Courtesy of Calder Lewis.

Position(s): 2021 Senior News Editor, 2021 Summer Editor-in-Chief

Section(s): News

Semesters at The Daily: 5

A survivor of sexual abuse, outside University President Mark Schlissel’s house at 4 a.m., lists his ideas of how things went so wrong for decades. A family member of a woman punched by police breaks down into tears, saying the only thing keeping her going is the hundreds of people marching down Washtenaw Avenue with her. A man under a bridge voices his skepticism of the nation’s first pandemic protest rumbling overhead.

The biggest thank you of this goodbye column is to the hundreds of people who have given me, a total stranger, these intimate glimpses into their lives. While working at The Michigan Daily affords access to the most powerful in our community, it is the stories, concerns and aspirations of ordinary people that keep our pages full of life, and Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan moving forward. 

Here are just a few:

“This is so much bigger than this one man, and the fact that he has so much power at this institution means he’s upheld by this history.” – Ariel Friedlander, LSA and Art & Design student, on revelations of former Provost Martin Philbert’s sexual misconduct in February 2020.

“My son is at war the second he walks out that door because of the color of his skin. He’s at war. How does a 14-year-old understand that? Not even a 14-year-old, we’re having these conversations at 8, 9, 10, because these young boys that are getting killed look like him. It’s not okay. And we’re scared.” –  Ypsilanti Township resident Raeshonda Bullock at a police brutality protest in May 2020.

“Students should have a say on decisions made regarding them. There is a clear disconnect between the student demographic and the Board of Regents.” – Rackham student Spyros Kasapis in June 2020 after the Board of Regents passed a controversial tuition increase.

“They have forgotten that the people are the points. They have forgotten that students, teachers, researchers and graduate workers, who are all three at the same time, are central to the University’s multifaceted mission.” – Rackham student Elizabeth Harlow, protesting for a “safe and just” pandemic reopening plan in August 2020.

“It’s a lot different because of the six feet and the cleanliness and the whole pandemic kind of made things strange. I hope it feels comfortable enough and safe enough for people to enjoy the Union still.” –  Andrew Chavez, custodian, on the first day of the Michigan Union’s reopening in August 2020. 

“If necessary, we’ll be in the streets to make sure that every vote is counted.” – Eleanore Ablan-Owen, co-director of the Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice, at a post-election rally on the Diag in November 2020.

“The people that have suffered the most, they are in a position of power. That’s what justice looks like to me.” – Ann Arbor resident Julius Theophilus II at a November 2020 vigil for a 2014 police killing in Ann Arbor.

“I think what we need to do is get real about the disease that we have, which is a culture of abuse, and eradicate it.” – Jon Vaughn, survivor of former University doctor Robert Anderson’s sexual abuse, in June 2021.

It’s a reporter’s job to cover the events of a community, but in recording these moments, I found my place in one. 

Now, some personal messages. 

Barbara, Liat, Emma, Hannah, Lily and Francesca: Someday in the near future, we’ll wake up, check our inboxes and see a new email from Schlissel. We’ll spring into a panic, a year’s worth of fight-or-flight instincts kicking in. But after that brief moment, we’ll fall back asleep peacefully, knowing that our days of news briefs and on-the-clock shifts are over. I can’t imagine a better crew of news editors to have spent the last 12 months with. You are all so talented, diligent and kind. Let’s enjoy our last semester of college knowing we’ve given The Daily our all.

Kristina and Dominic: I am so excited for you to take over News! You are both wonderful people and editors who will make the section feel like a family. I can’t wait to read all of the coverage in 2022 under your leadership. 

Jasmin: It’s been so incredible to watch you grow over the years. You were my first friend on The Daily — my first story partner — and now you are going to be Editor in Chief! I’ve known since you were a freshman in East Quad that you were capable of anything you wanted to accomplish at 420 Maynard, and you’ve proved me right. 

Claire: Thank you for being an inspiration from the beginning of my time at The Daily. Your work ethic, passion for journalism and care for this paper are unmatched. Enjoy the next semester off — you’ll need the rest before the big future ahead of you.

Madison and Allison: Can you believe that we held down this paper for four months? Most of it still feels like a fever dream to me, but I’m so glad we made it through together. I came into the summer as an admirer of your work from afar and left as an admirer of you both as people and friends. Long live the Summer Big 3. 

Emma Stein: Thank you for being an incredible mentor when you took me under your wing with the crime and admin beats. I’m so happy to see your byline now every time I open a Free Press story with a fun headline.

Eli and Justine: Thank you for being trusty ANEds and great company in the newsroom every Friday. 

Julianna, Christian, Jared, George, Arjun, Justin, Elissa and Dominic: You’ve been tasked with covering the hardest-hitting administration news of 2021 and done a damn good job of it. Even if grilling the president of the University over Zoom probably wasn’t an experience you expected to have when you signed up for The Daily, there was no better team to do it. Thank you especially for your effort and dedication in bringing so many story ideas to life.