Courtesy of Liat Weinstein.

Position(s): 2021 Managing News Editor

Section(s): News

Semesters at The Daily: 7

Writing a goodbye note to The Michigan Daily feels like writing a goodbye to college, in part because I’ve never known what it’s like to go to this university without The Daily and in part because the pandemic made time feel less real.

When I get randomly nostalgic and think about my years at The Daily, I am often transported back to that memorable yet anxiety-inducing last night that we always somehow come back to, when we huddled in the newsroom and ate our late-night NYPD (the first of many) and said our indefinite goodbyes at 2 a.m. on Maynard Street. I remember the strange sense of safety The Daily provided me in the moments before the world shut down, the way we gathered in the newsroom not only to tackle the continuous cycle of breaking news but also because we weren’t sure where else to go. These are “big” moments, ones I can’t forget because they are so unlike any others that they are indelibly seared into my memory.

But there were also so many small, equally important ones. There were the chaotic late nightsides, unwieldy hybrid news meetings and the exhilarating (but always stressful) rush of texts as we broke news. There were some of the things I learned, through trial and error, in no particular order: How to admit when I did wrong and hold my own when I knew I was right; How to openly recognize and grapple with the flaws and inequalities in this organization (and at this university) even if I didn’t know exactly how to fix them; What it feels like when something changes as a result of your words, no matter how insignificant or small the change may seem; How to properly celebrate the release of a new Taylor Swift album (or three); How to laugh at yourself when you accidentally allow the whole staff to edit the beat reporter application form or tag the Finnish ambassador to Kenya in a tweet (a classic admin beat story). 

To the 2021 SNEDs, thank you for learning alongside me, for showing up and for letting me rely on all of you. I’ll never forget when we first convened to play Jackbox games — we’ve grown so much since those awkward Zoom calls. To Calder, thank you for knowing this school’s administration inside and out and for always knowing exactly how to make Schlissel uncomfortable. Sometimes I think about how you’ve been working for The Daily for two years straight with no breaks and am in awe. Emma, you are such a meticulous and patient editor and I will forever admire how you prioritized making every story equitable and fair. Kristina, thank you for your kind and welcoming presence at the News desk and for your dedication — News will thrive with you and Dominic as its leaders. Lily, you took this job on short notice and for that we are forever grateful. Thanks for making fun of all the random food I ordered on nightside. Jasmin, you have a drive unlike many other people I’ve met and I know you were meant to lead this paper. Francesca, thank you for everything — we love and missed you this semester. And Hannah, thank you for taking business and research to new heights. Maybe now we’ll actually have time to finish our theses.

Kristina & Dominic: I may have sung your praises at MNE elections earlier this month, but I am happy to do it again because of how strongly I believe you two are the perfect candidates to take over News next year. I know News will not only be a welcoming and warm place under your leadership, but will also be a space for writers to push boundaries, prioritize their wellbeing and expand what equitable and inclusive coverage looks like. I also know that if the situation arises where you need to immediately contact the FBI in the newsroom or quickly recite the names of every single Ann Arbor city councilmember (including ward and political affiliation, of course), you two will be more than fine. If not, know that Barbara and I will always be a text or call away <3 

To the Housewives (now under a new name 🤫): Thank you for blowing up my phone, I love you all and am infinitely proud of how far we’ve come.

Barbara: There is simply no better MNE partner than you. Thank you for finishing my unformed thoughts, validating my concerns and letting me rant to you over text (or FaceTime, or Snapchat, or in person) at all hours of the day. Sometimes I think about the winter semester, with our 3:15 p.m. Zoom calls on Sunday afternoons and how we braved that fateful “wellness day” together alongside Emma and Claire. Being forced to learn the difference between brown and Mediterranean recluse spiders or write approximately 478,329 stories about Ron Weiser feels like so long ago (🕷🕊🍇). I can’t even begin to recollect everything we did and dealt with this year, but I know that I definitely could not have done it without your advice and friendship. See you next year … or not <3

Claire: Thank you for answering all of my questions and being the voice of reason and source of support we all needed this past year. You did the impossible (leading this paper for an entire year) and I cannot wait to see all that you continue to achieve once you no longer have to spend 70+ hours a week at The Daily.

To the News staff: This place is yours now and I am confident you are going to take it to amazing places. Thank you for bearing with me as I took basically five months to learn how to create Zoom breakout rooms and for your constant dedication. The Daily is such a rewarding place, whether you write twice a month or three times a week, and my hope for you all is that you get what you want out of this experience. 

And to the 2020 elite SNEds: You all taught me for the first time what it means to work as a team on this paper and how to lead a group even through moments of uncertainty. Some of my strangest, craziest memories on News were made with you all despite the distance and the chaos. Love you all — let’s get together and stuff five people onto a porch swing again soon. 

I’m not sure just yet where the experience I gained at The Daily will take me. But I do know that when I think back to where I grew the most, where I was challenged to my limits but kept moving anyway, where I learned that words not only have innate power but also the ability to inflict harm, uplift, empower and question, I will always think of this place.