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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, February 23, 2024

Letter from the Editor in Chief: End of semester reflections

The 84th managing board of The Tufts Daily is pictured.

Dear students, faculty, staff and all others that make up the Tufts community,

The last time I wrote to you, in September, I was a bit more bright eyed and bushy tailed, a freshly minted junior not yet sure what the school year would bring me. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of a third COVID-19 school year, and I didn’t know how I would balance being editor in chief with being a student and, not to mention, a regularly functioning human being. Truthfully, I didn’t even know if I had what it takes to run a daily newspaper at 20 years old. I’m sure this feeling — that you might not be able to handle it all or that you’re not ready to take something on — is one that many of you recognize, and I think it’s usually most heightened at the beginning of the semester. But now that we’ve made it to the other side, I’m looking back with pride and I hope you are too. I did it, and you all did too. 

This semester, we’ve covered everything from sports games and concerts and plays (all for the first time in a long time!) to local elections and newsworthy happenings here at Tufts. We’ve shared opinions about foreign politics and crosswalks, we’ve profiled incredible students and faculty alongside businesses from ice cream stores to coffee shops. We’ve made podcasts and graphics and videos, we’ve taken photos and designed ​​the layout of the paper each night. We’ve checked meticulously for copy mistakes, we’ve worked with alumni, we’ve connected with our community on social media, we even worked through a hacking of our website. In addition to keeping this daily paper going and printing on a twice weekly basis, we reestablished a video section, created a science section and produced four special issues. Throughout it all, we’ve done what journalists do: posed important questions and searched for answers. I’m immensely proud of the hundreds of people that are involved in this organization at every level. No matter how big or small you think your role is, the paper would be nothing without all of you.

Greater than the success of the Daily was the difficulty of this semester. Already tackling the tricky transition to more in-person classes and events, the entire Tufts student and faculty body mourned an indelible loss this October. Madie Nicpon was a light on this campus and her passing reverberated in a way nothing else has in my time at Tufts. I feel that her passing united us, a student body perhaps previously a bit disjointed because of all the uncertainty and online time the pandemic has brought. People started checking in more, asking how you were doing and really caring about the answer. I feel like I’ve heard more “thank you”s since Madie’s passing than any other time. Madie’s absence is tragic and unfair and quite honestly cruel, but a new culture of treating the people around you with more love, kindness and gratitude has been a beautiful and unexpected development that I hope sticks around. It does not take her place, of course, but I’d like to think it’s one of her many impacts. She is so missed, but I also feel she is so present with us. 

In that vein of sharing gratitude, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you to all members of the Daily, for joining and leaning into the culture of this passionately hardworking and slightly nerdy community, as well as for anything you’ve contributed, whatever form of media it may be. Thank you to all of our execs — Alex J, Jill, Phoebe, Paloma, Cole, Ananda, Alex V, Hannah, Sophie, Michelle, Ty, Lucy, Mac, Maddy, Asli, Sarah, Julian, Jilly, Rebecca, Elise, Kendall and Jackson — for putting in work growing your sections and overseeing the production of content on a daily basis. You’ve all worked tirelessly and that hasn’t gone unnoticed. Thank you, most of all, to Mariel, Kate, Priya, Ethan, Campbell and Evelyn, my managing board. You are all kind, funny, interesting, smart and special individuals, and easily one of the best parts of this job has been getting to know you all. I truly couldn’t have asked for or imagined a better group: It has been so wonderful to lead alongside people I genuinely love and care about, and you have made this experience what it was. Thank you to our alumni for paving the way and for continuing to support us, and thank you to our readers, because if we didn’t have you, we wouldn’t have a paper. And finally, thank you to the entire Daily community for embracing me as your leader and allowing me to serve as editor in chief. I will remember this experience fondly forever. 

Pax et Lux,

Maddie Aitken

Editor in Chief, Fall 2021