SAYALI AMIN – Managing News Editor
The past several months make nights when I used to make tea at the news desk or lend Lizzy my extra mug because she forgot her water bottle feel so distant. I stumble across pictures of Barbara and Emma under the news desk giggling on the floor, and I think to myself, was that even real? I did not envision my life would be so different my senior year, but in some ways The Daily provides the most certainty. It is resilient and present whether there’s a pandemic or a polar vortex. We showed up and continued our job: holding the institutions around us accountable.
I feel so grateful to have been a part of this incredible group of people. Two years ago, I was unsure if I could commit more time to TMD, torn between how rewarding the work was and my pre-med obligations. But I couldn’t bring myself to step away. Every time I walked into the newsroom, my stress melted away momentarily. I existed in this safe space where I would edit, laugh, cry, see my friends, get food or coffee (RIP Espresso Royale), make a paper and just be. Most importantly, The Daily gave me a sense of purpose and belonging no matter what else was happening in my life. I knew the work we did here mattered and made an impact. I’m not going into journalism, but The Daily has taught me lessons that I’ll carry with me for a long time.
To the 2020 SNEds: I’m so honored to have worked with one of the most elite SNEd classes in news history. I remember seeing us all together in my living room after Jeopardy and thinking we’re really a team. It makes me truly sad that our time together in person was cut short, yet, the extreme stress of this year made us so close. Leah and I couldn’t have survived this year without you.
Emma, thank you for wrangling all of cradmin. Your ability to break awkward silences and make light of most situations has been a blessing. Alex, from being my beat reporter to SNEd, your work shows how much you care. Thank you for being so fun to work with and always having tea. (Birthday party 2019, LOL.) Claire, your poise as an editor really showed through this year, and I always appreciated your friendly presence at the news desk. I know TMD will thrive under your leadership. Ben, you’re full of surprises, like your hidden trivia and art skills. It feels like just yesterday when Leah and I fought over whether you should cover SACUA or interview Elissa Slotkin and you did both. Barbara, your energy is always so positive, and I love when we launch into in-depth convos about the Chicago suburbs and confuse everyone else. Liat, you took on two beats you didn’t know much about and were so reliable. Also, I won’t forget when you tagged the Ambassador to Finland at a regents meeting.
Barbara+Liat: I can’t wait to see what you do with News. You were both my beat reporters, and you’ve grown so much since then. I know you’re taking over in really uncertain times, but you have solid ideas and the work ethic to make them happen.
Leah: You say I’m the brains of the operation, but you are one of the smartest people I know. Whenever I had an exam or a meeting, you would step in and cover for me without complaining. Sometimes I forget I first met you at Cherubs (almost 5 years ago!). Then, we shadowed our first news story together, became SNEds and here we are today. I can’t imagine my time at The Daily without you, and I’m so grateful The Daily gave me a friend like you. Thank you for getting bubble tea with me, sending me the right memes at the right time, putting up with me sending you 10 different texts when I could send three, being the same person as me and having my back when I needed it the most. I’m so glad we did this.
Lizzy: Remember pre-COVID when you used to take a bite out of my apple or eat my berries during nightside? They were simpler times. From walking to Daily events with you in South Quad to now, we’ve come so far. We’ve spent two whole years of nightsides together, and I’m so glad you joined in on all of my silliness. Thank you for your confident leadership in this chaotic year. I know you’ll do amazing things wherever you go next, and we’ll have to hang out in non-Daily settings next semester 🙂
To Sadia, Madison, Jack, Ben, Annie and Allison: Thank you for hanging in there with us for all the breaking news, and I appreciate all your hard work!
To Zayna and Sammy: You are two of the most talented people I know at The Daily. Zayna, I miss running into you at the Union and really appreciate your work in helping us with investigative. Sammy, I know you’ll do great work next year shaping the role of investigative and passing down your knowledge.
To my 2019 crew: Grace, Amara, Remy and Rachel thank you for being there through all the madness and making me realize how much I love this job. I don’t think any one of us will forget Irwin Mermelstein either.
To the 2018 SNEds+MNEs: You were my first real exposure to the newsroom. I was terrified for most of it, but you helped me grow as a reporter. Maya, thank you. You made me feel so welcome when I joined and gave me the guidance I needed as my SNEd.
To my friends and family: You’ve put up with me talking about The Daily for years now. Thank you so much for supporting me when I was stressed and encouraging me when I doubted myself. To my friends who I’ve dragged to be sources in stories at the last minute, The Daily appreciates you!!
CONNOR BRENNAN – Senior Sports Editor
There are few phrases in the English language I hate more than the overused adage Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. Sorry Dr. Seuss, but those two things aren’t compatible. Any experience or memory that can emotionally move you to the point of tears cannot simply be counteracted by smiling. That is exactly the space the Daily has come to occupy in my life. From first walking into the newsroom as a wide-eyed and insecure freshman to now walking away as a soon-to-be four-time champion in the State News game, it’s truly been a wild ride.
To ensure I don’t forget anybody, I’m going to proceed chronologically — more or less.
Kevin and Betelhem, thanks for always making me feel welcomed in the newsroom. Your dedication and love for The Daily made me instantly realize that I had joined a special organization. Kevin, you’ll never walk alone!
Marcia Pankratz, thanks for making every ensuing interaction I had with a coach or player over the past four years less intimidating than the first time I interviewed you.
Orion, you sir, are a stud. It goes without saying that you’re a talented writer, but you were also an extremely down-to-earth MSE and a monster in the State News game.
To another honorary scouser, Mike — not going to lie, you scared the hell out of me when I first met you. I quickly realized though that you’re a funny, genuine and approachable guy. I’ve never seen someone fall in love with a team as quickly as you fell in love with Liverpool but by god, you knew all the chants within a matter of days. Up the Reds!
Laney, Paige, Ethan, Rob, and Matthew Kennedy, you guys always made me feel included and fostered a family-like atmosphere in the section.
Kopnick, we covered the you know what out of the wrestling team that year. Glad I got a chance to work with you on two different beats. You’re hilarious and were always one of my favorite people to be around. Also shoutout to you for that “guess the song” game … it’s become a staple of all my road trips.
To my dub-hoops squad — we absolutely should’ve stayed to interview the players on media day. You live and learn, though. Rohan, whenever you lined up against me in practice, I knew I wasn’t going to be open. Bennett, thanks for being the less obnoxious D.C. sports fan in our class — the other guy knows who he is. And Teddy my man, so glad you came home! I’ll never forget driving to Louisville to cover the women’s NCAA Tournament as you provided blow-by-blow details of the men’s games from the passenger seat. It made the drive feel a little shorter.
Max, you’re the real MVP — both as a QB1 and as a person. You were always there to talk and answer any questions I had. You encouraged me to take chances and I’ll always appreciate that.
To one of the oddest people I’ve ever met, Tien — I felt comfortable around you from Day 1. Your handle is trash and your jumper may be even worse but you’re a hell of a kayaker and fantastic writer. I’ll break your ankles any day of the week though.
Jorge, you’re the definition of a homie and always gave off such positive vibes. Bailey, bringing the freshmen to the cemetery prior to Denny’s was a great move on our part. Ben, Molly, Anna, Mark, Shira, Jake and Sarah, you’re all incredible people and left the Daily in a better place than you found it.
Daniel, from the moment I first saw you conjugate subjunctive verbs in Professor Ross’s class, I knew you were big time. That impression has only grown over the past three years as I’ve gotten to know you better. Throwback to sneaking into the locker rooms at MSG … what a thrill.
To Kent, Lane, Lily, Brendan, Aidan, Jack, Drew, Abby, Jacob, Nick, Avi and Paarth — you guys came in and made the section better almost overnight. Your enthusiasm and willingness to take chances will only serve you well over the next year and a half. To Kent and Lane specifically, I know y’all are going to kill it as MSEs. It’s definitely going to be a different experience but there’s no one more qualified than you two.
To the fearsome foursome of Jared, Brandon, Nick and the artist formerly known as Spencer, “Chunks,” — your unwavering love for Austin Davis inspired me every day. I have no doubt you’re going to go on and do great things at the Daily and beyond. Maybe one day, when you’re all old enough, we can all sit down together and have an alcoholic beverage or two!
Abbie, Lily, Max, Josh, Steel, Matthew, Sam, Rose and others, keep grinding. You guys are the future and I couldn’t be more excited to see what you accomplish.
To the freshman, who joined during the strangest of semesters, do yourselves a favor and stick around. It’ll likely be the best thing you do in college.
And finally, to the seniors I’ve yet to mention. Sears, Theo, Rian, Aria, Alec, Akul and Adam, I wouldn’t trade the last three and a half years for anything.
Sears, I literally thought you were a junior when I first joined the section. I still think you’re at least two years older than me but that’s neither here nor there. Thanks for letting Teddy and me take your car to Louisville. I’ve never seen someone less capable of paddling a raft before but hey, at least you’re an uber-talented writer!
Theo, you’re the obnoxious D.C. fan I was referring to earlier. It’s all good though because you’re a great writer and an even better guy. I’ll never forget sitting next to you in the press box at Ray Fisher Stadium as you flipped out about Greek Capital Management not accepting your dues payment #fratlife.
Rian, you were one of the first people I interacted with in the section and trust me, when I say you’re one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met. Keep spreading those positive Cali vibes. Ditch the Gucci slippers though.
I know that was excessively long, but it’s just because the Daily means a lot to me. Regardless of whatever else was going on in my life at the time, I knew once I walked up those stairs and into the newsroom, everything was going to be alright.
So as I write this and prepare for the last Sunday meeting of the semester where tears will inevitably be shed — even over Zoom — I’ll cry if I want to.
ALEC COHEN – Managing Video Editor
Writing this, I was trying to find a word or two to sum up my time at The Daily. I kept thinking and thinking and the one word I kept going back to was gratitude. Gratitude for this organization, the newsroom, the opportunities I had and the people I got to share memories with along the way.
As a freshman, I came into school with a lot of anxiety. Most of this stemmed from finding friends on campus. And I struggled with this for a bit of time, but after just a few months of working for The Daily, I felt like I had found my home.
Over 10,000 miles in a car, three trips to Nebraska and four years later, I still believe The Michigan Daily is my home. While we may often feel grounded at the newsroom, I’ve learned this past semester that The Michigan Daily is located wherever we are — working remote from home, a basketball arena in Piscataway, N.J., a softball stadium in Bloomington, Ind., or anywhere in between. The Michigan Daily is wherever you are doing the work you love.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is how much of your Daily experience is affected by the people you work with. Getting to work with so many sections, I had the opportunity to work and travel with so many people. I’ve come to realize it’s the little moments that have had the biggest impact. Whether it was having a steak lunch in Omaha, getting picked up at Markley by two random sports writers freshman year or becoming a co-Managing Editor with a complete stranger, the small moments at The Daily are the ones I will always remember.
There are so many people I am extremely grateful to have met during my time at The Daily:
Amelia and Emma, thank you for welcoming me into the photo section and teaching me so much in the short amount of time we had together.
Ben and Max, thank you for being the greatest role models. I am a better person because of both of you.
While I may not have expressed it directly, there were many older staffers that I looked up to — you know who you are.
Jack S., thank you for being my first friend at The Daily. Working together and having you as a friend for the past three years has been a blast.
Ethan, who would’ve thought when we drove 11 hours to Nebraska freshman year, we would be roommates two years later? You are such a talented writer and I can’t wait to see where your future takes you.
Alex and Barbara, I am so happy we became close in summer 2019. You are both amazing writers, editors and friends. Thank you for visiting me in the hospital 🙂
Madison, thank you for being the greatest virtual friend and being there for me through all the ups and downs of this past year.
Jack G., I see so much of myself in you. You brought incredible innovation to the table this year. I’m so excited to see what you’ll accomplish next year and I want to thank you for continuing to believe in me and the video section.
Eli, we did something special this year. We built something from the ground up and I am so excited to see how the video section grows in the years to come. Thank you for being an incredible co-Managing Editor and the greatest best friend.
To the photo section, although some of you don’t know me because I’m a washed-up Managing Editor, thank you to everyone I’ve worked with over the past four years. To current photo staff, you will have opportunities on The Daily that you’ll never have anywhere else, so take time to remember how special that is. Allison and Maddie, you are going to do great work next year, no matter what obstacles a pandemic puts in your way.
To anyone on the sports section that I went on a road trip with, I am grateful to have become close with so many of you. The Daily has an amazing sports section and I am lucky to have met so many of you along the way.
To the video section, thank you for welcoming me with open arms, even knowing none of you when I started as co-Managing Editor. You all are so dedicated and talented and words can’t describe how excited I am for the video section’s future. There is so much potential for our section to grow and thrive. Annika and Iulia, you are going to do an incredible job next year and Eli and I are so lucky to have such talented people succeed us.
Mom & Dad, thank you for always believing in me and never getting mad when I forgot to tell you I was traveling to a different state. I am so lucky to have your support through all of my endeavors.
420 Maynard has a different meaning for different people. For me, my happiest moments in college, as well as some of my hardest, happened within those four walls. But I am beyond grateful for The Daily and feel lucky to have met some of my best friends along the way.
EMILY CONSIDINE – Editorial Page Editor
When I was a kid, I was super talkative. Annoyingly so. I wouldn’t shut up. Then around age 10 or 11, I grew self-conscious and stopped, aware of how irritating I sounded, and became afraid to speak up at all, even for things I cared about. I became “that quiet kid in the corner,” where I remained well into college. It took a long time for me to figure out my own voice again, and I really only did so because of The Michigan Daily.
I joined this paper in Fall 2018 as a cartoonist, and at first, I hadn’t planned to get more involved than that. I liked the remote near-anonymity of the position, expressing myself quietly without feeling like anyone knew who I was. I was terrified of Editboard and of my editors. I didn’t think this paper was a place for me.
Fast forward two years, and I’ve been co-leading the Opinion section during what has been the strangest year of my life personally and professionally. I’ve met talented, passionate people, experienced stressful, transformative situations and have not only expressed my own views, but worked to provide a platform where others could as well. But it’s only because of some remarkable people that I’ve been able to do any of it.
Maggie and Joel, thank you for taking the wild chance that a cartoonist could be an editor. Not to be melodramatic, but that decision changed my life. I can never thank you enough.
For all the senior editors I’ve ever worked alongside — Krystal, Timothy, Ethan, Zack, Alanna, Joel, Min, Liz & Miles (shoutout to that first EPE semester) — it’s been an absolute delight and I’m grateful to have gotten to know all of you. From late-night Zoom editing rants to making Jell-O in my apartment to memorializing our short-lived fish (RIP), you’ve been the best part of my night every night I’ve gotten to work with you. I wish we had more time together in person.
Krystal, thanks for being my Fall 2019 rock and one of my first TMD friends. I’m always in awe of your writing & editing skills. Zack, you’re the best recruitment chair/committee member/Buzzfeed quiz creator and I’m so happy you chose Opinion over News. Min, I’m so glad you joined the editing team this semester even if we’ve never gotten to work together in person, and I need you to know you’re the only SE I trust to do quote cards. Joel & Liz, you’ve both been dedicated, impressive, thoughtful editors this past year. You’re going to be such great EPEs and I can’t wait to see what you do with the place.
Erin, thank you for the kindness and generosity you’ve shown me. You’re fantastic. I wouldn’t have made it through this year without you. Lizzy, thank you for being such a strong leader and putting up with the stress Opinion has a tendency to cause. You are an icon of grace under pressure.
Brittany, I’m so excited for you to be Managing Editor. I am eternally grateful for your enthusiastic willingness to step up mid-pandemic and lead Opinion with me. Thanks for having my back this past year. You’re such a smart, kind, self-aware, dedicated person and I wish you so much joy in 2021.
Opinion is a weird section to be in and an even weirder section to lead. Every writer, cartoonist, Editboard attendee and editor brings a unique take to the room. How do you build community in a section that’s based inherently on conflict? You’ve all made me think critically about the identities I hold, the morals of publishing controversial viewpoints and the significance of open, honest discussion. It’s been tough sometimes, but it’s also taught me so much about the power of student voices. Thank you, Opinion, for helping me find my own.
JOEL DANILEWITZ – 2019 Editorial Page Editor
I haven’t spent time at The Daily since I left in December. I thought I’d return to write for Statement or Arts after my semester abroad, however as we all know, certain plans were curtailed due to some … unforeseen circumstances. Once I came back to school, I knew not having the newsroom accessible was almost the same as not having The Daily. The newsroom is a sacred space where competing Spotifies blare over each other, frenzied laughter meets stress induced tears and where all my best friends would come together. I don’t know what I would have done without a place like the newsroom during college. The Daily lifted me out of the discomfort of being a freshman and helped guide me to seek out my passions. This is entirely due to the amazing group of people I had around me.
To Maggie: Thank you so much for having been an incredible Co-EPE. I can’t imagine getting half of what we got done without your talent for editing and your dedication to the section. I’m so excited to see what you do after graduation.
To Krystal, Emily C., Ethan, Miles, Nick, Alex and Emily H: We had such a good team both semesters, even if some were … left by the wayside … anyways! Editing was always a blast with y’all, and it might be cliche to say, but it is impossible to understate how helpful you always were.
To Anu and Ashley: Thanks for being the best opinion moms ever! Maggie and I were so lucky to have you as mentors, and I’m so proud of everything you’re both doing now!
To Joel and Liz: I haven’t met Liz yet, but I know you’ll both kill it as EPEs and I’m sending you good luck (and don’t f*** it up!!)
To Carly: Thanks for canceling Finn with me and being the best person to goof around with at the newsroom. I miss you so much <3
To Erin: I’m not gonna lie, seeing you supersede my position in The Daily was … humiliating. JK. Spending nights editing with you bonded us so much, and I’m very grateful to have been able to witness your growth from SE to ME. You’re one of the funnest, most affable people I know. Whatever the situation, the two of us are always a good time. Whether it’s catching all the mistakes on a page read, having weird movie nights or getting **** after production, we have not had a single dull moment together! The way your humor and sensitivity complement your intelligence makes it clear why you are both a great leader and a great friend. Becoming close with you is something I will always treasure, and I hope we end up close (proximity-wise) post-grad because I know we still have lots of adventures and memories together!! Love you! <3
To Maya: Watching everyone rally around you week after week as our EIC was truly a vision in leadership. As the Divine Feminine, you guided us not by power, but through the communion we built together, which is something all newsrooms should aspire to (in my opinion). Even when you were busy, you still seemed available to chat about anything. When nights grew long and frustrating, I’d always be reminded of your support and commitment to our ME class. By being a good friend to all of us, long nights were never that long. I’m so excited and proud to see what you have accomplished and continue to accomplish!! Love you <3
To the rest of my ME class: Thanks for putting up with me!! But seriously, some of the best people I have met at college were in this group, and I am grateful for every icebreaker we spent way too long mulling over together.
Again, it’s weird to say goodbye to something that, in some sense, I had already said goodbye to. But as I write this, I’m taken straight back to the place that felt more like a second home than anywhere else on campus: the newsroom. My only goal after graduation is to find the same feeling wherever I end up.
JOHN DECKER – Managing Arts Editor
Not a full goodbye because I’m sticking around to read books for a semester. I’m also afraid of leaving out anyone who has even remotely contributed to making my 2+ years here really good, so I’m opting for broad swaths over name-dropping. In brief:
The Daily (and Daily Arts) made my college experience. Most of my friends I’ve made here. Songs — “212,” “Yummy,” the Taylor Swift complete collection — give me that heavy nostalgic vibe that’s hardly sad because I think of long production nights tagged with takeout, crosswords, urgency and new conversation. Before that, I’m imagining the jumbled books section in the hot newsroom, always with the peers that made me feel like a real writer and taught me to engage in arts discussion by using my brain. Books dinners felt like Thanksgiving with the cool side of the family. Production wine was good, even the rogue contraption that ended up in the promotional video. Porch productions, even in the rain, made an online semester bearable. Icebreakers were painful but made the base for the relationships I have. Thursday nights were elite; thanks for making me look forward to editing even on dreary of days and even on Zoom. And of course, the writing was so, so enjoyable to edit. Like I said, a really profound nostalgia that I’m happy to harbor because it’s not going anywhere.
I can’t not mention Julianna Morano. Here’s a cheers carved permanently into the internet to our successful takeover, the one we began plotting years ago. Thanks for continuing to change how I think about everything, constantly, everywhere, in a very literal sense.
Arts is jam-packed with good writers. Do the damn social events when restrictions are lifted — they’re so important! Keep debating pop stars and high-brow films. Everyone stay in touch, you’ve got my info, though regardless it’s impossible to forget you all.
Thanks for everyone that made me feel included so that I could eventually pass on the feeling. Arts is a really great home to have. You all are very important!
NADA ELDAWY – Primary Copy Editor & Assistant Michigan in Color Editor
My entire first semester of college, The Daily was just some far-away entity that seemed so unattainable. My roommate Lizzy and my friends Matt and Annika would disappear for shifts at the fabled newsroom and reemerge hours later with exciting stories. I always had a passion for writing, but I had my first encounter with editing while reading over Matt Harmon’s Statement pieces in our friend group’s unofficially claimed South Quad basement booth. From reading his first “Soundtracking” column, and hearing Annika’s experiences editing with Copy, I realized I had found my Daily calling — what would be my first entrance into the place I never even realized I wanted to be.
I first shadowed Copy my second semester, and I was immediately drawn to this perfect resolution for my passion for writing and journalism, but my inability to commit to being a columnist. The first time I walked into the newsroom, I was in awe. With chains of newspapers lining the walls, framed headlines and different desks blasting music, competing for dominance, I saw so many different people somehow fitting in perfectly and longed for my place there.
I officially joined Copy soon after, and I was suddenly playing a huge role in fixing pieces — let’s be real, most articles are trash without our edits. At the same time, I was also reading and keeping up to date with campus and even national news more than I ever would have before. Shoutout to Finn and Elise for keeping Copy kind AND social (as elections of 2018 prove).
While Copy was incredibly fulfilling, I still felt a desire to write. What started with writing a few articles for Michigan in Color as a timid contributor hiding behind the shield of my computer screen, turned into me applying to be an assistant editor. Under Carly and Na’kia’s guidance, I was able to find a home in MiC and really come into my own as a writer and as a badass woman of color. Since working with the staff and getting to read the vulnerable, strong, revolutionary pieces of our amazing bloggers and columnists, I have finally been able to own my voice and triumph in my Egyptian and Muslim identities.
To Maya and Devak, thank you both for being such amazing managing editors. MiC really threw you both a lot of curveballs, but you not only owned your positions as managing editors, you killed it. Maya, thank you for always making me feel at home and comfortable in MiC spaces, from being my roommate on our MiC retreat to co-writing our awesome election piece. Devak, I’m sorry for calling you an asshole when we first met — but from many a long Monday shift, roasting you incessantly and hearing the same one story a million times, I can say you’re one of the good ones.
To Katie, thank you for signing up for the same therapy sessions — I mean Copy shifts as me. Seeing you in the newsroom after some long days really turned my days around. Matt, thank you for opening my eyes to The Daily’s storytelling potential. To my roommate Zayna — never stop writing. You are so talented and have such a way with words, you’ll definitely go places. And to Lizzy — I’ll probably always carry some animosity toward The Daily for taking up so much of your time, but seeing you in the newsroom, I have never seen anyone more at home. You were truly meant to do this, and you were an amazing Editor in Chief.
Finally, to The Daily — so long. You really gave me my own secret hideout for years where I could escape campus and enter the world of words and stories, and I’ll always be grateful for that. I’m excited to see what the next generations of staff will turn you into!
LORA FARAJ – Senior Michigan in Color Editor
I joined Michigan in Color my junior year, having spent the first two years of college at another institution working as an editor for another publication. My introduction to a diverse space was a jarring experience, something I hadn’t seen in a newsroom before. It quickly became clear to me that Maya and Ana’s goal was to train a group of impassioned columnists into believing that their voice matters and that their voice should be heard.
In my “Why I Joined MiC” piece, I said that I wanted to be a part of a community that uncovers voices that have long been buried in institutions like ours and this year was the ultimate test to that. The pieces that came out of MiC during a period of political strife and public unrest were a testament to the goals we had for the community as a group. I remember the conversations over Zoom meetings about the future we see for MiC and I could clearly see us embrace that future this year through pieces that addressed every issue we were surrounded by with vulnerability and truth. I am so proud of how hard everyone worked during a time that was consistently clouded by uncertainty. This kind of space was essential to my well-being and I know many others would agree with me.
To Maya, from being your closest friend to your colleague, watching you take on leadership so well in a way that is almost unusually empathetic and comforting to everyone in the newsroom is something I look up to everyday. I can’t wait to see you go further because this is what you’re meant to do. To Ana, Devak, Anamika, and Gabrijela, your passion and curiosity made me see a future for MiC marked by growth for as long as we have people like you on board. To Lizzy, your hard work and kindness are an inspiration to us all. Thank you to everyone who made this one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had in college.
ARIA GERSON – Daily Sports Writer and Assistant Audience Engagement Editor
I’m the kind of person who started planning my senior goodbye my freshman year. I was going to start with the story of how I fell in love with covering field hockey after I needed somewhere to be on weekends. It was going to be equal parts triumphant and sappy.
This is not that senior goodbye.
Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you wanted them to. Sometimes, you want something more than anything but find it out of reach. Sometimes, a global pandemic hits right before your senior year. Sometimes, you wonder again and again if this is all worth it.
There are a lot of reasons I stuck with The Daily no matter how many times I questioned it. I love watching a game from the press box. I love writing stories that show another side of the game. I love the road trips and the trips to places and events I never would’ve gotten to go to otherwise. I always joke with the football beat that we’ve never had a normal road trip. From getting rejected from Motel 6 to yelling at each other over the fire alarm in the shower to witnessing a police chase in Des Moines and more, those are some of the memories I will never forget. The Daily led me to internships on Cape Cod and in South Florida, and for that I’ll forever be grateful.
But I also have so many regrets. There were many times I felt alone, none more than my sophomore year, when my path strayed from the one I planned out and I was devastated. I felt so far from the community and the experience The Daily had promised me. Back then it was an accomplishment to go 24 hours without crying. Though I picked up the pieces eventually, I always yearned for the experience I felt others had. I thought I still had time to make things better — until the pandemic unexpectedly ran out the clock.
I haven’t been in the newsroom since last March, when all of us gathered one last time not knowing when we’d see each other again. If there’s one silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that we’ve all had to work harder to stay in touch — and when I looked outside the box, I finally found a community where I felt accepted.
I didn’t want it to end like this. Any of this. I was supposed to have the quintessential Daily experience, a proper senior year, a perfectly positive senior goodbye. I’m still coming to terms with the way things are instead of the way I wanted them to be.
After what would end up being the last game I ever covered at Michigan Stadium, I ordered takeout from Mr. Spots and drove to The Daily’s parking lot. I looked up at 420 Maynard, a building I may never enter again. I wondered to myself, if this was my last time there, how I would say goodbye.
I settled on this: “Thanks for the memories, even when they weren’t so great.”
Now, onto the thank yous:
Betelhem, thanks for being the first person who encouraged me to dream big.
Mike, thank you for always being there, no matter what. (Grand Rapids grit forever!)
Ethan and Theo, we rarely agreed on anything, but I think we can agree on this: I wish we had a proper senior season. Thanks for always pushing me to be better.
Ben, whether it was discussing the latest Big Booties or crying on the phone at 2 a.m., my Daily experience would’ve been far worse without you.
Max, thank you for putting up with me. I’m glad we finally got to be on a beat together.
Julia, thank you for allowing me to indulge my petty side. Love to see you killing it in New York!
Anna, you’re one of the sweetest people I know. I miss you and your style, and I wish women’s month hadn’t been all but canceled before it started.
Shira, I’m so glad we finally got to go to that gym meet together, and just in the nick of time.
Katelyn, you are so amazing. Thank you for the milkshakes at NYPD and for always looking out for me on road trips and for sharing Rose Bowl memories. You are crazy talented and I love seeing your photos everywhere; it’s what you deserve.
Rachel and Alexa, thank you for being amazing roommates. I will miss the aggressive Christmas decorations and listening to us all watching TikToks simultaneously.
To the Hannah Ann Stans and the Sabrina Stans, you’ve kept me sane through all of this. We need to meet up after the pandemic is over, stat.
Jake, thank you for texting me when I was in Madison. I love you.
LEAH GRAHAM — Managing News Editor
Everyone writing these senior goodbyes got screwed out of so much, and what we have to say will be sad and filled with nostalgia and maybe some bitterness. Leaving The Daily this way isn’t ideal, but nothing in 2020 is. I’ve learned so much here — mainly that there are legitimate consequences when you destroy your sleep schedule for years on end. Another lesson: You have to move forward, even if it’s the absolute last thing you want to do. So instead of wallowing, there are some people I really have to thank.
Sayali, you’re the best partner I could have ever had. You are brilliant and just as obsessive as I am, always ready to quadruple text back and forth about whatever the current emergency is. Thank you for being the adult in the room and the brains of the operation. Who could’ve guessed we’d be here now when we met as 17-year-olds at journalism nerd camp? Not me.
Lizzy, you’re unbelievably talented. I don’t have enough space to sing your praises, but that’s OK because someone else already wrote an entire article doing it for me. You led The Daily through this whole nightmare year without missing a beat and still found the time to edit every story we published and deal with irritating lawyers making ridiculous threats. Being able to count on you and Sayali has been a lifeline. We make one hell of a team.
To our elite SNEds Alex, Barbara, Emma, Liat, Claire and Ben, you’re all terrible at accepting compliments — which is honestly really annoying — so I’ll keep it short. We asked more of you than anyone had the right to, but you never let us down. You are truly world-class, and everything we accomplished was because of the six of you. This year was brutal, but at least we had the chance to get Schlissed a couple of times. To the incoming SNEds, you have quite the legacy to live up to, but there’s not a doubt in my mind the new MNEs and EIC will help you figure things out. News is yours now, and I know it’s in good hands. Take this job seriously, but not yourselves (otherwise you’ll get called no-nonsense by a fancy newspaper and be mercilessly teased about it).
To News staff, you have amazed me with your dedication and skill. I know The Daily can be intimidating, but it’s a special place. I wasn’t sure where I belonged when I first started, but just keep looking and I promise you’ll find it sooner or later. If you’re lucky like me, it will find you.
To my 2019 SNEd class Remy, Rachel, Amara and Sayali, no part of our job was easy, but we stuck it out. I’ll spend the rest of my life being grateful to 2019 MNEs Lizzy and Grace for bullying me into being an editor. To the 2018 SNEds and MNEs, thank you for hounding me to pick up stories when I was a little baby staffer, even though I know now you were mainly doing it to exploit my labor. But I get it — you have to do what it takes to make a paper. You were role models for me, and you showed me what strong leadership looks like.
Thank you to everyone we dragged along for all the craziness of the last year, especially our friends at Audience Engagement, Photo and Copy, who had our backs and didn’t let the torrent of breaking news break them. You were always good sports about being tossed into the chaotic group chats I made whenever something went wrong on campus.
And Sammy and Zayna, you are investigative powerhouses. Editing your reporting was a privilege, even the time I was sick and stayed up until 4 a.m. working on the Sava’s story, then slept for two days straight and missed it being published. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.
I also have some apologies to make, because I tend to cause trouble if my little goldfish brain isn’t preoccupied with an immediate task.
Sayali and Lizzy, sorry for bombarding you with indignant texts about things you almost definitely don’t care about. And for sending you so many memes. I realize those can get tiresome. Alex, I’m sorry I almost got you arrested in Fleming and told you to ask Remy for legal advice. Barbara, I’m sorry that after being city SNEd and knowing exactly how much it sucks I gave you the same job. Ben, ditto for you. Liat, the same will probably apply to you after you’ve been MNE for a year (Barbara, you already got one apology so don’t be greedy). Claire and Emma, I’m sure I’ve wronged you both somehow but nothing is coming to mind right now so consider this an I.O.U.
Also, Alec and Jack, I’m sorry I started a rumor that I was running for Editor in Chief solely to mess with you because I was bored.
To my normal friends who don’t work here and get annoyed that I’m never around because I’m always doing Daily stuff, I am sorry about that, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Reporting the news is a major undertaking, and there’s no shortage of stories. I don’t just mean the ones we publish, but the strange things that go on behind the headlines. Back when the pandemic started in March, the News editors got together to discuss what we were going to do. We sat in a circle at 420 Maynard and hammered out details, then Ben awkwardly asked to leave so he could go watch “Contagion.” My clearest memory of the end of the world is rolling my eyes and laughing. But that’s what The Daily does — it throws you into these intense, do-or-die situations, and somehow you walk away focused on the good rather than the bad, feeling like part of a team.
Working at The Daily is an ass-kicking, and I am beyond grateful for it. When I’m inevitably forced to grow up and get a real-life adult job, this place will be my baseline. I’ll measure my new colleagues — how smart, kind and capable they are — up against the people I met here. I don’t think anywhere else will ever be able to compare, but here’s hoping.
TEDDY GUTKIN – Daily Sports Writer
My favorite Michigan Daily moment doesn’t take place at 420 Maynard, in Ann Arbor, or even the United States at all.
On a cold March night in Copenhagen, I sat in the center of my Kollegium (that’s Danish for dorm), slowly packing up my suitcases after Michigan announced that all students had to leave their study abroad programs, effective immediately.
In my marketing class earlier that afternoon before the news broke, rather than writing down that day’s notes I perused the Michigan Daily sports website (sorry Mom!), reading all of the previous night’s coverage. As I read through articles, I marveled at the progress young writers had made since I had left, and found myself wondering about what I was missing back home. Was my presence missed, or was life just going on?
I remember being a freshman and walking into 420 Maynard on Halloween night dressed in an Austin Powers costume. As I walked up the stairs expecting a Halloween party, I instead found a regular production. I didn’t know what to do. Kevin Santo noticed me and told me that he knew I was writing my first story on volleyball the next night and sat with me as we went over how to write a gamer. Suddenly, for the first time in college, I felt like I belonged. Rather than spending my nights at home, I started spending them in the newsroom, staying until the wee hours of the morning watching sports, playing games and making NYPD and Piada runs (RIP) with my friends. I finally felt like I had found a true home.
Back to Copenhagen. At 4:45 in the morning, I began folding the last of my winter coats into my suitcase when my phone buzzed. As I looked at it, I saw that it was a tweet from a fellow Daily Sports Writer, saying #BRINGTEDDYHOME. I saw nearly all of my friends from the sports section liking it and sending their well wishes in the comments section. As I retweeted it and said #TEDDYSCOMINGHOME, I received a wave of messages from my fellow writers, checking in to see if I was holding up OK and wishing me a safe trip home. Even though on the surface it appeared to be just a funny tweet, in that moment I knew that not only would the Daily be back when I returned, but the care and support of the people who inhabit it and make it one of the warmest environments on campus would be too.
To my seniors: this ride has been a blast from start to finish. From State News to late night singalongs to Heads Up games, you guys have made this section special every step of the way. To the juniors, you make our section a brighter place to be every day and I couldn’t be more excited to see what you do as leaders next year. To the sophomores and freshmen, the improvement and desire each and every one of you has shown to write this semester has been amazing to see, and I can’t wait to continue to read your coverage and see you grow as you continue this four-year adventure called college. To Mike, Max, Ben, Tien, Laney, Orion, and Kevin, thanks for being role models from day one and showing me time and time again why the Daily is one of the most magical and special places on campus. You’ve made me a better writer and taught me to be an even better friend and person.
Now to a few non-Daily folks. To the lads at 821 Packard and 323 John, you are some of the kindest and best people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I’m grateful each and every day to have you guys as my inner circle. Sorry I didn’t get to bring you boys to crash a Daily party this year, but let’s be real: the story we got out the first one is pretty tough to top.
Let’s go back to March 2020 to close this thing out before I reach my word limit. As I touched down in New York on a cold and rainy night, I saw another tweet from a Daily sports writer: #TEDDYISHOME, and again nearly all of my friends on the Daily reached out to check in and welcome me back. Again, just a funny tweet, but it sums up my time with the Daily to a T. When you have people like that in your corner from the best place on campus, no matter where I find myself, #TEDDYISALWAYSHOME.
ISABELLE HASSLUND – Statement Deputy Editor
Whew, it’s been a long ride at the Daily. I remember walking into the newsroom for my first ever Arts meeting as a freshman. Shev jumped up to greet me from the Arts table covered in empty booze bottles, a new shipment of books, miscellaneous papers and book bags thrown onto the table like in those suburban coming-of-age films when the moody main character comes home from high school. Arts was my first home at the Daily, specifically my Community Culture family, and I simply couldn’t have had a better introduction to the Daily. I was extremely lucky to have Shev and Dayton as my CC editors to start out. They pushed me to be a better writer and to push boundaries as a journalist. I always remember Shev giving us the courage to disagree, to stand by an unpopular opinion, to be fearless in our critiques of performances. I still carry this courage with me when I write.
Then, becoming beat editor of CC, one of the most rewarding experiences. Inheriting a relatively new section and playing a part in hiring new writers and molding it to the wonderful place it is in now has been incredible. Stepping into the role of motivating other writers to express what they’re passionate about and to find their voices was empowering.
Thank you to Trina, who joined CC with me as a freshman. We both navigated through the ranks into editors for CC, buddied up to go to infamous Arts parties together, and kept each other semi-sane during elections. Any sanity that Trina gave me was quashed by my wonderful friend, Sammy Sussman, who drove and still drives me to the point of insanity. Oh, the memories we’ve had, Sammy, the Boba king. In all seriousness, Sammy, I am so proud of all you have accomplished as a journalist and all we have accomplished as friends. The Arts section is my home, with its bold and boisterous writers. We’re definitely the cool kids.
But I could not think of a better place to end my Daily tenure than at Statement. Seriously, this has been a really weird semester with Zoom university and doing college at home. Maggie, Andie, Marisa, thank you so much boss ladies! And to all the Statement writers I’ve had the pleasure of working with: You all inspire me every week with your passion, your stories, your drive. Thank you so much for your perspectives and wonderful conversations.
I am so excited to see where the Daily goes from here, but I have so much hope and love for the incredible people who walk in and out of the newsroom, I know we will go only up from here. If we could handle the challenge that was 2020, we can handle anything else thrown our way. Love to my forever home and forever friends.
KRYSTAL HUR – Senior Opinion Editor
When I prepared to leave the Daily around this time last year to study abroad, I moped around campus — my resting bitch face thankfully hiding my angst — while listening to Adele’s Someone Like You (I being Adele, The Daily being “You”).
Maybe that’s a dramatic reaction to leaving the Daily for just one semester, but in hindsight, it feels prophetic: The Daily I left after two years isn’t the same one I came back to. There have been no late night gossip sessions with Erin and Joel or standing in line for a Chipotle burrito to fill the inevitable production lull. Alex the Bear has mysteriously disappeared. But the physical newsroom isn’t what makes me love The Daily. From discussing cancel culture at Editboard to spending elections huddled in the Opinion corner to going absolutely ham during page reads (I apologize to anyone who worked production with me Fall 2019), I’ve loved being a part of this incredible paper. And that’s because of the people here who put their blood, sweat and tears into making sure it keeps publishing every single day. So, some thank yous are in order.
Emily and Brittany: You two have led the section with grace and empathy through a semester tougher than any of us imagined it would be. Emily, one of my favorite newsroom memories is blasting hard rock with you during production (another is elections, IYKYK). You’ve been so wonderful, and I’m always blown away by how incredibly warm and thoughtful you are. Thanks for grounding me this semester. Brittany, I remember just a year ago when you were a columnist and told me you were going to apply for senior editor. Now, you’ve been an EPE for Summer and a semester and are about to be Managing Editor — the glow up is insane, but it’s unsurprising, because you’re brilliant and deserving of it all. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.
Zack, my production pal: Thanks for the late night tea and conversations about shambolic historical figures. And for inspiring me to fix my equally shambolic sleep schedule. Working productions with you has been a highlight of my semester, and I’m really going to miss it. You know how to reach me when you have tea to spill (or want to send me pictures of your cats).
Alexa: If anyone badgered me as much as I badger you, I’d probably ghost them at least once. So thanks for not doing that and instead answering every text I (and many others, I’m sure!) send you with unfaltering patience and humor. I appreciate you a lot.
To Opinion: You have taught me how to find strength in vulnerability and laugh through it all. What I’ve learned by being part of this section for the past three years has been invaluable, and I’m better because of it. Stay spicy and keep everyone on their toes.
And finally — thank you, Daily, and goodbye.
If anyone on Spotify sees that I’m listening to Someone Like You … don’t text.
SADIA JIBAN – Copy Chief
It feels like just yesterday I opened up the freshmen Orientation Issue in summer 2017 and decided I’m joining The Daily. I swear I just blinked once and here I am writing my senior goodbye. Time certainly flies but I’m happy I spent a ton of it as a Daily staff member. The passion that reverberates throughout the newsroom filled with talented, smart (and goofy) people all working in synergy every night was truly an indescribable feeling. Even remotely, this energy was felt and is something I will always search for moving forward in my career.
I’ve grown immeasurably from back when I was a timid freshman rummaging through the newsroom for a decent chair (which, by the way, as Sophie pointed out, is basically hazing for primaries) to who I am now, confidently sitting in a fancy chair with “CHIEF” written on it (metaphorically speaking now since we’re out of the newsroom). The Daily played a significant role in my growth and the newsroom is witness to it all.
Now, enough about me, I’ve got some pretty important people who deserve the spotlight. First and foremost, I have my caring and supportive parents to thank for all that they’ve done for me. I feel truly blessed to have them both as teammates and coaches in my life. Second, to all the friends I’ve made, Ross classmates and instructors I’ve learned from, thank you for contributing to who I am today.
Madison, I could not have asked for a greater partner when Copy went through one of its first contested elections. We gave it all we got, came out on top, only to have a fleeting moment of considering resignation when Silas and Emily pulled out a thick Google Drive of spreadsheets and documents. If only we knew we’d have a whole pandemic to work with too! One of my favorite memories made in the newsroom was when we stripped down the entire board and cleaned up all the clutter (I still have no idea where the computer monitor shoved to the back came from). We were so excited to start a new and amazing era for Copy. We redecorated the board, filled the candy pails up with only the best: Starbursts and Hershey’s and cleaned the table as if our moms were judging. Sure, we all ended up having to evacuate but I’m so proud of us. I won’t say goodbye because we still have our exciting Madison + Sadia Take NYC adventures coming up! Until then, thank you for being the jelly to my peanut butter.
To our legendary senior copy editors, Sophie Kephart, Silas Lee, Olivia Bradish, Olivia Sedlacek and Ellie Scott, thank you so much for being the backbone of Copy. I will never forget the nights when Olivia B. and I would very meticulously calculate whether we should get coffee so we last through the night but risk missing our 9 a.m. classes. On other nights, Sophie and I faced the dilemma of having to choose between showering or sleeping once we headed out of the newsroom at 1 a.m. I’m both laughing and weeping as I recollect all the amazing memories that were formed at the Copy Desk. I will miss this robust team.
Primaries, you effortlessly sorted through databases and PDFs to confirm a minuscule fact, debated whether an Oxford comma is needed for clarity or not and learned more about city council than you ever wanted to know. You are the heroes of The Daily. As the key players in upholding our credibility, your work allows us to remain a respected source of journalism. Thank you for leaving entertaining Copy notes for me — your sharp wit and intriguing commentary made my job all the more enjoyable. Keep it up and stay in touch.
Lizzy and Erin, it has been an honor working both for and with you. Lizzy, you have a friendly aura that everyone is attracted to and instantly makes people feel comfortable. Erin, your warm smile lights up the whole room. You both handled all the craziness of this year so well and for that, I salute you.
Maya Mokh, my fellow hijabae, so happy I had you throughout our reign as Managing Editors. From GOP to TMD, I hope fate continues to bring us together over and over again.
Rachel Cunningham, my TMD x Ross buddy, so grateful we’ve shared a multitude of experiences together. Looking forward to many more.
Emily and Silas, thank you for being our biggest cheerleaders from day one, couldn’t have done it all without you.
Finn, Elise, Miriam, Madeline, Biz and Taylor: I am very thankful to have had you all as wonderful examples to learn from. Wherever you are in life right now, I know you’re crushing it and I hope to cross paths again one day.
Julianna, if I had to choose one person to spend an awkward Zoom Production session with, it will 100 times over always be you. You can make complete strangers feel comfortable around you with your contagious smile and warm personality. Those are valuable traits and I appreciate you for them.
Leah, thank you for keeping picture evidence of a time when Copy saved lives and sharing with me; “sharting” will always hold a special place in my heart.
Sayali, thank you for hyping me up during my brief stint as a News Reporter.
Brittany and Emily, some of the pieces you sent in for Copy made me grab for aspirin but you both are amazing so it’s okay.
Madison and Olivia B., you both will crush it in 2021. Copy will thrive like never before and I can’t wait to hear all about it! Love you both and wish you all the best.
It has been a privilege and honor to be a part of The Michigan Daily. And with that, John, one last time — can we play that Miley Cyrus song again?
MIN SOO KIM – Opinion Senior Editor
Trying to write a heartfelt senior goodbye, I tried to think back to my first semester here and remember why exactly I joined the Daily as an Editboard member in the Fall of 2015. Aside from the fact that it has been more than five years — I had to take two years off because of the mandatory military service, if anyone was wondering if I’m a sixth-year super-duper senior — I couldn’t recall what really made me attend the mass meeting and the weekly Editboard meetings. We all have old friends that we don’t remember how exactly we became such good friends with. The Daily, the Editboard and the Opinion section as a whole are like that good old friend to me. Although I can’t really tell you what made me so interested in joining this wonderful group in the beginning, I can tell you that my experience was beyond extraordinary.
To all the EPEs I’ve met and worked with, Aarica, Derek, Clare, Regan, Maggie, Joel, Emily, Miles, and Brittany, thank you so much for leading the way in making Opinion a crucial part of the paper and helping writers like myself develop the skills and individual styles of writing through your guidance. I very much appreciate all that you guys have done, not only for the section in general but also for guiding me to become a better writer and editor. Even though only about half of you guys are still with us at the Daily, I still wanted to include all the names of EPEs I remember simply because they are all awesome people.
To my fellow SEs, Joel, Krystal, Liz and Zack, it was a pleasure to have worked with a group of such talented writers and editors during my first semester as a SE. I can only hope I contributed to making Opinion content better as much as you guys did and wish we had been able to work more closely in person. Thank you all.
To our new EPEs, Joel and Liz, I had the privilege to work with both of you this semester as Senior Editors on Mondays and Tuesdays. You guys are not only great editors but also great people to work with. I look forward to my final semester with the Opinion with you guys as EPEs and I know you two will do great. Emily and Brittany definitely did raise the expectations to be met as EPEs, but I believe you guys will lead Opinion in your own exemplary ways.
To all Opinion Staffers, whether you are a Columnist or a Cartoonist, thank you for persevering through this challenging semester and producing content with unmatched quality. You guys quite literally make the Opinion section what it is and I cannot thank each and every one of you enough. I hope I was at least a decent SE. Just as with my fellow SEs, I wish we had been able to work more closely in person, whether it would have been the newsroom or the Editboard room (there must be another formal name for that room on the right corner but for me, it will forever be the Editboard room).
Finally, to everyone I crossed paths with at the Daily, I wish I had tried harder to form closer relationships with all of you guys. The Daily is a superb organization full of great people and the only regret I have from my experience with the paper is that I did not invest too much time in becoming closer with the people here. Nevertheless, thank you to all of you and here is my goodbye to an old friend.
TK KIM – Videographer
Not going to lie, I have not spent as much time in the Michigan Daily as much as these other seniors. So I’m just going to give a big thanks to Alec Cohen and Eli Sider for the great final year of TMDV section and catching new members up to speed. I understand that coming in, the video section was not in the best spot in terms of human resources and equipment. But a lot of effort and dedication was needed to get the video department up to speed, and even despite COVID hampering a lot of what we can do as a section that depends on equipment and software to produce our content, those two have done a fantastic job in meeting expectations and needs.
Anyway, I’m going to go catch up on the latest Every Three Weekly.
ANNIE KLUSENDORF – Managing Photo Editor
In the time I’ve been here, The Michigan Daily has been a place for taking chances. I saw it first when I went to Northwestern to shoot mens’ basketball for the first time, on a Tuesday night the week before exams. I knew nothing about sports. I met Theo and Ethan for the first time, who, it seemed, knew only about sports, so our conversations had exactly nothing in common. I slept in the back of the car on a pile of backpacks, too nervous to talk to them. Ethan and Theo, one of my first questions to you was “Who is KBA?” and I still think about it (and your pause of disbelief) every day. I’ve grown so much since then and it’s all on you guys.
I’ve found myself in a lot of random places, sometimes in random states (always Iowa), because of this paper. That’s the best thing about being a photographer: you have to be there. I’ve covered basketball, hockey, and the Iowa caucuses, Bernie in Hill Auditorium and many, many protests. Photo is lucky because we get to work with all different sections—I’m as likely to know when someone’s trying to kidnap our Governor as when Harbaugh isn’t wearing his mask, and I’d like to think my knowledge of both news and sports has skyrocketed.
And sometimes you just have to walk ten feet from your desk, and there will be Maggie, ready to let you take another chance. After a semester in Cape Town, I decided I had something to say about it, and Maggie decided to let Statement take a chance on me. I ended up becoming a correspondent, and ruining Maggie and Andie’s lives weekly with my lateness and my tooth-pulling writing process. They handled me like true editors, pulling out my best writing and gently squashing my worst. Andie, I can’t wait to see what you do with Statement, and hopefully I’ll be along to write some more.
To Maddie, Julia, and Allison: the photo section is not the photo section without you. Somehow we were all brought together without knowing our co-editor at the time, and the Daily worked its magic, and here we are. I can’t wait for the year you’re all going to have—the section truly could not be in better hands and I’m so excited to watch it all happen.
To Lizzy and Erin, thank you for leading us this year with grace and for always being there. I don’t know how you did it, and I do not envy you, but I’m incredibly thankful for you.
To Allison especially: thank you for being a great co-editor and friend. This year we went, as you said, to hell and back, and I can confidently say I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else. We managed to not only survive a year of the Daily together, but survive briefly combining our friend groups and come back out the other side. That’s some talent, honestly. I can see how much you love this job and the Daily every day, even when you hate the Daily, and that’s what makes you such a great ME. I can’t wait to see so much more from you!
I remember being a sophomore and having the ‘oh shit’ moment when you first walk into the newsroom, and I remember hearing about the seniors overcoming their moments while still stuck in mine. But it really does happen. The Daily will take a chance on you if you take a chance on it, I promise. Thanks TMD 🙂
ELIZABETH (LIZZY) LAWRENCE – Editor in Chief
I put off writing this until the very end. I knew senior goodbyes are hard to write, but I’ve been surprised at how thoroughly in denial I am about this ending. Who am I without The Michigan Daily? What will I even tweet about now?
In November 2017, I was a freshman news reporter-in-training, listening in awe as EIC candidate Alexa St. John listed all of the executive officers at the University from memory. I looked around the newsroom, filled to the brim with rowdy, quirky college students, and found myself starting to love this place. But I never thought I could lead it — I barely knew the door code.
I was nervous as hell to lead the News section, and more nervous still to lead the paper. I remember literally agonizing over the first email I sent out to the entire staff in January. The Daily can take a lot out of you. But with every late night when InDesign crashed, every angry email, every frantic breaking news storm, every misstep, I grew. And I watched everyone around me at The Daily grow, too. We give so much to this organization, and it gives us invaluable experiences in return.
I can’t lie. I’m bitter that this pandemic took so much of what we love about The Daily from us. I miss walking into the newsroom every weeknight at 6 p.m., grabbing a fork from the comically large pile on the Sports desk. I miss hitting my Story Meeting bell. It breaks my heart that we won’t have our final production in the newsroom together, dancing on tables and screaming “Electric Love.”
But even through this epic challenge, we’ve grown. In my humble opinion, we’re the most resilient set of Daily staffers in a long time. I’m so proud of the incredible work every member of this paper has done, informing the community and expressing themselves even in the worst of circumstances. What I love most about The Daily persists: the amazing, passionate people. It’s been an honor leading you all.
Thank you to Matt, for being the first person to make me feel comfortable here. A part of me will always think of you as Solomon’s cool older roommate. You’re an incredible, talented person and friend — thank you for pushing me to sign up for those damn trial stories. Eunice is safe and sound.
To Maya, for being my constant source of EIC wisdom. Thank you for helping me realize I could do this, and for continuing to answer my ridiculous texts. A special thank you to the recent EICs whose advice I’ve sought out throughout this year.
To Grace, for taking on the News section with me and handling the chaos effortlessly. To Amara, Remy and Rachel, for having my back as SNEds. To Julia, it was freaking incredible watching you kill it at the News desk and now at Bloomberg. I miss your News meeting antics. To Sammy and Zayna, thank you for producing some of The Daily’s best journalism; can’t wait to hopefully watch the Bachelor with you two. To the 2020 SNEds, thank you for always dealing with the most and keeping us all sane when staying up until 2:00 a.m. waiting for City Council.
To Sayali and Leah, my SNEds turned MNEs. Our Thursday nightsides rocked. You two have really helped keep me alive this year. Sayali, I still don’t know how you did this, you crazy pre-med. You’re amazing and silly and I can’t wait to watch you kill it in whatever you do. Leah, thank you for your sarcasm, your Santa Claus laugh and your perfectly timed memes. You have an incredible capacity to handle anything thrown your way.
To my 2020 Managing Editors, I couldn’t have done this without you. Not sure what I’m going to do without our 6:15 check-ins and icebreaker. Thank you for (mostly) filling out story list, leading your section through the COVID transition and being all-around impressive humans. Let’s play laser tag again soon. Arts & MiC, I’ll miss editing your beautiful pieces, but I’ll always be a devoted reader. To my fellow 2019 Managing Editors, y’all were real. Glad I was a part of canceling Carly & Joel. And beating Max & Finn in Euchre. And hearing Maggie play Patience by the Lumineers on the piano, as well as yell its name.
To Claire, I’m so excited for you to take this on. You are immensely capable and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish. Brittany, Jack and the future ME class: You’re going to kill it. I’m here for you all the way.
To my friends outside The Daily: Thank you for listening to me vent, for constantly gassing me up and for making time for me despite the 40 hours The Daily demands. I’m free now to watch movies or dance to Dua Lipa any day of the week. Nada & Katie, it was always so thrilling to see you two in the newsroom. Glad you stuck with Copy, and Nada, it’s been amazing watching you blossom at MiC.
To Mom, Dad, Judy: Your love and encouragement made this possible. I love you all so much. Mom, thank you for being a voice of journalistic reason. Dad, thank you for listening to my Daily woes. Judy, thank you for joining The Daily after all. So glad that a Lawrence will remain here :’)
To Kathy, James, Lisa, Kim, Hess, Neil and everyone on the Board: Thank you for your unending support and words of wisdom. Most of all, thank you for listening and letting us students take the lead. To Anita, thank you for being a phenomenal leader. It was so great getting to know you and chipping away at the Edit/Business barrier.
To Erin, my ME, my rock and my co-parent. We’ve come so far from that chat in Sweetwaters. Thank you for dealing with my incessant texts, for consulting with me, for making me laugh, for commiserating with me, for walking home with me and for always being by my side. I’m so happy to call you a close friend. Let’s keep FaceTiming randomly.
And finally, to Finn. Throwback to when you were just that cute Copy Chief. I’m so lucky to have you, and to have experienced The Daily with you. Thank you for staying up all those nights to be with me at the end of production. I love you.
I’m not ready to leave, but I’m ready to watch future editors take this place to new heights. I can’t wait to help News crush it on Zoom trivia, and to gather in the newsroom once it’s safe again, even if I’m a washed-up alum.
SILAS LEE – Senior Copy Editor
During my very first Editor-in-Chief election at The Michigan Daily, I wrote a short poem somewhere in the Stanford Lipsey Student Publications building. No, I won’t tell you where it is or what it said. Partly because it was rubbish, but mostly because that is for me. That poem is a small mark, my small addition to the history of The Michigan Daily.
A year later, I became the Chief Copy Editor. There are too many names on the list of people I should thank for that opportunity, but they know who they are, and they know that they have my gratitude. Responsibility was thrust on me as it had been on many editors who came before, and as it will, undoubtedly, be thrust on those who come after. I can only say that whatever talents I possessed, they were sharpened at The Daily. This has been true for 130 years, and I am confident that will remain true. And as my time at The Daily ends, I leave the incoming staff with another, better poem, this time from Tennyson:
We are not now that strength which old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are, —
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
DANIELA LUGO – Senior Michigan in Color Editor
I began working at the Daily through Michigan in Color in the Winter 2020 semester of my junior year. I recall receiving the email in which I was offered the Creative Content Senior Editor position. I remember the excitement that built up within me as I gladly accepted. The following weeks consisted of training with former MiC staff at the Asubuhi Lounge in West Quad and getting to know the new MiC staff at Amer’s on State St. as I enjoyed an Island Acai Bowl for the first time.
I recall how much of a hassle it was to get to campus during those cold winter Sundays for staff meetings and MDesk because I lived too far and the Ride buses were inconsistent. On top of that, I had to walk 15 more minutes to make it to the newsroom, but despite that trouble, I already miss it. Looking back, it’s insane to recall that so many of us fit into that tiny box of a room for MDesk meetings.
It’s quite bittersweet to look back at how such an amazing year went by in a blink of an eye. I miss working at the newsroom with my coworkers and occasionally sharing holiday-themed snacks. I miss the free coffee and bagels that boosted my productivity when I did not get enough sleep the night before.
The nostalgia I have been experiencing for the past couple of weeks as my time as Creative Content Senior Editor for MiC comes to an end has been strong, especially knowing that if it weren’t for this pandemic we would all be celebrating our achievements as individuals and as a section at the newsroom. MiC was one of the first places where I felt accepted when I constantly questioned my place at the University of Michigan as a woman of color.
THEO MACKIE – Managing Sports Editor
The Michigan Daily was never supposed to be a big part of my college plans.
If I had followed my plans, I might have joined The Daily, but I wouldn’t have stood in a locker room in Anaheim a year later, covering the NCAA Tournament. I wouldn’t have played basketball at Assembly Hall or football at Michigan Stadium. I wouldn’t have walked through a Del Taco drive-thru or gone sledding on a car bumper.
And my best friends would have come from the places I thought my best friends were supposed to come from — dorm halls and pledge classes.
Instead, they came from The Daily. Everything came from The Daily. Because from the moment I stepped into the newsroom at 420 Maynard, I knew to follow that warm fuzzy feeling. It hasn’t gone away since.
Kevin and Betelhem, you were the first to instill that feeling, even during a Sunday production when I’m sure the last thing either of you wanted to do was read a mock story that had 643 words before the first quote.
Orion, none of this would have ever happened without you. You were the reason I conferenced for a beat freshman year. I didn’t think I had time, but you wanted me to see what happened. I’ll never be able to repay you.
Mike, nobody has ever made me laugh harder or sing louder. You created the newsroom environment that made me fall in love with The Daily and carried it everywhere you went, from the Peach Bowl media room to 253 Meyran.
Laney, everyone knows that you’re the nicest person in the world, but what they don’t know is that you can also shit talk with the best of them. Everyone whose life you’re a part of is better for it.
Paige, the good thing about you is you believed in me from the start. There are few things I’m more thankful for than picking up Tien’s call for our first ever Steak n’ Shake trip and making you my go-to gossiper (honorable mention to the betches in the booth). You make everything in life fun.
Max, you’re the best writer I know. Someday I’m gonna tell people I worked with Max Marcovitch and they’re not gonna believe me. But focusing on your writing does a disservice to the friend, mentor and USMNT U17 prospect hype train leader you’ve been for the past three years. If I was half the MSE you were, I’d consider that a success.
Tien, you were the first person to show me that The Daily is a family during those sophomore year ping pong nights. You believed in me when not many people did. Ever since then, you’ve embodied the best trait anyone could ask for in a friend: Someone who’s down to do anything, at any time, whether they want to or not. Sometimes it’s jumpstarting my car in Toledo, sometimes it’s waking up at 3 a.m. to shred the Savage. No matter what, it’s always memorable and always fun.
To anyone who’s ever stayed in the newsroom way later than they knew was advisable, thank you. I’d give anything in the world for one more NYPD run with you guys. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
To anyone I’ve ever been on a beat with, thank you. I’d give anything in the world for one more road trip with you guys. Bennett, thanks for giving me someone to complain about DC sports with. Connor, you’re my boy and you know it. Kopnick, you taught me that insanity has a different meaning at The Daily, and a very different meaning on Tuesday nights at arcade bars in Omaha. Aria, your writing inspires me every day. Shames, our road trips were legendary. Daniel, I looked forward to working with you for two years and it’s only surpassed my expectations.
To photo staff, thank you. You guys are the unsung heroes of the sports section. Whether it’s navigating a snowstorm in Pennsylvania, jumping in a lake in Madison or changing a photo at 3 a.m., our section wouldn’t run without you.
To everyone who comes next, thank you. You guys have made the past year unimaginably rewarding. The Daily is in good hands.
Brendan, Kent, Lane, Lily and the idiots; Mike and Laney always said that I’d end up becoming just as close with those who came after me as with those who came before me. I didn’t believe them at the time, but they were right. The people who thrive at The Daily are the people who know how to have fun. And that’s the best way to describe all of you.
Lizzy and Erin, I’m forever convinced we would have had an elite euchre squad. You guys should be proud of how you guided The Daily through a year no one could have imagined.
Lane and Kent, savor it. Enjoy the parts that seem like grunt work just as much as the parts that seem magical in the moment. It’ll be the best, craziest, busiest, most rewarding year of your life. I can’t imagine two people more ready for the challenge.
Ethan, you’re the best co-MSE, three-year beat partner and friend in the world. The common thread in every lasting memory from the past three years is that you’ve been a part of it. There’s no one I would have rather traversed the country with, no one I would have rather learned how to be a journalist from and certainly no one I would have rather done this job with. Thanks for taking the driving shifts I didn’t want and nodequeueing when I forgot. Not bad for someone so unapproachable.
Isabel, this year would’ve been impossible without you. There’s no remedy for a bad day like knowing that you’ll be there for me at the end of it. Someday I might even get around to writing that book. I love you.
I guess this is the part where I have to cede my time to whomever comes next alphabetically. I don’t really know how to do it, which is fitting, because I have no idea how to end my time at The Daily. This place has given me everything for the past four years. The people and the memories will live on forever. If only the years could too.
MAGGIE MIHAYLOVA – Managing Statement Editor
My story with The Daily begins at night. It was freshman year, and I was lying awake in bed, wondering what I could do on campus now that it was already late September and most clubs were wrapping up their applications. As I thought about it more, I felt my stomach shift with sickness. I knew I wanted to join the student newspaper, but I had missed all the mass meetings. In a fervor, I picked up my phone and scribbled out a message to an older friend on staff, asking them to connect me to a section they thought I’d do well on.
I ended up at Opinion, where I was a nervous and uncharacteristically tight-lipped freshman sitting at the Editboard table and listening to the cool upperclassmen as they discussed politics, culture and their plans for the weekend. Who would have known that a year later I’d be leading those same meetings I had initially felt terrified to speak in.
As most SE/ME stories begin, I was drunk at Jeopardy when Anu told me I should apply to be a senior editor, though convincing me to run for EPE did not necessitate alcohol (I was just born to be in it). I feel so lucky to have served as EPE — what a privilege to be granted voice and leadership. Knowing that, even as a nineteen year old girl with not a shred of wisdom, what I think and say is important, and that people will listen and care, was so valuable to me.
Leading Statement showed me that, even as a twenty-one year old girl with a few shreds of wisdom, my vision is smart and creative, and with a team of dedicated, passionate women, I can achieve what started as a little doodle in my head. Statement is such a special and important space on this paper and I feel grateful to have experienced the freedom and creativity that come with it.
I always made it a point to say this at our mass meetings, so I’ll say it here, too: The Daily is special because we, a group of young people, are wholly responsible for turning a vision into a real product. We walked into that newsroom every night with ideas and a goal, and walked out with a whole ass newspaper. We spent college making something that hundreds of people read, something that moves people, gets them to think. That is not something that most students can say they’ve done, and we might not ever have that power and impact again in our lives.
To Andie, Marisa, Izzy, Kate, Liz, Maddie, Eileen, Maggie and all the amazing Winter and Fall writers: You are the reason Statement is what it is, and I am so grateful for your kindness, imagination and dedication. To Emily and Reece, thank you for the same, and for helping me while I still learned the ropes. Andie, this baby is yours now, and I have no doubt you will be a Statement queen (more so than you already are).
To Joel and every SE and writer I worked with on Opinion: Thank you for giving me friendship, pushing me to think critically and curiously and for being so damn lit at elections. My connection to the Daily would have a big ol’ gap in the middle of it if it wasn’t for my time at Opinion.
To the 2019 MEs, what a group to spend eight hours with in a building almost every night. We had so much fun and did so much good. I will never forget yelling “PATIENCE…BY THE LUMINEERS” at the blood moon; what a legacy we left. To the 2020 MEs, I am inspired by your ability to make a paper even better during a pandemic. I have nothing but excitement and hope for the future of The Daily.
To Maya, schoob, you inspired me then and you inspire me now — I eagerly await the next cool thing you will do, so I can cheer you on. To Finn, thank you for always lending a kind ear — also, I’m glad I have a friend I can gossip with about both The Daily and Ford. To Carly, you’re like the big sister I never had, and I will cherish our production shenanigans over [redacted] and that one time I allegedly tried to stick my legs in your skirt. To Max, I miss making you uncomfortable with fellow deviant Carly. It’s harder to do through a Zoom screen, but I’m happy to see you then nonetheless. To Lizzy, my fellow youth, I am lucky to have you as a friend and EIC; you have navigated this here pandemic with elegance and grace.
I have seen The Daily shift over the years, but it’s always been in the direction of the positive. And if there’s one thing doing this job over Zoom has shown me, it’s that the feeling we’ve all had when walking through 420 Maynard does not come from something magical in the building — it comes from the people in it.
MAYA MOKH – Managing Michigan in Color Editor
Of all the decisions I have made in my time at college, joining The Michigan Daily is one of the few I can confidently say was the right one.
I joined as an assistant editor for Michigan in Color my freshman year after being encouraged by my sociology professor (thank you forever, David Schoem). I had little to no editing experience and was petrified of public speaking (or writing), but I knew what kind of community I was looking for. I wanted a community that cared. I joined as someone who wanted to share my words but was often too afraid to. I was a chronic overthinker, and quite frankly, I didn’t believe my voice deserved to be heard. Not to sound all like an insecure freshman, but being a part of MiC taught me to believe in myself.
Through Michigan in Color, I have been shown time and time again the power and weight of words, the power and weight of human connection. I never in a million years would have seen myself publishing my words in a newspaper to be immortalized and passed through the hands of countless students, or to be commented on by angry conservatives across the country. I never would have seen myself leading a section full of talented, beautiful editors, creators and writers. But it has nonetheless been the most rewarding experience of my time at Michigan.
To my staff, you all have made my time here so, so special. You have shown up with your funny stories, your beaming personalities, your powerful words, your frustrations and your resilience, and you have made this space into a community that energizes and uplifts everyone who comes across it. To Ana and Devak, thank you for being my rocks and my dear friends. I hope you both never doubt your brilliance.
Gabrijela and Anamika, I could not be more confident and excited in whose hands the section is in this year. You are both forces to be reckoned with — you are amazing writers and editors and thinkers, but beyond that you are beautiful, compassionate souls whose light shines through in everything you do. I will be here cheering you on and watching you lead like you were meant to. Cheryn, I’m still salty that you left us, but I am so happy to watch you thrive in NYC. Thank you for taking our social media game from 0 to 100 and for bonding with me over Tik Toks in the newsroom.
Nada and Devak, I think we can agree that Monday shift was the only thing that cured our Monday blues. I’ll miss our rants, music sharing, complaining about Arab boys and listening to Devak’s elaborate stories.
Lora, I cannot count how many times you have eased my worries and had my back as an editor and as a best friend. I think I would have lost my mind without you, I love you to the end.
To the rest of the edit staff — I am so thankful I got to share this time with you. Thank you for your hard work, creativity and delightful presence. To our columnists, thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your stories, art and time with us. You are all so talented and capable, and it is your voices that make this space what it is. Keep living and creating and never doubt the power of your words. Put MiC on the front page. Put your articles on your mom’s fridge. Make them reverberate through Facebook. Whatever you decide to do in the future, please keep your voices ringing.
Carly and Na’kia, Ashley and Jason, thank you for setting the tone. I wouldn’t be here without you guys, and I’ll forever admire you all. To the founders, to Rima, you did something revolutionary and I hope you know what an inspiration you have been to me from the start. Forever a proud Dearborn Girl.
Lastly, Lizzy, thank you for being the kindest and most helpful person I have ever met. You are the most graceful Editor in Chief we all could have asked for — though I will no longer be frantically texting you when I run into a problem on Workflow, I hope we can stay in touch so I can cheer you on and watch you flourish as the amazing journalist you are.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list. If we crossed paths during my time at the Daily, I am thankful for you.
Though I feel like I got cheated out of my last year of newsroom vibes, the fact that we were able to feel so connected and produce such impactful work through our screens this semester means something. I was surrounded by insurmountable passion and dedication, wit and talent, humor and patience, by everyone in every section. The Daily is unlike any other place at Michigan. There’s magic here, at the MiC desk at the back of the room; in the posters plastered on the wall; in the Arts playlist that got us through Sunday shifts; in the blood, sweat and tears that students put in every night; in not leaving the newsroom until 1 a.m.; in the stories we write; in the weird story meeting icebreakers; in the Open MiC Nights and the MiC playlist and the group chat that stays popping throughout the late night. It’s the same magic that allows us to justify neglecting heaps of schoolwork and dedicate countless hours for little-to-no pay, the one that makes our parents question our college choices, and sometimes makes us question our own sanity.
Year after year, I have listened as the seniors gave their tearful and memory-filled goodbyes, wondering when I would feel that sense of connection and nostalgia; but as I sit here writing this, it feels far too soon. I wanted more time in the newsroom. I wanted outings with my staff and Open MiC Nights in the UMMA. I wanted bubble tea runs after shifts and TMD Jeopardy parties. Though I’m sad to go, it’s time for other people to experience that unique magic, and I hope you savor it because time flies, or whatever Drake said. Goodbye, MiC and TMD. Thank you for everything.
CAMILLE MOORE – Michigan in Color Blogger and Pass the MiC Content Producer
I’ve always been a curious person. Whether it’s about a government policy, a television show or a social media trend, I wonder why the world is the way it is and why we all play along. Being a writer at the Daily has led me to solve that unsolvable question, and I’ve been able to explore so many different topics openly with this platform I’ve been fortunate enough to have.
These three semesters have been an ongoing learning experience; a journey of being vulnerable and believing that my stories should be told. The aspects of my identity that have been criticized by others for so long – my race, my sexuality, and my body – I was displaying proudly for others to read. I hope that throughout the pieces I’ve written that someone out there who has no idea who I am has found perspective, comfort or solidarity. Regardless, I know for certain that joining The Daily has been one of the best decisions I’ve made at the University of Michigan.
I won’t make this too long but I want to start by thanking all of the editors who have edited the shit out of my pieces and helped make them readable. I don’t know how y’all do it, but I love you for it. Thank you to the amazing team at Pass the MiC. Though our time together was short, I’m glad I got to know you all and hope you’ve enjoyed the experience as much as I have. And shout out to Phoebe, my fellow content producer, for always being on top of your shit when drafting scripts! You’re amazing and I’ll miss collaborating with you.
I want to especially thank Maya, Ana, Rashika and Devak. You have shown me what it means to lead with integrity and I’m so lucky to have been in MiC with all of you. And I appreciate all of the messages and emails you’ve responded to from me because I know I send a LOT, but you’ve always been so helpful.
It’s been an absolute privilege to meet, collaborate and be in the presence of everyone at The Daily, especially the beautiful and talented MiC section. I am grateful for the comradery and kindness every single member of MiC has shown me these past 3 semesters. I’ve been so proud to be a part of this section and to have seen the hard work you all have contributed over the years. You all inspire me to be a better writer and a better human being.
Good luck with all your future projects, endeavors and dreams. Love you all <3
JULIANNA MORANO – Managing Arts Editor
All of the most important people to me in the world work here, which says a few things — about the extent of gratitude I’m trying to express here, and the ways in which I will inevitably leave glaring omissions. There are more thank yous than I can give, but I’ll start with thanking the big, collective you. Thank you for making me finally comfortable with who I am. Thank you for making me believe it when I say I’m a writer. Thank you for always challenging me to be better. Thank you for making me a journalist. There’s no place I’d rather have learned how to do all of that than here, with all of you.
But I also have very specific thank yous to give. I’m just about at the end of my time working with and for you wonderful people, so naturally, it’s time to journey back to the beginning.
“How’d you get him to write this?” one of the editors working that night asked me. I didn’t have an answer; I was shocked you even agreed to be a part of my crazy experiment, a series called “Publish Our Love,” but you did, in the form of a showstopping 3,000+ word ode to Wes Anderson. It’s funny because at the time I never thought we’d stay in touch after your term ended, or even become friends — all I knew was that you changed how seriously I let myself take writing. But as soon as I’d read your magnum opus I started plotting what I would give you as a thank you at the end of the year when your term as my editor came to a close: it was a copy of Anderson’s brother’s meticulous drawings of all the rooms in Tenenbaum mansion, included in my “Royal Tenenbaums” DVD set, that I knew would be better appreciated in your hands.
At the last Arts meeting of that year, you were on the film couches, engrossed in conversation with Anish and Elise; I slipped it, with a thank you (sticky-)note into your backpack and darted away without any of you noticing. I didn’t mind if it ended there, but then you actually texted me a detailed, heartfelt thank you later — one of the most detailed thank yous I’ve ever gotten from for my signature idiosyncratic, carefully-planned-out gifts. And, as you know, the rest is history.
I was Beyond Julianna — and not the fun kind. I suck(ed) at InDesign and couldn’t remember any of the controls Jack tried to teach me. But you stayed there with me working on pages way past midnight. And you did that thing you always do, when you make someone believe that they’re capable of something and they’re not putting you out by slowly stumbling into learning that. I learned a lot from you that summer, and I still do every time we talk, but that first long night in the newsroom, just you staying meant the world.
Then, of course, we box-jumped the arts desk together. Then you wrote an endorsement for me and John that I’ll take with me wherever I go. Then you wrote this piece, and several others that I’ll never forget. Then you reminded me, at every turn, how much an Arts section is capable of, in terms of community, in terms of understanding the human experience.
“You’re Julianna?” you asked. Yeah, I confirmed, probably hesitantly, maybe suspiciously. “I read all your shit!” you said, and I was so shocked and delighted I sort of speed-walked across the newsroom on the day of summer EIC elections to tell John what had just happened. There’s a woman I don’t really know on Arts who slightly intimidates me and who reads all my shit?
Now, I read all your shit. I watch and listen to your audiovisual shit, too — with awe and pride. And you talk a lot about me changing the way you look at things, but the favor has more than been returned. It’s more like: You add to the way I see things, or help me see more things I never would’ve caught without your wisdom. I’m so glad you walked up and said something to me that day. You’ve made me want to braver, too. From the first time we spoke.
You somehow remembered my name when I walked up to you at the mass meeting — we’d only spoken once or twice in English 298 prior to then — and I took that as a sign. Maybe that’s a reason for fully de-catholicized me to still believe in signs because this was the most serendipitous one I’ve ever read and heeded. Shortly thereafter you were stirring toppings into a large bowl of vanilla yogurt across from me at a dining hall while you gave me the scoop on all The Daily Arts sophomores. I never knew what I did to deserve your kindness and shepherding. I still don’t.
I do know I wouldn’t have found my way here, found a home or a community or a family here, without you being the first one to say, “Yes, you belong.” “Yes, the boots-tights combo works.” “Yes, you deserve to be here.” “Yes, I see you.”
In the two interim weeks between our acceptance emails, I told you that if you aren’t accepted onto Daily Arts too, I would resign. I was liking it so far, but after only a year of knowing you, you were already the best, most life-changing friend I’d ever had, and you mattered more to me than joining any staff ever could, and if they didn’t recognize your brilliant mind and writing, I wanted no part of it.
Two years later and I feel the same way. I couldn’t have done this without you. Not a single interview, not a single email, not a single staff meeting, not a single b-side, not a single ethical decision, not a single article that I got too emotionally invested in (again), not a single pregame I was scared to go to, none of it. And I wouldn’t have done it with anyone else.
DEVAK NANUA – Managing Michigan in Color Editor
I walked into the newsroom my freshman year wanting to discover and redefine what being an Indian American meant to me. Throughout my life I have proudly claimed both identities. I was born and have lived the majority of my life in Ann Arbor. I learned the lyrics to “Hail to the Victors” before the lyrics to the National Anthem. But I also went to middle school in Bangalore, India and would not be the person I am today without those three years. However, at times, I’ve also felt like I don’t belong to either community. In America it seems like I’m Indian but in India it seems like I’m American — do you see the strange situation I was in?
My time at The Daily started with me being a columnist and wanting to explore this integral part of my identity. As a rather confused freshman trying to figure out life, I wanted others to empathize with my writing. I still remember the moment when I burst into my good friends Seve and Willie’s dorm room and described why I made it a point to publicly embarrass myself (to write) for the Daily. Ideally, people would find my piece while being stressed out about homework at 2 a.m. and after reading my piece, they should feel somewhat better about themselves.
After nearly four years of editing and writing, I have definitely grown closer to my original goal. But I’ve also come to realize that identity and culture is not a rigid thing that we simply fall into — instead it’s the people that make culture. Everyone has their own unique relationship with their identity and it is subject to change as we grow.
I also didn’t expect to do as much work as I did for The Daily. I expected to just write twice a month and stay to myself. However, I have had the privilege of being a managing editor of Michigan in Color and also of the entire Daily. I have grown tremendously as a person through the meaningful relationships that I’ve formed with people. I’ve learned what it means to work selflessly for our community and to actually be the change that we hope to see. I’ve learned that the power of a story is a lot more meaningful than anyone could possibly know while writing it. I’ve also learned to not take myself so seriously and to not be insecure about being vulnerable in front of crowds. This could only be possible with the loving and incredibly supportive environment at The Daily. While I could go on — this is probably an appropriate place to transition to the shoutouts.
To Carly and Na’kia — I felt quite overwhelmed when the both of you cornered me in the newsroom and were “encouraging” me to stay on with MiC. Might I add I was on crutches so I physically couldn’t move out of this confrontation. But from what was borderline coercion, I received some of the best advice that I pass on to future editors today “If you ever have any doubts about working with The Daily, just do it and you’ll be surprised on the benefits you get and what you learn about yourself.” Thank you so much for setting an example for me and being great friends as I carried on with the Daily.
To Maya and Nada — Monday Shift REPRESENT! Maya, I met you while interviewing people for MiC. Nada, I met you at that party. And look at us now — best friends! Thanks for keeping me in check on Mondays but also allowing me to be a level of annoying and problematic that’s borderline intolerable anywhere else. You know, like Arabic ting told me I look like Youssef, look like Hamza. Habibti please, ana akeed, inti wa ana ahla. You guys have been the best friends and co-editors a guy could ask for. You guys have also been so incredibly patient and supportive of me throughout all of my craziness. It’s been incredibly inspiring to work and grow along with you.
To Gabrijela, Cheryn, Anamika and Daniela — you guys know how much love and respect I have for all of you. I could honestly write a whole book about how incredible each of you are but we are balling on a word count. So I will leave you guys with this. The care and energy that you guys have put into MiC inspired me to work selflessly and genuinely for this section. Thank you for being some of my closest friends and constantly being there for me. All of you are incredibly creative and free souls – always know that. Gabrijela and Anamika, I can’t wait to see you guys run the shit out of this section next semester and to see you guys take it to new heights. Daniela, stay away from that one dude. Cheryn, come home bro.
To THE MIC STAFF — I have so much of love and admiration for each and every one of you. You guys inspire me to be a better writer and person. Your writing is a lot more powerful and meaningful to our community than you may think. Thank you for sharing some of your lives’ most intimate moments with me. It’s been such a pleasure to be your friend and help you guys put your stories out there.
To Lizzy — thank you for being an incredible friend and Editor in Chief! You definitely created a space where MiC could grow and were always there to support our endeavors. Your tireless work for The Daily has truly been inspirational to watch. I hope you had as much fun editing and learning from MiC pieces as I did.
To Seve, Oliver and the Vat of Acid — you guys are some of my oldest and closest friends. Thanks for sticking with me even when at times it can be very difficult. Thank you for constantly supporting me and my writing. A lot of it was inspired by our Tuesday Night Feels Shesh’s — which got me through a lot more that you guys know.
To Sam, Julianna and Dylan — thank you guys for introducing me to how much fun I could have while being in the newsroom. Your friendship, stories and music have kept me with The Daily and are some that I treasure dearly.
To Emma, Brittany and the rest of Summer Staff 2020 — we made a paper when the world was seemingly ending! Thank you for showing me that great work, making a difference in our community and friendship are still possible on a reduced staff with all of us not in one location!
Finally to my parents — thank you guys for being a constant support in my life and for taking me to the library as a kid. I started writing because you guys made me write a bunch of summaries of short stories I would read. At the time I hated it, but I had no idea that lit a spark in me to consistently come back to writing throughout my life.
There’s a feeling in the newsroom that is not replicated anywhere else on campus, and there’s always magic being done in our corner of it. You’ve gotta go check it out sometime.
ZOE PHILLIPS – Senior Arts Editor
John Mulaney once asked “What is college?” He looked at his audience with confusion after this question, stuttering at the sheer magnitude of this inquiry. “Stop going,” he said, “until we figure it out.”
He’s right. I’m awfully confused about what college is. Four years of classes, spread across multiple universities for me. Some were really quite boring, and others were too easy to be fun. Some were a little too hard, and a few were just right. Semester after semester of finding and breaking routine, writing papers on subjects I won’t remember the next year and getting on a first name basis with the manager at Starbucks. Then everything went online, and most things got worse.
This might seem bleak, and it probably would be if not for The Daily. For Sunday afternoon icebreakers and Thursday night production. For Elise and John and Andrew. For thousands of words and even more edits. For Taylor Swift playlists and trivia championships. For a job that I love and a career that I would not have known was possible otherwise. This paper and its employees never cease to amaze me. It’s an institution of friends and peers and visionaries who make college make sense.
Thank you for everything, TMD. You’ve answered John Mulaney’s question for me, and I surely can’t be the only one. Stay driven, thoughtful and editorially independent.
RIAN RATNAVALE – Senior Sports Editor
As many of you know, I love a nice pun. It’s not something I can really explain.
Personally, I don’t even find 90 percent of them funny. They border on downright terrible. And if I had a dime for every time Ethan or Theo kicked me out of the Sports GroupMe for making one, I could probably pay for all the Piada I’ve bought at production ten times over. Still, it’s something I’m drawn to Daily (Get it? Daily?).
Telling terrible puns to people, as easy as it sounds, isn’t something I have had the self-assurance to do for most of my life. In high school, I was in college-level classes from ninth grade on, but I was at the bottom of the barrel in all of them. And don’t even get me started on pickup basketball lines or any kind of school dance. The one thing that kind of worked out was joining the sports section of my newspaper, and even that was because I wasn’t athletic enough to play any kind of sport.
And when I came to Michigan, I was anxious about finding my role when I couldn’t at a high school 50 times smaller than it. So I chased security and went to my first Daily Sports meeting before I ever went to a college party — with full-fledged intentions of becoming a professional sports journalist. Every meeting, according to then-MSE Kevin Santo, started with an icebreaker, and today’s was simply, “What’s Back?”. It didn’t take me a long time to volunteer and say “Quarter’s Back.”
In hindsight, horrendous. Especially considering that Michigan’s leading passer that year turned out to be John O’Korn, who by any definition, was not back.
People awkwardly laughed, Kevin and Betelhem set up my trial story with Mike and Rob later that day, and I was on my way. In a month, I was a Daily Sports Writer, and the Student Publications Building became a home away from home.
Four years, three road trips, two beats and countless stories later, that never wavered. But the more I wrote, the more I realized that I didn’t want to do journalism. As much as I loved The Daily, writing on a beat burned me out, and I had to re-evaluate what made me invest so much in journalism.
The answer for me always circled back to the people. I’m writing this goodbye going into a career in Human Resources because The Daily let me find value in giving my all to a community, and I want to keep doing that. Even though I’ve written one article in the last year and a half, the sports section has taught me that there’s always another way to contribute. And each person has taught me, or has given me a part of myself that I didn’t have before I joined The Daily.
Seniors, you all are my backbone. Ethan, thank you for showing me what dedication looks like — to a career, to an organization, and as a roommate and friend. Every group or team needs someone like you that’s always ready to invest in it as much as you do.
Theo, you taught me what it really means to grow: taking hold of every opportunity you get while letting none of them change your authenticity. I’m glad that you’re the same exact person I met the first day of college and an incredible leader of this section.
Aria, I will always remember, thanks to you, what it means to fight for something important. Whether that’s for having a more inclusive section or even advocating for yourself, that’s going to take you far and help you when you need it most.
Connor, I think our shenanigans speak for themselves. Undoubtedly, there’s no one else I’d rather sneak into St Patty’s Day parties with, and no one else that can actually make Stockwell bearable. The 2021 (or 2022?) Cohen isn’t ready for us.
Teddy, you’re finally home. Thanks for being my first Michigan friend. Sorry if I was ever too harsh on you as an editor, but seeing your Trey Burke-esque dominance this year on the men’s basketball beat warms my heart and reassures me that it was worth it.
Alec and Jack, you guys might not have been on this section for a long time or even at all technically, but I’ll always admire how much of a jack-of-all-trade both of you are. Every team can use people like you guys.
Akul, you’re the best MSE this paper has ever had. Don’t let Ethan tell you otherwise, and don’t make the same mistake that I did and spend more time in the Winter Garden than 420 Maynard with that extra year.
Juniors, you deserve every bit of the real senior Daily experience we missed out on. Lily, Kent, Lane, Brendan, Daniel — senior editing with you this semester, even virtually, has been my favorite one yet. With you guys and Abby, Avi, Jack, Drew, Jacob, Aidan and Jack, the section is in such incredibly good hands. Sophomores, the journey is just getting started for you all, and you better believe that I’ll still be watching from the sidelines when this is your section.
And to Ben, Max, Anna, Bailey, Tien, Jorge, Kopnick, Ethan, Jake, Laney, Paige, Mike, Orion, Avi and everyone that came before me – you guys were the catalysts to it all, both for me and what this section is today. Thank you for pushing me when I needed it and pulling me through some seriously hard stuff. I love you guys.
When it’s all said and done, you all helped me find a way to love something about myself. If there’s one thing my four years at 420 Maynard taught me, it’s that the people you can jump into the fray with and know that they have your back without blinking are the ones worth writing home about — no pun intended.
SAMANTHA SMALL – Managing Podcast Editor
For two, almost three years, I worked as both a summer news editor and investigative reporter for The Michigan Daily news section. As amazing and crazy as that was (s/o my summer sned team and Sammy Sussman), I felt like something was missing. Here, I’ll set the scene for you: On any normal night, Copy is sitting in anticipation, worried about stories that will inevitably shuffle in later than expected. Sports writers are dribbling a basketball and pompously yelling at the T.V. screen that sits above them. I’m at the News desk, silently watching the chaos unfold. Just three desks away, the Arts editors are discussing the latest boygenius review. Though I am editing an article about the University’s refusal to divest from fossil fuels, I can’t help but think how badly I want to talk about Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.
But instead of moving desks, I moved into the basement—really it was just the downstairs conference room, but let’s pretend it was more dramatic than that—to work for this lil’ old podcast called Arts, Interrupted. As important as I felt reporting news was, as soon as I joined Arts, Interrupted I knew that was where I belonged. That’s a funny feeling, isn’t it? College feels like perpetual vertigo; you move so fast, meet so many different people, it’s virtually impossible to feel content; to feel comfortable in yourself. Because, really, does anyone ever know what they’re doing? However, for some reason, sitting in a chilly, arguably dull, conference room three days a week with the same five(ish) people was exactly what I needed. The wind suddenly stopped, and the sun started to peek out. Leave it to me to have an epiphany that I wanted to be a podcaster(!?). Someone queue the Seinfeld bassline.
To Avery, Olive, Sean, John and Livi: Thank you for letting me crash your meetings. I know that I sort of just showed up one day, and you could’ve shooed me away, but you didn’t! Instead, you listened to my ideas. From interviewing Fred Thomas, Lady Lamb and Hunter Hayes (lol tbt), to just sharing our favorite music, and yanno, shooting the shit, I will always look back on our time as a team and feel all…uwu inside. Hehe. <3
To (The Current) Arts, Interrupted (Emily, Max, Avin, Will, Spencer, Ben, Sam, Max:) God, I could write you guys like ten pages. Thank you for all your hard work—even in a friggin’ pandemic!—I always knew I could count on y’all. I miss seeing your faces and doing about 20% work, 80% foolishness. You guys are a part of my best memories, for sure. To Maxy: I love you boo. You got this. To Emwee: I couldn’t imagine a better person to lead Pod and Arts, Interrupted next semester. I love you so, so very much and am ALWAYS just a phone call away. Good luck to you all 🙂 <3
To Catherine: remember the fateful day we meet? I was a scared freshman and you were an uncertain sophomore. I’m not gonna type out all my feelings here, because I presume you know them already. Thank you for being you, and for being my best friend. You are by far the most important person I met in college. I love you forever and ever.
To Sonya: my girl :’) I could never have managed Pod without you. Everyday I am so thankful for you and your ideas, optimism and wit. You are extraordinary—I can’t wait to see all the amazing stuff you do. ALSO: CONGRATS GRAD!
OK, that’s all.
Peace out Michigan Daily. Thanks for everything.
JENNA SCHEEN – Cartoonist
As a senior entering The Daily for the first semester in the middle of a pandemic, I didn’t get much of an opportunity to connect with others in person and really understand what The Daily was all about. Nevertheless, this was still a learning opportunity for me and a way to see how much a community could stick together during such an unpredictable time. I loved seeing what was going on in the Opinion GroupMe (even if I was just reading everyone else’s messages) and working on my weekly cartoons. There’s something special about seeing your own work on social media, and I’m glad I got the (virtual) opportunity to be a part of the Daily as a cartoonist.
ELLIE SCOTT – Senior Copy Editor
Oh, Jesus, this is hard. I’ve complained about The Daily endlessly, but I really do love it here. This isn’t really goodbye, since I’m staying on as a primary next semester — you’re not getting rid of me yet! — but it’s still bittersweet. I have so many fond memories of this place and all the amazing, ridiculous geniuses here. You all make me better.
I can’t thank everyone because there’s a million of you and you’re all shining stars, but here are some honorable mentions:
First, to everyone at my beloved Copy desk: You guys have handled everything that’s been thrown at you this year with incredible grace and only a little complaining, which I feel is your due. I’m very sad that we missed out on a year in the newsroom together, and not just because I miss the candy bowl. You are all integral to The Daily, and every last one of you deserves an Edible Arrangement.
Sadia and Madison, you’ve been wonderful chiefs. I appreciate how hard you’ve tried to make all of us bond and prove, against all odds, that Copy is social. Sadia, you’re the nicest, calmest, most patient person ever to walk the earth. You just radiate good vibes. I would trust you with my life. It was a pleasure to work alongside you. Madison, you were one of the first people I ever met at The Daily (remember shadowing together?) and it’s wild to see you entering your SECOND year as chief. Your endless capacity for positivity amazes me, and has kept me going on many late nights waiting for articles that ended up getting bumped anyway.
To all my primaries: Thank you for sometimes going overboard and fact-checking stuff that’s technically my job to fact-check. I still have to check it again, but I love the initiative. I appreciate all of your sarcastic copy notes, and I look forward to rejoining you guys next semester.
Special shoutout to the fall 2019 Thursday Copy desk. Elite shift. Olivia, you’re the greatest. Silas, sorry I’m always so mean to you. I promise it’s out of love. And thank you everyone for only occasionally telling me to shut up. It was way less often than I deserved it.
Thank you to Cece for listening to all the aforementioned complaints. Thank you to my mom for nagging me until I went to a mass meeting, and for keeping me sharp.
And thank you to The Daily, for too many things to name. Stay cool.
ETHAN SEARS – Managing Sports Editor
One of the last times I was in the newsroom was in mid-May, the day before I drove home after the pandemic. I cried. A lot.
I called Molly and told her how scared I was that I’d never get to run production there again. Coming to terms with the reality that this semester wouldn’t have a State News game or Denny’s runs, drives home through the night or spontaneous river jumps, late-night euchre or a real goodbye was harder than I care to admit. But that phone call helped.
There’s this moment in time that I think encapsulates everything The Daily gave me. It’s me, Tien, Ben, Mike, Laney, Paige, Max and Theo, sitting on a boat outside of Manhattan, as happy as I’ve ever been with the people who’ve had the biggest impact on me in the most important years of my life. That was in summer 2019 and everything feels different now.
I hope when this is over, anyone who walks through the door can get what I got out of The Daily. That if they ever get locked out of the newsroom for the better part of nine months, they’ll cry too when they’re allowed back, and they’ll have people in their lives they can call who will understand everything. People they met here.
To each and every one of the people I met here, thank you for making The Daily a more gratifying experience than I can articulate.
Tien, when I think back on this in 20 years, sitting in the newsroom with you and Theo all night will be the first thing that comes to mind. Your friendship means the world.
Molly, you’re one of my closest friends, one of the first people I call in any situation and I miss seeing you every day.
Ben, I planned an entire trip to London to see you, then John Beilein left Michigan and I called off everything to cover it. Of course, you dropped everything to help — and you’ve done that for me more times than I can count.
Mike, I’ve always looked up to you in this job. You grew my writing and my confidence, you were the first person I came out to at The Daily and you talked me up when I thought I was gonna fail Physics. Thank you for it all.
Lane, you made science class into a special memory and turned walking up a sledding hill into one of the funniest things I can remember. Kent, thanks for making this summer fun. To both of you, you’re two of the most kind, caring people I know and I am so proud of you.
Brendan, I’m grateful you found The Daily — both so we could become friends and so we could have you as a writer. Keep killing it.
Alexis Rankin! Thank you for Florida, Dom’s and calling The Daily out on its bullshit. Let’s bake soon.
Thank you Lily, for calling me at random times and talking for hours on end. Your spontaneity is what makes this section great.
Daniel, football has been a great time, and seeing you grow into a leader in the section has been even better.
Rian, I’d like to thank the woman who gave us hot dogs while we were standing on the soccer field after interviews freshman year. The most random moments cement friendships. That’s one of them.
Connor, the West Virginia trip was so ridiculous, so fun, nearly featured us sleeping on the streets of God knows where and that wasn’t even the most life-threatening thing that happened. Thanks for being real.
Bailey, your passion for hockey is contagious. So is your ambition.
To Overdose of Swag, I’m so proud of all the work we did and grateful for the memories, even if it wasn’t all perfect.
To the dub hoops beat, working with you all made freshman year a blast.
To Mark and Ethan Wolfe, you were both a part of so many special memories, made me feel welcome as a freshman and let me tag along to the Final Four. I miss you both.
Anna, you played euchre with us, studied with us and stayed until 5 a.m. on a weeknight to hang. I can’t wait to catch up the next time we’re in the same place.
Jack Silberman, I have no idea how this paper will manage without you and I’m so lucky my time here coincided with yours. Jack Grieve, keep it up. I’ll always be in your corner.
Finn and Erin, thank you for learning sports, playing euchre and being all-around fantastic MEs.
Bultman, you had zero obligation to pick up the phone or give help and always did, without hesitation. That says everything about your character.
Simon, to paraphrase what I once texted you at 4 a.m., thank you for setting me on a path to The Daily. It’s made the last four years the best of my life.
Kevin, thanks for inviting me to Neo’s during my first production. You were so welcoming and it made such an impact.
Orion, you were the first person at The Daily to go out of your way for me. I’m deeply grateful for that and for all your help and advice over the years.
Akul, living with you is a hell of a way to make up for the five minutes a week you spent at The Daily last year. You were a good assistant to the regional manager. (Also you know I’m just fucking with you, I love you).
Jared, Brandon, Nick and Spencer, it’s been so amazing to see all of you grow. All of my older friends have heard me say over the past year that hanging out with you all has been my favorite part of The Daily.
To all the younger kids, this place is so special. Value it above everything.
Paige, every night was better with you around. You take no shit and the world is better for it.
Laney, you’re the first person I met who said “I love you” to their friends and I love that. I can’t wait to call you tomorrow.
Max, I shadowed you, spent the night at a Denny’s with you and became MSE with you. I wouldn’t change a second of it for the world.
Theo, we’ve been through so much it almost feels fitting that you nearly getting stabbed by a meth addict at 4 a.m. in a McDonald’s drive-through is a crystallizing moment of our friendship. But there’s no one I’d rather have done it all with. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you.
ELI SIDER – Managing Video Editor
If someone asked me what I was most proud of at college I would give two answers. One, that I didn’t starve; and two, my time on The Michigan Daily. I remember how I first got involved in The Daily. It was my sophomore year and I was sitting in my film history class and my friend told me about The Michigan Daily Video Section. We both agreed to go to a meeting and check it out. He never showed up and it was the most awkward meeting of my life. Nonetheless, I stuck with the section and made what I now refer to as “the worst video the Michigan Daily has ever released.” After a semester in the video section, something strange happened. I got an email from my boss at the time telling the section he was resigning and saying anyone who wanted his position should respond to the email. I was a Senior Editor at the time and my exact thought was “this could be cool” so I responded to the email. Little did I know that I was making the best choice I ever made in college.
With the new year starting, it was recruitment season and all the sections had requirements listed for positions, photographers needed a portfolio, copy editors needed to take a quiz, and over at the video section, you needed zero experience and just had to write your name on a hastily marker-drawn list on a piece of paper next to a computer blasting Taylor Swift. That was the first impression I had of what would become my staff. From that meeting I hired about 10 videographers including one of our incoming Managing Video Editors, Iulia Dobrin. It was a really rocky path forward during that semester, I wasn’t exactly shocked to find that there was little in the way of guidance or structure within the video section when I took over and everything from recruitment to actually recording and editing the videos had to be taught, learned and cemented into place over the coming months. The first videos we did had no sound, text you could barely read and maybe 3 views if we were lucky. It was an absolutely crazy time and I loved every second of it. My roommates told me I was only ever in three places, the editing suite beneath North Quad, my bed or The Michigan Daily.
Now as I look back on my time in The Daily I couldn’t be more proud of the team I created, the section that I remodeled and the memories that I’ll have from them. We’ve nearly doubled in subscribers, we’ve probably quadrupled our video output at this point and we’ve done most of it in the middle of a pandemic. The Video Section has a structure that is robust and growing and I’m excited to see it last and expand for many years to come.
My goodbye wouldn’t be complete without thanking the people who made it all possible. I first have to thank the people that pushed me to be in the video section in the first place. Firstly, Adam Wright, AKA the guy that never came to the meeting, I never would have joined the section if I hadn’t met you. Secondly, my dad, who I call for anything and everything and who pushed me to try new things and who watches every video, no matter how bad. I have to thank my Senior Editors who I hired and didn’t quit immediately after seeing how poorly organized we were at the start. Joseph Sim and Ryan O’Connor: You both pushed me to make the section better and to try new things. Without your skills and talents, the section wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. I have to say thank you to the new Managing Editors of the Video Section, Iulia Dobrin and Annika Wang, who showed such great skill and initiative and who I know will make the video section even better than it currently is. Iulia has been in the section since literally day one and I have come to count on her, as everything she does comes out great and she’s been incredibly reliable as Senior Editor. Annika has always strived to make better videos that are different and while I was initially hesitant, she showed me that the video section can do so much more and was one of the big reasons the AVE program now exists in the section. Finally, Alec Cohen is the single reason that the section has taken such a dramatic turn for the better as of late. His ingenuity, his tenacity and his commitment to making things the best they can be has been vital to creating the best possible version of the Video Section. Before Alec joined the section as my co ME, I was merely holding the section together but when Alec joined, he elevated us and pushed us to keep up with the rest of the newsroom and get our content out further. He coordinated to get our videos into new places, pushed us to hire more people and to make more videos. Alec has always been there with a better suggestion or a helping hand and I am incredibly thankful for all the work he has done not only for the section but for also putting up with me and my nocturnal working schedule. Thank you to my best friend who loves David Attenborough as much as me and who made one great munchkin.
Thank you everyone who made my time at The Michigan Daily what it was; it was truly my best experience in college.
JACK SILBERMAN – Sports Designer, 2019 Managing Design Editor
I’ve mentioned before that for whatever reason, I can’t remember the first time I walked into 420 Maynard. But, I can very clearly remember the first time I left.
I had just finished my first design for the paper, and it was past midnight. I figured there’d barely be anyone left, but instead, there were probably 40 people still in the newsroom. They had all finished their work hours earlier. But here they still were, just hanging out. They probably had class in a few hours, but every single one of them was still at The Daily. That’s when I realized how special the newsroom is.
Now, unfortunately, I can also say that I remember the last time I left 420 Maynard. The entire week before the world turned upside down is now seared into my memory. It may have been the busiest week I’ve ever seen at the Daily, an incredibly strange parallel to the eeriness of the days after. I came back from spring break on Sunday afternoon, ready to design the front page on the Bernie Sanders rally in the Diag that night. A few of us walked over to the rally during production to get a look at the scene. I remember peering around the crowd to see what angle our photographers had gotten so I could plan the front page. We all had such a fun night, no idea that it would be our last Sunday production.
On Tuesday, we were all together in the newsroom again, covering the Presidential Primary. Not even an hour after the race had been called, the governor held a press conference and announced the first coronavirus cases in the state. I remember being nervous, though still completely oblivious to the fact that in just a few days, I would never be in the newsroom with that staff again.
On Wednesday, things finally sunk in. The night began normally, with all of us hanging out at the sports desk. We turned on the Jazz-Thunder game, and saw the chaos as news broke that Rudy Gobert had tested positive. Minutes after, the season was canceled. We immediately turned on ESPN, only to find the Mavericks game still going on, everyone in the stadium seemingly unaware of what had just happened. We watched as someone showed their phone to Mark Cuban, his jaw dropping in disbelief on live TV.
On Thursday, we met as a staff to decide what our plan for the semester would be now that in-person classes had been canceled. We spent that night planning out the details of the digital version of The Michigan Daily. And that was it. I haven’t been back since.
I know those were a lot of really obscure, seemingly random details to include in my senior goodbye column. But now as I sit at home in my childhood bedroom, miles away from Ann Arbor, I realize how much I took every little detail of that week for granted.
I am so grateful to have had three normal years at The Daily. Now in this strange, online version of a senior year, I appreciate what I had so much more. As terrible as it feels to not get to be with my friends at the Daily this year, I take some solace in knowing that I got to be part of something so incredible that it makes me this sad to not be there. I’m so appreciative of everyone who helped make my time special.
To all of the Managing Sports Editors I have had the honor of working with over the past few years: Kevin, Betelhem, Orion, Mike, Laney, Max, Ethan and Theo, thank you all so much for your support and trust in me. It means the world. I’ve made the cover of SportsMonday every week for nearly four years now, and I still go into every week with the same excitement that I did as a freshman because of the encouragement you’ve all given me. Lane and Kent, I know the two of you are going to do an incredible job as the new MSEs, and I’m so excited for you.
To my fellow design editors Roseanne and Casey, I am so lucky to have gotten to learn from such talented people. I truly could not have done it without you. Alec, thank you for letting me bounce all of my crazy ideas off of you. To my friend and first editor Michelle, I really owe all of this to you. You made me join The Daily, and that was the best thing anyone’s ever done for me.
I couldn’t finish this column without thanking the photo staff, who have been subjected to my extremely picky visions every week for the past few years. You all do spectacular work, and what I do would not be possible without your fantastic photography. I’m so lucky to get to work with you all.
Now, it’s time for me to go. We were given an unlimited word count for this, and I think I somehow managed to exceed it. I could go on all day about all of the incredible aspects of the Daily, but for the sake of those scrolling through this page, I won’t.
Instead, I’ll end this with a piece of advice for the future Daily staffers: Whether you’re playing euchre in the newsroom, or going sledding at two in the morning after production, remember to stop and appreciate it. You never know if it’ll be the last time.
EMMA STEIN – Senior News Editor
One of my high school history teachers once told me that I was a “good girl,” meaning I wasn’t going to change the world. I abided by the rules and I respected authority. I think she may have been right at the time. And, when I walked into The Daily my sophomore year, I had the same attitude. I didn’t want to rub anyone the wrong way or get anything wrong. I wanted to make everyone happy with the stories I wrote –– both my editors and my sources. I texted my mom in a panic during my second trial story because everyone was eating food at the event and I didn’t want to interrupt their dinner to interview them. When I walked into the newsroom afterward, I sat silently in a corner. I was so invisible, the SNEds at the time gave my byline to someone else on accident.
Now, (metaphorically) walking into the newsroom, I’m confident. I’m passionate. I know what I’m doing and I know that I belong here. From getting called to the warden’s office at a prison (something I never thought would happen to me), to very professionally spitting out my water at a Regents meeting, to getting threatened by police officers at a protest, to being a SNEd and crying of laughter trying to headline at midnight and then trying to lead a paper during a pandemic from 3,000 miles away as Summer EIC, I’ve grown a lot. I’ve learned that all of the best stories are the ones that make people unhappy, that I have to rub some people the wrong way. I’ve discovered how to ask people the hard questions, the ones they won’t like being asked (sorry, Schlissel), but the ones the community deserves answers to. I’ve also found a love for being annoying, and I’m sure Public Affairs can attest to that. I’ve learned how to be bold in my reporting and in my life, and that’s something I’ll always be grateful for.
To the entire news section: Thank you for giving us your all. You’re the future of this paper. Tell the stories that matter and hold the powerful accountable. Be truthful, be sensitive, be fearless.
To summer staff: Summer 2020 was not one I expected, and I’m pretty sure that goes for everyone, but we sure as hell made the most of it. I’m incredibly proud of the work we accomplished. A lot of you are in leadership roles now, and I couldn’t imagine better, more qualified, kinder people to lead The Daily (yes, Kent, with a capital T). I love y’all. Thank you for giving me friends in other sections.
To my SNEds and MNEs, my BFFs: Despite the never-ending onslaught of breaking news and all around chaos that defined our tenure, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We kicked some serious butt this year, and I’m pretty sure we’ll forever reign as the coolest, funniest SNEd class there ever was. Ben, I’m sorry your uncanny talent for headlining wasn’t put to use more. Barbara, there’s no one I’d rather act like we’re in middle school with. We’ll figure out the art of prank calling one day. Claire, our first night working together you basically reformatted the entire front page to make it look better at 1 a.m., and if that isn’t a sign you were going to be EIC, I don’t know what is. Alex, thank you for always being down to gossip with me. Can’t wait to find love and live our best lives in NYC one day. Liat, you were my first friend at The Daily and we’ve had so many chaotic, interesting experiences together that I’m too embarrassed to list but am extremely grateful for. Sayali and Leah, thank you for dealing with my annoying questions all the time, for making us laugh and for carrying us through whatever the heck this year was. I’ll love you all forever.
The Daily has given me a home at Michigan –– not in the newsroom, but in the people.
ZAYNA SYED – Investigative News Editor
Writing this has been challenging, to say the least. After three and a half years at The Michigan Daily, I can scarcely believe my time is up. How can I put into words the amount of growth I’ve experienced from this place? Or how much I cherish the friendships I’ve made here? Here’s an attempt:
Between juggling classes, clubs, friendships and just the general business of life, it never felt like there was enough time for The Daily. And yet, reflecting on my introduction to The Daily my freshman year, I can’t believe how much I’ve learned and grown. I still remember feeling absolutely terrified of the eight editors sitting in front of me during my first beat interview freshman year. I stuttered, and I think I had a panic attack during the interview. Since then, I have written about discretion in Ann Arbor policing my freshman year; investigated a student activist blacklist my sophomore year; and documented allegations of sexual misconduct my junior year.
This place has given me the opportunity to grow in ways I never expected. I have had my beliefs challenged, explored my passions and attempted to build a better campus and local community by holding those in power accountable. I am forever grateful to all the talented and dedicated editors at The Daily who have given me these opportunities. A special shoutout to Sammy Sussman, one of the most intelligent and insane people I know. You have helped me grow as a writer, and a person. It is hard to believe the number of people who selflessly put in hours of work each day, for almost no pay, to make our communities better — but I believe it, since I’ve seen it happen at the Daily.
To new writers who are nervous about joining: Stick with it. You will have the most amazing and weird experiences, and great stories to boot. And don’t take your time there for granted.
BEN VASSAR – Daily Arts Writer
I understood the power I wielded as a new staffer on The Daily when I showed up late to the premier of Mid90s at the State Theater back in Fall 2018, a sold out event, and was still given a folding chair to sit on in the back so I could write my review. That was an event assigned to me by Jack Brandon, then-film SAE, who I’d like to thank for breaking me out of my shell as a writer and as a person. All of my CC editors — Arya, Fallon, Trina, Izzy, Dana and Zoe — and MAEs — Madeleine, Verity, Julianna and John — also deserve a thanks for putting up with the architecture content and making it better. I don’t think I’ll ever forget The Daily.
MADELYN VERVAECKE – Cartoonist
The only reason I ended up here was because Emily made a few comments in our botanical illustration class and kept passive-aggressively including me in these emails about open positions for cartoonists that semester; I think I wound up submitting something student-life related at the last second. As for the reason I ended up coming back, it was purely out of pride and passion for this publication and its mission.
This summer was rough, there’s no question about that. Between the protests and the pandemic, I can’t imagine that anyone wasn’t at least a little fired up. As the deadline approached for cartoonist applications, having read the amazing articles on the University’s rocky reopening coming from our writers and reporters, I knew that I had to be a part of this again, and give it everything I had this time.
Given my excitement about the events of summer 2020, I decided to do political cartoons for the first time. As it turns out, I sort of have a knack for Michigan-centric political cartoons! But more importantly, I discovered I love doing them more than anything (especially more than some of my schoolwork). As I look to what’s next after my days of the Big House and the late nights in the Stamps studios, I have my short time at The Daily to thank for new aspirations as an illustrator and cartoonist.
Like I said, my time here has been short. I never really had the opportunity to get to know the great staff here or the top notch people in my section as well as I could’ve if I had joined earlier, or if we hadn’t been separated by the threat of a deadly virus; it makes it kinda hard to issue any individual shout-outs (that said, I will say sorry to anyone who has had to title any of my cartoons because I failed to do so, and to anyone who has had to edit down the titles that would never fly on this or any other publication). But from what interactions we have had, I know that I’ve been working alongside a truly great bunch of people. I’ve always loved drawing, but doing it to contribute to something like a team has been an experience like none other. I admire and will miss you all dearly.
This isn’t goodbye just yet. I’ll be here until the end, but I’ll leave you with this; Opinion is the best, and that isn’t an opinion. Thank you for giving me something to miss. Catch you on the flip side.
(Now, imagine me in a convertible, aviators on. With a short wave, I drive off into the sunset.)
AKUL VIJAYVARGIYA – Daily Sports Writer
I remember the first senior goodbye meeting I attended. It was the fall of my freshman year and for some reason, I could not understand the emotions that filled the conference room that afternoon. And when I went back to Bursley that night, I left wondering what I’d say when the time came for me. But knowing that was three years away, I brushed off the thoughts, unsure of whether this place would leave that same impression.
But three years became two, then two became one. And just like that, it’s my turn to write this dreaded goodbye column.
My reason to join The Daily is as on-brand as it gets for me.
It was a couple days after I had applied to more than 10 Ross clubs and gotten rejected by every single one of them. For someone who constantly had other activities going on outside of classes in high school, not being in a single one three weeks into college was very unusual … and humbling. But I was getting bored in my dorm room and needed to make Michigan feel smaller.
So when I called my Dad on a Tuesday evening telling him that I’d just went to a Daily mass meeting but wasn’t sure about joining because it “didn’t seem legit enough,” he gave me a piece of advice.
“In college, you have to stay busy. With work, with friends, with anything. Don’t spend time sitting around mindlessly.”
Now I can’t say I’ve followed that for every moment of my time at Michigan. But that day, I did. And because of that, I have a list of thank you’s longer than I’d ever imagined having my freshman year. So without further ado…
Kevin, my first thanks goes to you. I have no idea who I thought I was, trash-talking a senior for a pong tournament that I’d never heard of before. But you were the first person I really looked up to when I came to Michigan — an example of the person I could be after four years at this university. I will always strive to be as kind and as welcoming as you are.
Thank you, Laney, for being my first on-campus mother. Your energy is contagious and your care for everyone in the section truly made the sports section feel like a family. And you give the best hugs.
Max, I’ve said this to you several times and I’ll say it again. Thank you for being one of my greatest mentors, man. You taught me to not get complacent — just because something is good doesn’t mean I can’t do better. Also, the section got lucky we didn’t get a second chance at the Cohen this year. Would’ve been ugly for everyone that’d have to face us.
Ben, thank you for making sure I got back to my dorm after karaoke. That simple gesture is one of the greatest reasons why I stuck around. Ever since, you became someone I could go to whenever I was stressed and I appreciate that so much.
Jorge, I don’t know about you but I think I peaked during the summer of 2019. Being MSE is the coolest job I’ve ever had, but there’s no way I could have survived that summer without you speeding through InDesign, writing legendary emails, and making sure I didn’t wear maize to press conferences.
To the best Daily softball beat to ever exist — Daniel, Lane, Lily — thank you guys for putting up for the times when the beat was 3.5 people instead of four. You guys are some of the most talented, easy-going people I’ve met and the week we spent in Bloomington is definitely toward the top of my favorite college memories list (let’s go again soon?).
Sears, or junior Ethan Sears should I say. I’m so happy that we decided to sign a lease together for this year. There’s a lot that I could say about you but I’ll leave it at this — I don’t think I’ve ever had a dull moment or conversation with you. You’re the ideal mix of someone who works their tail off but is also personable, and if I had to place a bet on someone from college to make it big, you’d be up there.
To my senior class, it’s crazy to think about how far we’ve come and how much we’ve all changed. I’ll talk about each of you individually during our Sunday meeting because I’m starting to run out of space (this 800-word limit is a shame), but to think that we’ve all stuck with this place since the beginning of college is surreal.
To the classes that left before and have come after, thank you. There are so many small individual moments that I could go on about with each of you, which has made my time at The Daily so worthwhile.
To the family and friends that got excited for me whenever I’d talk about my Daily adventures and that read my stories whenever I felt proud of my work, thank you x 1000. You guys didn’t need to do that but you did, and that speaks volumes about how lucky I am to be surrounded by the people I have right now.
And to The Daily, I’d like to say two things. First, I’m sorry. It was extremely foolish of me to think you weren’t “legit enough.” Because when I reflect over the last three and a half years, perhaps my most “legit” experiences have come through you.
I also appreciate the heck out of you. Because of you, Michigan started to feel a little more like home. And I know that you’ll continue to do this for thousands of students many, many years down the road.
ERIN WHITE – Managing Editor
I spent the night of the 2020 election in The Michigan Daily newsroom with Lizzy, a few news editors and a 50 cent Cherry Coke cracked open on my desk. One of the most stressful nights of an impossible, unprecedented year — a presidential election during the most polarized sociopolitical climate in generations occurring amid a global pandemic that ravaged (and continues to ravage) the United States — and I was sitting in the Student Publications Building at 420 Maynard.
Nov. 3 was five weeks before the end of my term as Managing Editor, and it was the beginning of a long list of lasts: The last time I was going to be experiencing an important world event in the newsroom. I’ve watched multiple Oscars shows, every Superbowl of my college career and more than a few elections happen from the comfort of the Opinion or Managing Editor desk. I don’t often drink soda, but on each of these special nights the beat up machine on the first floor, where years of Daily staffers have searched the bottoms of their bags for two quarters to buy a “cold, refreshing” Coke, was a treat for me.
That night, I looked at the deep red can on my desk and took a long sip.
Over the course of three and a half years I saw myself go from an eager freshman who simply wanted to write to an experienced editor and journalist. I have truly grown with this newspaper.
The months leading up to 2020 were a whirlwind. I was terrified and thrilled. But once I stepped into the newsroom on my first night of production as Managing Editor — my newsroom, the place on campus I felt most comfortable and had already made life-long memories — that fear dissolved. I have felt more confident every day since.
But The Daily is my home because of the people I met along the way. Daily staffers hold themselves to a high standard, professionally and personally, and my experience was enhanced tenfold by the people around me.
To my fellow 2019 Senior Opinion Editors (Satola, Emily H., Nick, Krystal, Miles, Ethan K., Timothy): You are what made me the editor I am today. Page reads, long nights full of take-out and coffee and choosing pull quotes are staples of my Daily experience. Your belief in me made my growth all the more possible.
To Maya and Finn: Thank you. For encouraging me, for your advice, for your friendship and for being such amazing role models. I’m lucky to know you both and I am continually in awe of your accomplishments. Finn, I miss sitting on the Opinion couch with you and getting dinner twice a week.
To EPEs past: The dynamic duos of Rebecca & Anna and Anu & Ashley are what made me feel comfortable joining the Opinion section and made me feel comfortable sticking around — and for that, I am forever grateful. Maggie, we joined The Daily together, and watching you run Opinion and Statement has pushed me to be better. Thank you for all the laughs and late nights we shared.
To EPEs present: Brittany Bowman, mini-me and confidant, friend and editor extraordinaire, I am so proud of you and could not be more excited for you to be 2021 ME. You will fill and exceed my shoes. Always reach out if you need me. Emily Considine, seeing you grow more confident and become the heart of the Opinion section was one of the great joys of my time at The Michigan Daily. Thank you for your friendship, passion and competence.
To Joel Danilewitz: Our friendship, memories and bonding can all be attributed to the magic that occurs on the second floor of 420 Maynard, and I am so glad it expanded into the rest of my life. I adore you.
To Zack: Our time on Opinion and the Summer Committee were so special to me; between the jokes, memes and shared sarcasm you still found time to make me an immensely better editor and writer. Remember me when you’re a famous international correspondent.
To the 2020 Managing Editor Class: Alec, Eli, Allison, Annie, Ben, Jack, Christine, Sherry, Lizzy, Leah, Sayali, Madison, Sadia, Maya, Ana, Devak, Parth, Tim, Simran, Sam and Sonya: I am so humbled by you. You truly are one of the best groups of people that I have ever known, and I am excited to see what you do in the future — especially those of you who are going to continue on TMD in 2021. (Jack, you’re extremely talented. You’ll be a great DME.)
To Ethan and Theo: Thank you for welcoming me into your section, for making me a better editor and a more spontaneous person. Your passion is palpable, your successes are inevitable and it’s an honest and true fact that editing Sports is 50% the vibe.
To Julianna and John: Julianna Morano, you are the most thoughtful person I have ever known. Everything you say is deliberate, important and you radiate kindness. Your friendship is powerful, and you inspire me to be a better person. John Decker, you are my soulmate. The friendship we’ve formed is such an important part of my time as Managing Editor, and I cannot wait to continue it well into the future.
To Alex, Mom and Dad: Thank you for your unwavering support and love. I couldn’t do anything I do without you.
To my non-Daily friends: Thank you for understanding why I needed to be on my computer every weeknight for a year, for listening to me rant about Daily politics and for being my support system. I love you.
To Lizzy: It’s impossible to sum up everything I want to say to you in a small blurb at the bottom of my senior goodbye. I think even if I wrote pages I couldn’t encapsulate the bond we’ve formed. Every EIC/ME pairing is close, but we have gone through a special brand of ups and downs. There’s a reason we were on each other’s “five people you trust” list during our A&I training. You’re my rock, friend and the only person who can truly understand this insane, stressful, horrible, wonderful year. Thank you, I love you and I can’t wait to cheer you on as you take the world by storm.
I would be lying if I said I am 100% happy with how this year went. In a lot of ways, I feel cheated. Cheated out of time in the newsroom, memories with my friends, my senior printer trip, my last elections and parties. But overtaking this sense of loss by leaps and bounds is the overwhelming amount of pride I have for how we handled it. Every day was worth it because our coverage was making a difference, for our community and for us.
The one reassuring thing about leaving The Michigan Daily is knowing that the work will outlast me when I’m gone. Here’s to 130 more years of editorial freedom.
MARISA WRIGHT – Deputy Statement Editor
It has been a wonderful experience to be involved with the Daily. Starting out writing for the Opinion section and then moving to be an editor for the Statement section was not something I would have predicted, but I would not have had it any other way, and I owe so much to everyone who has helped me. First, thank you to my mom for all of your love and support — I wouldn’t be here without it. Thank you also to my little sister, Gabriela, for your humor, friendship, and understanding.
Thank you to everyone who has made my time at the Daily special. Most especially, thank you to Maggie Mihaylova for giving me the opportunity to be an editor for the Statement. It has been lovely to work for you. Thank you to all of the other deputy and associate editors I have worked with on the Statement section: Emily Stillman, Reece Meyhoefer, Izzy Hasslund and Andie Horowitz. I’ve so enjoyed collaborating and working on the magazine with you. Lastly, thank you to all of the writers I’ve had the pleasure of editing — you all inspire me so much.
Finally, I will leave you with the one piece of advice I’ve always tried to follow during my time at the Daily: Always speak up for what you believe in. Sometimes you might feel awkward or sense the conversation getting a bit prickly, but a paper, especially a student newspaper representing a vast student body, cannot be successful without a multitude of perspectives and experiences from people committed to truth, integrity, and justice. When you look back at your time at the Daily, speaking up for the things that matter, even in moments where it may seem difficult, will be so worth it. Thank you again, and congratulations to the Class of 2021!