Letter from the editor: student media, please never lose your wonder

Trinity Velazquez 

Editor in chief 

I am not prepared to write this letter. Not only is this my last letter from the editor, it’s my last article I will write for The Current Sauce. There are so many things I want to say but word count is my enemy.  

To begin, I’ll start with the end by thanking the people who helped me become who I am. 

Jacob Bennett, thank you for asking me to write a student submission in the summer of 2018. I know you just needed to fill the Viewpoints page but neither of us knew that would be the start of my journey with student media. Thank you for picking me to be the Viewpoints editor that fall. My sophomore year was a lot, and I did some regrettable things but accepting the Viewpoints editor position has never been one of them.  

2018-2019 Editorial Board. From left: Viewpoints Editor Trinity Velazquez. Design Editor Cassie Philips, Managing Editor Anson Ballow, Editor in Chief Jacob Bennett, Associate Editor Sadie Lecompte, Photo Editor Valentina Perez. From Below: Copy Editor Samantha Clark.

Samantha Clark, being your Copy editor changed the way I viewed student media and The Current Sauce itself. When I ran for editor, you told everyone that I was the most dedicated person on your staff and I have never forgotten how encouraging your words were to me and those you addressed. You saw my love and dedication for the paper before I did. I don’t know if I would ever notice it if you hadn’t. 

Nick Hopkins, you have been such a huge help when it came down to completing stories and getting quotes. I know that one Tuesday night I was asking a million questions about the naming of the stage and you never sounded annoyed with me. Having access to the Student Body President has been so great but having you a friend has been greater.  

Trinity Velazquez and Nick Hopkins at a Student Government Association banquet in 2019.

Dr.  Nick Taylor, having your office right next to mine has been a blessing. Every Wednesday when the paper came out you always gave a compliment about how great the front page looked without looking at it. The excitement in your voice made mine soar, even if print isn’t your area. Thank you for always coming in my office to talk to me and distract me from work. Through NSU TV News, I have learned so much from you.  

Dr. Brian Gabrial, when I first started my term as editor I would absolutely dread Thursdays because I knew an email from you with critiques would hit my inbox soon. I used to always get so mad because I didn’t think you knew how hard my staff and I worked, but you always knew. With every issue following your critiques, I learned more and more. You have nothing to do with student media but somehow you have made a huge impact on me through it. Having you as a professor, a very hard one I might add, has been my favorite thing about being a part of the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts. I have learned so much about editing and writing from you and I value you so much. Every positive comment email you have sent me I have saved and screenshotted it. Whenever I feel like I’m not doing a good enough job, I go back and re-read those emails. Your support and encouragement have meant a lot to me and so do you. 

Kenneth Burns, you will be my hardest goodbye when the time comes. You have watched me grow for the past three years in student media. You and Dr. Gabrial have taught me everything I know about journalism, but you taught me more than I could ever learn in a classroom. You taught me the importance of great journalism and how vital it is to be a student journalist. Whoever hired you made the best choice in the world because I have never met someone as cool or as interesting as you. I have broken down in your office (pre-COVID-19 days) multiple times and each time I left feeling 10000 percent better than when I came in. You have been my biggest cheerleader and supporter since arriving at NSU and I would not be editor without you. Sam told me what you said about it being fantastic if I ran for editor, I hope I proved you right. Thank you for only being a Teams message away, I hope that doesn’t change.  

To my staff, I owe everything to you. I have been a great editor because I have been the luckiest and most blessed editor in the world to get to work with each of you because it has been the best part of my college experience. Whenever someone says that I’ve done a great job, I always say that it’s not me who has done the great job but it’s us. Thank you for letting me teach you AP style and how to write stories. Thank you for writing stories at the last minute or finding quotes the day the paper is being designed. Thank you for not being afraid to ask me questions or come to me with pitches. This paper has been the most creative and informative because you have made it that way. Thank you for all your hard work this year, you all have no idea how much I love and appreciate you. 

Thank you, Timothy, Lora, China, Natalia, Krista, Kendall, Tyrenisha, Mary Fletcher, Mary Gaffney, Gracie, C.J., Serena, Christian, Mya, Tabitha and Lara for making it easy to be your editor-in-chief. 

2020-2021 Editorial Board. From left: Incoming Editor in Chief Brianna Corley, News Editor Timothy Holdiness, Current Editor in Chief Trinity Velazquez, Arts and Living Editor Lora Luquet and Photo Editor China Brown. Photo by Jasmine Johnson. Not pictured: Design Editor Natalia Zapata Yonoff.

Brianna, you are going to be incredible as editor in chief. Your talent for art and writing and your kindness will help this paper reach new heights and I can’t wait to watch it all. Thank you for sticking with me these past three years we have been on staff together.  

I want to thank my dad and stepmom for first questioning whether I was making a good decision and then being super excited when I did get it.   

Momma, you have always wanted what was best for me and no one was more excited as you when I decided to run. Thank you for listening to my rants and helping me with all my problems. Your great boss trait travelled down to me. 

I also want to thank Ida B. Wells for being an incredibly brave journalist in the 1800’s. If you don’t know her story, look her up. Thank you to Jimmy Walker for being the first Black editor in chief back in 2011 so I didn’t have to be. 

Finally, I want to thank student media and The Current Sauce for existing.  

Thank you, Northwestern State University, for letting me be your editor-in-chief for the 2020-2021 academic year. Photo by Chris Reich.

Thank you, Northwestern State University, for letting me be your editor-in-chief for the 2020-2021 academic year.  

If I can leave with just a few last words, it’s this: student media, please never lose your wonder. For every student journalist, now and in the future, please never lose your love for investigating and making your community aware of what is going on in the world around them. Remember to always report what’s true and always be a reliable source for students. 

After all, student media is by students, for students. Here’s to the future of student media and creating amazing future journalists.  

Trinity Velazquez

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