of about a year. I had learned a lot about and took part in sports journalism in high school, but then came to Michigan and realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do as a career. However, junior year, I realized how much I missed it and knew that there was a paper on campus I could join and write for in my free time. So, I dove head-first into a vaguely familiar situation in an entirely new place into a section full of people I didn’t know.
But a year later, that situation brings me joy, that place brings me comfort, and those people are my family.
To Daily Sports: I can confidently say that you are the only people that can bring me to Denny’s at crazy hours of the night, make me play broomball at 11:50 p.m. on a Monday and love it, jump into a river at 2 in the morning and have beaten State News 15 times in a row. You make me so proud every day, and each of you are what makes the Daily so special. Thank you.
To all those who came before me, thank you for showing me why joining the Daily is an invaluable choice, and for giving me a glimpse into why leaving it is so hard.
Paige and Laney, you set such a strong example. And, because I promised this to you both from the back seat on the way back from Yost, to those who let me lay down across their laps, thank you.
Katelyn, you are a superstar. I am constantly in awe of you and am indescribably proud of you. You coming over to me when you were leaving, giving me a hug and saying how much I and my writing means to you will forever stay with me.
Sears, thank you for supporting my ideas and teaching me how to become a better reporter and journalist. You have done and will continue to do amazing things. Go Blue!
To Ben, Sarah, Anna and all my fellow seniors, it’s an honor to be put in the same sentence — even paragraph — as you. You are all incredible and I am so excited for the potluck when we aren’t all stressed and in crisis management mode.
Being a girl in sports is hard, but is remarkably less hard when you are surrounded by incredible females like I am. To all of you, ones I am closer with and ones I am not, you are the future, and I am so excited for and proud of that.
To Alec and Jack, thank you for dealing with my ridiculous ideas and also making my SportsMonday dream come true. You are both extremely talented and I am so lucky to call you both friends.
Abby, sweet but psycho only scratches the surface. To the pickiest and most obscure eater, wine night enthusiast, and my sister, keep doing what you’re doing. You make life better.
Daniel, you’re somehow one of my closest friends and also the absolute bane of my existence. To many more years of invisible messages, garlic knots, Yankees rants and Joe’s. Maybe one day you’ll drink a beer. You give me the biggest headaches, but I’ll miss you. I think.
Lily, you are one of a kind. No one elongates stories like you. But no one else would be able to convince me to go to the gym and do nothing or gossip on the IM bench or get me to sit in the South Quad café for hours with them. Thank you for being a forever friend.
Lane, I couldn’t love you more. Thank you for getting me, being the best date, laughing at my jokes, being my Cohen partner and spilling the best tea. I’m the luckiest to be your friend.
Max, you are not only my MSE, but also my PGP, my **brother**, my quarterback and my friend. From the Cambridge days until now, what a ride it has been, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Thank you for being the driving force that brought me here and the one familiar face in a sea of strangers. You are awesome and I am so insanely proud of you.
And my final (very on-brand) thank you goes to none other than Adam Schefter. Thank you for guiding me here. Though now seven and a half (!!!) years later, your message is loud and clear: The Daily is all about what you put into it, and even if you go in with a shaky mindset and shrugged shoulders, you leave with teary eyes and a full heart. My eyes are very teary and my heart is even more full, so I must have done something right.
To The Michigan Daily, thank you for giving me what I didn’t know I needed.
And with that, I say goodbye.