Four weeks ago, I sat down in front of my laptop to write this column.
But that was before I contracted COVID-19. Before Gov. Cuomo changed the threshold for a campus shutdown. And before the Student Association cycled through not one, not two, but three presidents.
So… here we are.
Three SA presidents, a 5% shutdown threshold and one deadly virus later.
It’s been a long journey to this point.
Following the 2019-20 school year, The Spectrum was at a crossroads. We had lost six veteran editors to graduation and five to majors that required their full and undivided attention. We were left with a scraggly gang of young writers, many of whom had limited journalism experience but tremendous drive and talent. All had a commitment to one thing: reporting the news.
A drastic change in leadership and staff is not a story reserved for The Spectrum. Last semester at UB, two deans from different departments chose to step back from their leadership positions in favor of returning to their roots: teaching. Similarly, my colleague and friend Alexandra Moyen chose to step down as editor-in-chief to return to her home as senior features editor.
Like I said, it’s been a long journey.
I first expressed interest in joining The Spectrum as a freshman. I had just transferred to UB, and as a nerdy, socially awkward former “band kid,” I was lost.
I didn’t have friends, I’d never been away from home and I was scared.
But, as a natural optimist, I thought it’d get easier.
Three years, countless SA scandals, numerous campus protests and a global pandemic later, I’ve learned that it doesn’t get easier, you just learn to adapt.
And 2020 definitely taught me to adapt.
I did not expect to be EIC of The Spectrum (at least not this year). But life sometimes gives you challenging circumstances and demands you make the most of it. All too often we are blinded by a hustle-culture which tells us, “if you work hard enough, you can do anything.” But that advice often neglects to acknowledge what we want to be doing.
I want to help our young staff learn the ropes and tell the story of UB during a time of tremendous uncertainty.
I’m going to work as hard as I can this semester to make the campus community proud. We’re going to continue to again cover everything from COVID-19 to the Black Lives Matter movement to UB Athletics to the local arts scene.
But we’re also not going to be afraid to change it up.
I’m a sucker for a good column, and I am open to all sorts of different stories.
I’d like my time as EIC of The Spectrum to reflect not just the hard news of the day, but the stories of the students who experience it: tales of interesting projects, columns on the latest in current events, listicles of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants around the city.
I’d love The Spectrum to reflect the UB experience.
So how can you help?
You can start by interacting with us.
Let us know which stories matter most to you and what you think should be covered more.
Hold us accountable. And help us hold UB accountable.
As UB’s student newspaper, it is our job to provide you with accurate, insightful and interesting coverage. I’m looking forward to fulfilling that duty.
Reilly Mullen is the editor-in-chief of The Spectrum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ReillyMMullen.
Reilly Mullen is the editor-in-chief for The Spectrum. She double majors in English and political science. She enjoys Dunkin' iced lattes, arguing with frat boys and buying cool shoes. A former web, features and news editor, she write columns about her chronic illnesses and taking down the patriarchy.