Staff Editorial: Farewell to The Flat Hat

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March 18, 2008

4:15 PM

Today’s issue of The Flat Hat was put together by the most talented team of student journalists in the nation. I can say that because, for the first time since my freshman year, I was not involved with the newspaper’s production. A new staff replaces the seniors today, and I want to thank the people who have made this newspaper the most important organization at the College.

p. The Flat Hat has come into its own over the past year, expertly chronicling news stories like alleged abuses toward students by the city and the downfall of a beloved, controversial president. Our features blossomed, our opinion pages influenced. For the first time in decades, we won the Pacemaker award, the highest honor in student journalism. Year round, our coverage has been talked about, reprinted and imitated. But you read it in these pages first.

p. I’m happy to report that many will retain their positions next year. Patrick Biceglia ’09 will continue as business manager, building relationships with advertisers and ensuring that we remain profitable. Taylor Martindale ’09 and Vanessa VanLandingham ’09 will return as copy chiefs, making improvements along the way. We say goodbye to Alex Haglund ’08 as photography editor. I think we all will miss his ability to make mundane subjects visually interesting when he graduates, but Spencer Atkinson ’10, his co-editor for the past year, will stay on.

p. Joe Kane ’09, the venerable opinions editor for more than a year, will leave the paper, but not without making some lasting improvements to our editorial page. He will be replaced by one of his former associates, Sarah Sibley ’10. We are fortunate to have Andy Peters ’09 continue as editorial writer.

p. Readers will get to enjoy a new twist on our entertainment pages starting Friday with a combined reviews and variety page. This section will be team edited by Ashley Morgan ’10, the former associate variety editor, and Kasi Kangarloo ’09, the former associate reviews editor. Conor McKay ’09, the former reviews editor, will lend his entertainment knowledge to the paper in an advisory role.

p. Alice Hahn ’09, who brings with her an unconditional love for The Flat Hat, will leave variety to serve as executive editor, where, among her other duties, she will finally serve as the newspaper’s social chair in an official capacity.

p. Miles Hilder ’10 and Andrew Pike ’09 will take possession of the sports section as co-editors. They learned from the best, and I know they’ll continue the section’s momentum. Which brings me to Jeff Dooley ’09. No editor is more responsible for a section’s transformation than Jeff. He improved both sports layout and content, and there’s no question he’s ready to serve as managing editor.

p. The news section has a lot to live up to next year, but news editors Alex Guillén ’10 and Maxim Lott ’09, with their knowledge and dedication, will meet the challenge. Brian Mahoney ’09, who brought impeccable judgment and an eye for features as co-news editor, will serve as chief staff writer alongside Alex Ely ’09 (who is in Washington D.C. for the semester.) The two will help coordinate staff recruitment and training. I hope Alex will also have time to write the occasional horoscope. They will replace Max Fisher ’08, who has held many roles over the past year or so, from high-level editor to provocative columnist.

p. Also leaving with me are Managing Editor Ashley Baird ’08 and Executive Editor Chase Johnson ’08, who have stood with me these past several years. From editorial boards to management decisions, they have helped counsel me as friends and colleagues at every step. I could not have served without them.

p. Replacing me is Austin Wright ’09, a former co-news editor. Austin’s growth has been remarkable. I remember him as an eager freshman who, like me, started with the Insight page. He had big ideas, some excellent, some less so. We all grew up as we learned how to properly produce a newspaper, but somehow Austin’s progression seemed more pronounced. I’m proud of the work he’s done as news editor. In the coming year, he’ll lead a team with more talent, more energy and more enthusiasm than any that’s come before.

p. No activity I’ve ever been involved with has held more meaning for me than The Flat Hat. These 120 issues since my freshman year, some that I have been involved with, some not, have defined my time at the College. Editor-in-chief was not a job that I wanted, but it’s one that, today, I am glad I took. I’ve given nothing more, and nothing has given me more in return, than this newspaper. For those who have enjoyed The Flat Hat this past year, thanks for reading. More than graduation, today means something to me. Like a proud father, I’ll watch this staff as it continues to grow and improve. But unlike a parent, I have nothing to take credit for. Their achievements are their own. This staff is going to change the world one day. In important ways, they already have.

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