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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 15, 2024

Senior Profile: Carl Svahn brings his love for art, journalism to the Daily and beyond

From arts to news to video, Svahn’s experience at the Daily was always about finding and creating community.

Carl Svahn is pictured on May 1.

Carl Svahn entered Tufts as a first-year in the fall of 2020. With classes held online and COVID-19 restrictions in full effect, Svahn, like many others in his grade, felt isolated, so he began looking for ways to connect with his classmates. A comic book lover, he spent time at Comicazi in Davis Square, which is where he learned about the opportunity to pursue journalism with the Daily.

“I had started to go to Comicazi, the comics store in Davis, and I was picking up comics to fill out the time,” Svahn said. “And eventually I saw Drew Weisberg, who used to write for Arts, and he was writing about comics at the time.”

Svahn’s interactions with Weisberg motivated him to reach out to the Daily and start writing about comics. This was only the beginning for Svahn, as his impact and dedication to the Daily has been notable, especially for up-and-coming writers. After starting as a staff writer crafting eclectic pieces on comics and other art forms, Svahn branched out and began to cover the Boston arts scene. Pieces he remembers especially fondly include an article on Porter Square Books’ new location in 2021 and a Weekender on the 2023 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival. Svahn later expanded his role, eventually becoming executive arts editor and chair of the Education Committee.

Svahn explained his biggest goals in both of his leadership positions.

“I wanted to keep Arts going and sustainable after [previous executive editor] Henry [Chandonnet] did an awesome job,” Svahn said. “And [with the] Education Committee, I was trying to give that a purpose. … I tried to both give it more direction, but also keep the ‘seniors hanging out’ side of it.”

Svahn also wrote for the Daily’s News section during his sophomore year, including an article on personal protective equipment research at Tufts, and made several contributions to the Video section, including a profile of Tufts Garden Club and a tour of Gifford House with former University President Anthony Monaco. He credited his mentors in each of these sections, Chloe Courtney Bohl and Ty Blitstein, with inspiring him and helping him become a better journalist.

Just as Weisberg welcomed him into the Daily, Svahn described his efforts to reach out to new members of the Daily to let them know that their input is valued and encourage them to expand their roles in the organization. Additionally, Svahn is a major advocate for creating an open, welcoming space in the Daily office.

“The first time ever I went into the office … no one talked to me and I was kind of thrown in the corner, “ Svahn said. “I’ve tried to contribute to fixing that, and being like ‘hey, the office is a fun spot.’”

Svahn described how the “Dailmunity” — the quirky portmanteau used to describe the Daily‘s community — impacted his own experience.

“If there wasn’t an Arts ‘Dailmunity,’ I don’t think I would have eventually gotten to the point in the Daily where I am now,” Svahn said. “I would not have committed to something as hard as I have with the Daily if it wasn’t there. … I don’t know what it is about the ‘Dailmunity’ as a whole, but you just want to be a part of it the more you learn about it.”

It’s undeniable that the “Dailmunity” was a campus home for Svahn. As a leader at the Daily, Svahn has made efforts to pass this feeling on to others by demonstrating its value to the Tufts community, especially to those with an affinity for writing.

When asked how he’ll remember his time at the Daily, Svahn emphasized how much the experience as a whole means to him.

“Arts is my home. It’s where I started, and it’s where I met all of these people, but the whole [experience] is the big takeaway for me,” Svahn said.

Svahn’s growth as a writer and an advocate for the Daily is a prominent part of his Daily journey. He’s always wanted everyone around him to succeed, and his contributions have certainly left a mark in the Daily’s history.