Saying farewell to the staff of The Flat Hat


We often say to those who are interested in joining The Flat Hat that each person’s level of commitment is totally up to them — their time working on the paper is what they make of it. Admittedly, this is primarily meant as a reassurance that signing up for our email list isn’t akin to a blood oath. You won’t find yourself shackled to a desk in a dark, likely mold-infested office in the basement of Campus Center.

And yet, as some of us prepare to take our leave of said basement, I can’t help but think on the time we collectively put into this paper each week. Our time at the paper is what we make of it — and we certainly make the most of it. Late nights in the office are spent blasting early-2000s playlists, discussing movies, watching endless YouTube videos and debating Buzzfeed “would you rather” quizzes.

Whether tracking down interviews, editing videos and podcasts, designing pages, distributing papers across campus, etc., we put a lot into what we do. At times it seems thankless, yet, without fail, each person shows up and goes above and beyond. It’s seeing that consistent effort and enthusiasm that helps those of us who are leaving to let go.

It is with great confidence that I hand over the reins to the paper’s 108th Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Smith ’19. The tireless dedication she showed in her time with the News section will contribute enormously to her new position, which has its unique responsibilities and challenges. Her passion for journalism and efforts to seek out new opportunities for the paper as a whole will be vital to The Flat Hat as it expands and evolves.

Taking over the position of managing editor is Nia Kitchin ’20. Having spent her time balancing the responsibilities of News editor, freshman RA, and member of Honor Council, I know she will handle her new role with aplomb. Her ability to stick to her guns while remaining fair will be an  invaluable trait as she leads the News and Opinions sections.

Alyssa Grzesiak ’20 will be overseeing Sports and Variety in her new position as executive editor. Having led the Sports section with a steady hand as its first female editor in years, I know she will find exciting new directions to take both of her sections. I can’t wait to see what she and her section editors come up with (and how her trash-can basketball game improves even further with another year of practice).

Back from his time abroad, Sean Willner ’19 will be taking over as digital media editor. He has already demonstrated great initiative and enthusiasm in finding digital components for print stories, along with a healthy appreciation for “Dogs of DoG Street” videos. I look forward to seeing what his collaboration with other sections produces.

Transitioning over from her previous position as Opinions editor, Kiana Espinoza ’19 will be taking on the paper’s newest position, operations coordinator. Whether facing the weekly battle of getting everyone on staff to distribute the weekly issue (I recommend the “threaten to share middle school Facebook photos on Slack” tactic) or leading our annual intern program, I am certain she’s up to the task.

Jumping right in after serving as a News intern, Max Minogue ’21 will take over as chief staff writer. His passion and sense for news will serve him well.

The News section has two worthy new editors in Leonor Grave ’19  and Madeline Monroe ’19. The two are already bringing fresh perspectives to the section and actively pursuing stories that will inform students and bring the overlooked to the forefront of our reporting.   

Katherine Yenzer ’21 and Ethan Brown ’21 have taken up the honor and challenge of running the Opinions section as freshmen. Having experienced this personally and having watched them transition into this role, I am already impressed with their ability to find wide-ranging topics and views on campus.

The Variety section will benefit immensely from the talent and hard work of Heather Baier ’20 and Carmen Honker ’21. Their capability and imagination when it comes to design, combined with their ability to find unique story opportunities, is sure to lead to some truly impressive work.

Two former Opinions editors will make the leap over to Sports as Brendan Doyle ’20 and Julia Stumbaugh ’19 become its new section editors. I look forward to seeing how their passion for arguing over hockey is put into running and reimagining the section overall.

As The Flat Hat looks for new ways to build on its online presence, our Online editors Peter Eckel ’19 and Talia Wiener ’20, Blogs editor Abby Graham ’20 and Social Media editor Leslie Davis ’21 will all be essential. Their creativity and innovation will bring fresh life to the sections.

Kyra Solomon ’19 and Gracie Harris ’21 will serve as Photo editors, continuing to provide the paper with snapshots of the (often swampy) world of campus life.

In the world of copy editing, the triumvirate of Lauren Bavis ’19, Rachel Wilmans ’19 and Kate Sandberg ’19 remains strong. May their reign remain as efficient and capable as ever, and may their encounters with Oxford commas remain scarce.

Moises Romero ’19 will continue his incredible dedication to his role as business manager, keeping the paper on track financially from across the Atlantic.

And now to recognize the seniors who weathered many a change, including a transition to once-a-week printing, a restructured intern program and a new website.

Emily Chaumont ’18 and Sarah Ruiz ’18, we’ve seen many a 2 a.m. office “night” in our time. You were office DJs, Disney experts, Campus Golf stars, fellow “Star Wars” fanatics and YouTube video connoisseurs. However, I’m most grateful for your calm in a crisis and tolerance of many, many a rant.

Sam Dreith ’18, Amelia Lucas ’18 and Iris Hyon ’18 not only kept the social media accounts running and interviewed dogs on camera, but also brought the best hair, best office decor and some of the wittiest banter to be heard.

Caroline Nutter ’18, despite her many involvements across campus, still found time to pursue stories that needed to be told. A man of many talents, Josh Luckenbaugh ’18 served as The Flat Hat’s resident cinephile, writing movie reviews alongside his basketball commentaries.

The News section would not have been the same this semester without Meilan Solly ’18. She brought high-quality reporting alongside truly incredible page designs. While she was missed during her two years at the University of St Andrews, the talent and ideas she brought back with her were unmatched this year.

It has been my honor and pleasure to work with such an incredible group of people. I can only hope that those who follow have the same amazing experience.

Stabilitas et fides.

Email Isabel Larroca at i[email protected]


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