Spectrum elects 2016-17 editor in chief

Managing Editor Gabriela Julia elected in unanimous vote

The Spectrum’s editorial board unanimously elected Gabriela Julia as next year’s editor in chief on Sunday. Julia, a junior communication major and current managing editor at the newspaper, ran unopposed.

“I’m glad the current staff has confidence in me to elect me as editor in chief and I’m looking forward to building a new staff for next year,” Julia said following the election. “I’m excited – I have a lot of ideas and I’m ready to use them.”

Julia will be The Spectrum’s first Latina editor in chief.

“My heritage and culture means a lot to me, and I want others on this diverse campus to see that I can represent them well and give them a chance to speak,” Julia said.

Julia has been involved with The Spectrum since her freshman year. She worked as a staff writer from the fall of 2013 to the fall of 2014 and advanced to senior features editor in the spring of 2015. In the fall of 2015 she worked as senior news editor.

Current Editor in Chief Tom Dinki remembers when he realized Julia would be the right fit for editor in chief.

“When the ‘White Only, Black Only’ art project first broke … Gabi was one of the people who had a clear mind about it, stayed calm and knew how to handle it,” Dinki said. “She went out and got her reporting and did what she needed to do. This impressed me. I officially knew right then and there that she would be able to be editor in chief one day.”

Julia’s goals for The Spectrum in the coming year include improving the overall organization, time management and quality of content for both print and web. She plans to move Wednesday print days to Thursday and continue printing twice a week while constantly updating The Spectrum’s website. She will seek out computer science students to improve online content and offer videographers and photographers art credit to attract new talent.

Julia developed a proposed syllabus for The Spectrum’s class to allow editors to work more closely with staff writers. She also plans to increase the responsibilities of the paper’s copy desk to include editing before sending the paper to print.

“It’s all about communication and planning,” Julia said.

Senior News Editor Marlee Tuskes worked with Julia when she was senior news editor and said Julia ran the news desk efficiently.

“I am very proud of Gabi’s accomplishments. As someone who was under her on news desk and was able to learn from her, she shows that she’s a fantastic leader and that I am sure she will have no problem making sure all of the goals she said today happen,” Tuskes said.

Though Julia doesn’t have experience working on The Spectrum’s sports desk, she noted she has taken it upon herself this semester to learn how to write sports stories and how to edit sports.

“I know [sports content] is not my strong suit and I know I need more work in it,” Julia said. “I can show future staff that even as editor in chief, I’m still learning.”

Dinki said he knew Julia would be a capable leader for the newspaper.

“She’s someone who understands what stories are important, what The Spectrum can do and the power we have,” Dinki said. “She is willing to give her all to this paper, I’ve seen that.”

Sara DiNatale, The Spectrum’s editor in chief during the 2014-15 school year, endorsed Julia in the election.

“[Julia’s] perspective is refreshing and is something so many newsrooms, even The Spectrum, desperately need,” DiNatale said in her endorsement. “I know under her leadership, the paper will continue to give thoughtful coverage to topics that aren’t easy to cover fairly.”

The Spectrum has won 22 national awards in the last six years as the largest independent student-run newspaper in the SUNY system.

Julia wants to continue this trend.

“I want to restore the love for journalism in my staff,” Julia said.

Alyssa McClure is a managing editor and can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com.