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Farewell Letter: The Ticker gave me an unexpected but cherished purpose


At the beginning of the spring 2024 semester, after The Ticker finally recovered from the malware attack and went back to print, I remember agonizing while doing proofs as I realized it would be another long Thursday night.

“30 years down the line, you’re going to look back and miss this time we spent together,” Editor-in-Chief Maya Demchak-Gottlieb said to me as a joke, but also probably to comfort me. I laughed and rolled my eyes at her because I couldn’t imagine reminiscing about being in the office until 11 p.m. every Thursday for the newspaper.

I haven’t even graduated yet and I realize that she was right, I’m already beginning to miss layout nights.

I joined The Ticker in the spring of 2021 after hastily filling out a general interest form. I had no idea what I was signing up for but being part of the web seemed like the least writing-intensive role, so I went with it.

A week later, former Web Editor Alyson Szeto reached out to Jo Ramos and me about meeting to discuss our interest in joining the web. I had no idea what that meant either, but I agreed to do it. Before I knew it, I somehow became the web assistant, and then the web editor for two years.

Jo and I completely revamped the website and took pride in our work, even though we had no experience in web design and were completely winging it the whole time.

Over the years, I regularly attended editorials and managed to form strong friendships with many of the past and current staff members of The Ticker. I loved leading the web team and being part of a respected college organization, even though no one understood why I was doing it while pursuing actuarial science.

In spring 2023, editor-in-chief at the time, Emanuela Gallo, approached me about running for the managing editor role. With full transparency, she only approached me after no one else showed interest in the position. I was hesitant about the offer, but I loved The Ticker, and I didn’t want it to sink, which would inevitably happen without a managing editor.

Reluctantly, and with incredibly intense imposter syndrome, I agreed to run for the position. With zero opposition, I won by a landslide. Once I began training with at the time managing editor, Farah Javed, I realized I was a fish out of water. I barely knew how to write (well), let alone conduct proofs or memorize silly AP Style rules or help lead an organization with over 50 staff members.

I was overwhelmed with the pressure of upholding the legacy of a century-old, respected news organization and constantly felt I was the least qualified to be doing this.

I want to thank Dani Heba and Judah Duke for your words of affirmation when I constantly expressed my unease about becoming managing editor.

I’m glad I toughed it out. The skills and friendships I gained through The Ticker made my college experience worthwhile. The Ticker does so much work for the college and its students that goes unnoticed, and I’m incredibly proud of everyone behind it.

Even through all the nights I felt like I was drowning from working on the front page, running to do proofs and putting out Ticker fires, I realize now how exhilarating it was to be part of something larger than myself.

I never signed up to be this involved in the school newspaper when I first filled out that form. But it quickly became the center of my academic career.

Keeping all this in mind, I also want to give a huge shout-out to the current Editor-in-Chief, Maya for fighting for the paper every day and promising to continue fighting for another year. You’ve been a wonderful leader and friend.

Graduating and leaving The Ticker feels surreal. It’s almost cynical to have to leave just as I figured out how to swim up and keep from drowning.

This is a farewell letter to The Ticker but also a long-winded thank you to this organization, for giving me this opportunity, and to its people, who are smart, funny and supportive. It’s also a request to the next Ticker generation to uphold all we’ve built. Nurture the paper but also your connections with each other. You’re part of something incredibly special.

Everyone, please keep in touch. I want to hear about what you’re doing in 30 years while we’re reminiscing about Thursday night layouts.

*eagle screech*

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Suporna Das
Suporna Das, Managing Editor
Suporna Das is the Managing Editor for The Ticker.
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    ThomasMay 15, 2024 at 9:31 pm

    Made me shed a tear