A very fond farewell to The Flat Hat

The Flat Hat is one heck of a drug. She is a cruel mistress, like the sea. It’s a cult, complete with a strange name, a shadowy basement headquarters and a lopsided Edgar Allen Poe mask donned for midnight dances.

A 104-year-old hot mess, dying medium, Yik Yak fodder, bastion of lamestream cronies and eternally-declining standards, #FlatHatFilth, coterie of nerdy Campus Center dwellers, stronghold of leftist babble or reactionary prattle (largely depending on your own views and your ability to read guest column disclaimers) — The Flat Hat is a hundred other cliches.

The Flat Hat is staying up all night in the office listening to Barry White and Rumours and napping on the unspeakable couches during the day. It’s a stuffy room crammed with stacks of paper, pictures of Nicolas Cage and red pandas, customized Game of Thrones banners and a Christmas tree.

It’s a campus institution. Time and time again, it brings together the College of William and Mary community as the preferred target of both furious students on Twitter and angry alumni who’ve just learned to use Facebook.

To paraphrase Stephen Crane, The Flat Hat is bitter. But I like it because it is bitter. And because it is my heart. But most of all, in a Soylent Green-esque twist, The Flat Hat is people. These are also some of my favorite people, so if you’re allergic to cheese, stop reading.

It is my pleasure to hand over the conn to one of the most enthusiastic, journalistically knowledgeable people I know: Editor-in-Chief Tucker Higgins ’17. He has already demonstrated his creativity, drive and dedication to the paper serving as Variety Editor, Executive Editor and Managing Editor. These traits will serve him well going forward, and I know he’s going to continue improving and expanding The Flat Hat. I’m thrilled to leave the newspaper in such capable hands.

Amelia Lucas ’18 will be making the leap from News Editor to Managing Editor. From serving as Student Assembly beat reporter to getting tossed into the deep end of the news section over the summer, she’s demonstrated tremendous skill and a sharp sense for news. She’ll keep news, sports and copy on the right track with her first-rate headline ideas and sunny disposition.

Staying on as Executive Editor, Isabel Larroca ’18 will continue to lead variety, opinions, photos and graphics with her trademark sense of humor and Stark-like levels of integrity.  She has already guided her side of the office through some stormy crises and served as an integral part of the executive staff.

Former online editor Kayla Sharpe ’17 will be moving into a new leadership role on the paper, joining executive staff as Digital Editor. The position is new, but Kayla has the online experience and eternal professionalism to take it on. She’ll boldly guide the newspaper into the digital age, overseeing videos, blogs, podcasts and social media.

Former Associate News Editor Emily Martell ’19 will take on the role of Chief Staff Writer this spring. With her great news sense and adept writing abilities, Emily is exceptionally well suited to this crucial role. On the other side of the office, former Associate Variety Editor Lizzie Flood ’18 will become Chief Features Writer and continue to contribute compelling features to the variety section.

A 104-year-old hot mess, dying medium, Yik Yak fodder, bastion of lamestream cronies and eternally-declining standards, #FlatHatFilth, coterie of nerdy Campus Center dwellers, stronghold of leftist babble or reactionary prattle (largely depending on your own views and your ability read guest column disclaimers) — The Flat Hat is a hundred other cliches.

Quinn Monette ’17 and Miguel Locsin ’19 will both continue serving as editorial writers. Together they have strengthened the paper’s editorial board with their strong writing skills and insightful takes on campus culture.

Beyond the wall, Copy Chief Bezi Yohannes ’18 will stay on as Copy Chief, and Leonor Grave ’19 and Lauren Bavis ’19 have also ascended to become Copy Chiefs . If Leonor and Lauren’s District 1-worthy performance in Flat Hat assassins is any indication, they’ll tackle their new roles with intimidating competence.

In the world of photography, Kyra Solomon ’19 will stay on as sole Photos Editor and Gabbie Pachon ’17 will remain as Chief Photographer. They will both continue to provide the paper with lovely images of campus life.

Two familiar faces will be helming the online section: former Social Media Editor Iris Hyon ’18 and former Associate Online Editor Cort Mays ’17. They will enhance the expanding section with their ingenuity and focus on producing quality video content.

Meanwhile, former Online Editor Julia Kott ’17 will step into the new role of Chief Videographer, where she will continue to handle assignments with a sensitive and artistic eye.

Former Associate Social Media Editor Iris Duan ’19 is ascending to Social Media Editor. She’s already proven her ability to pen quality blurbs on all kinds of topics and engage The Flat Hat readership on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

In the realm of podcasts, Associate Podcast Editors Peter Eckel ’19 and Siobhan Doherty ’19 will continue to produce engaging audio journalism.

Business Manager Patricia Mook ’17 and Business Outreach Manager Moises Romero ’19 will be taking care of business and working overtime in the paper’s crucial business section. Their combined persistence and aptitude for business will certainly help the paper continue to expand.

Brianna Little ’17 will join Blogs Editor Caroline Nutter ’17 to helm the fast-growing section. These two have the mad writing abilities and enthusiasm to continue to provide campus with an outlet for all kinds of expression.

Over in opinions, opinions editors Jenny Cosgrove ’19 and Julia Stumbaugh ’19 will continue to cruise through the oft-treacherous seas of representing the student voice. May their columns be plentiful and diverse. May the subsequent angry Yik Yaks about the section be swiftly down-voted.

Former Associate Sports Editor Josh Luckenbaugh ’17 will join Sports Editor Nick Cipolla ’17 at the newspaper’s sports desk. In addition to covering the often-heartbreaking, always exciting world of Tribe athletics, these two talented editors will also hopefully continue to further the section’s multimedia reach (Cheerleading 101 needs to happen, just saying).

Former Associate News Editor Sarah Smith ’19 will join News Editor Emily Chaumont ’18 to helm the turbulent but rewarding news section. These two have demonstrated insane work ethic and calm dispositions that will serve them well as they tackle the front page, breaking stories, the wonderful world of sleep deprivation and all that other fun news stuff.

Now for my home section: Variety. Sam Dreith ’18 and Sarah Ruiz ’18 will continue on in the spicy section. These two are the perfect pair to continue to oversee excellent designs and meaningful features and … well … sensual sex columns. They’ve really made a mark on the section and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Shout outs go to former editorial writer Kaitlan Schaub ’17 and former managing editor Madeline Bielski ’17. These two have each done excellent work for the paper. They’re all currently out adventuring abroad, but we hope to see them back in the office very soon.

Now I’d like to recognize the people who can grouse with me about the twice-weekly slog and the scary white vans we used to distribute the paper in — the outgoing staff.

Former Graphics Editor Brian Kao ’16 has entertained and engaged campus with his excellent drawings. His hard work and talent have been greatly appreciated.

It’s not hyperbolic to say that former Business Manager Amanda Lutick ’16 truly revolutionized the business section. The Flat Hat appreciates her diligent and patient work, as well as all those emails reminding us to actually run the ads that fund us.

Emily Nye ’16 wraps up four years on staff by returning to her original section. Emily served as the paper’s first-ever chief features writer. She produced numerous insightful pieces that demonstrated her considerable writing talents.

Former Photos Editor Ashley Richardson ’17 brought her managerial and visual talents to the role. Her work has really enhanced and expanded the section.

It’s truly been an honor to work with all of these talented and lovely people.

Former Webmaster Ben Marks ’16 should really have taken on the title of Digital Wizard. He has done extensive work on our Wordpress and always promptly rebooted the website when it crashed. He has even done online battle with a Parisian cell of Russian spammers. Seriously about the Russians though; that’s an actual thing that he’s dealt with.

Can’t write a goodbye column without mentioning Matt Camarda ’16, our inaugural Blogs Editor. He’s off taking over the world in D.C. right now, but his legacy remains on the paper. He was missed this year and his many years of service are greatly appreciated.

Former Copy Chiefs Richie Thaxton ’16 and Kat Turk ’16 will also be moving on. When they’re not dominating at past and ongoing assassins games, these two are busy catching all of our dumb mistakes. It’s been a pleasure to work with these chiefs beyond the wall.

With his penchant for excellent sports stories, good humor and passion for Tribe lacrosse, former Sports Editor Sumner Higginbotham ’16 will be missed in the office (although the various computer cords are probably much safer now).

Last but definitely not least is Amanda Williams ’16. She’s done it all. Copy Chief. News Editor. Chief Staff Writer. I bounced her around a lot because I knew she’d continue to produce excellent work no matter where she was needed. She killed it in each role, producing superb articles and displaying tremendous journalistic sense and sensitivity.

It’s truly been an honor to work with all of these talented and lovely people.

Stabilitas et fides.


Email Aine Cain at aicain@email.wm.edu 


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