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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

I wish I would’ve joined sooner

Saying goodbye to one of the best things I’ve experienced during undergrad

I can’t believe my time at The Spectrum is over.

I remember joining as a staff writer in 2021 during the pandemic and feeling hype because I had a column published on the site. 

A year and a half later, I found myself becoming a true journalist and tapping into a side of myself that I never could have imagined.

Two months into being a staff writer, I had the opportunity to work on the Latin American Student Association (LASA) ticketing policy story, which opened eyes to my potential and got me promoted to an assistant editor.

Making a jump from staff writer to assistant editor in the middle of the semester was tough, but because of the support I received from Grant, Andrew and Anthony, I was able to meet my requirements and stay on top of my school work.

After being promoted again to a news editor, I started to take what I do for The Spectrum more seriously. I have learned the most throughout this last semester about what being a journalist is. 

I was able to fully step out of my comfort zone, which forced me to become more confident in my abilities. 

My writing, public speaking and ability to advocate for myself have all improved in my time here.

I’ve fallen in love with journalism and what it has to offer. 

Being exposed to what’s going on in the world and having a chance to communicate that to others sounds simple, but there’s so much more to consider behind the scenes of writing a story that makes this field so enjoyable for me. 

I cannot imagine a life without writing, and I am curious to see how I combine law and journalism in the future.

The Spectrum will forever hold a special place in my heart. It became a second home for me, and I met an amazing group of people who I see as family.

I want to thank Matt Parrino, Andrew Lauricella, Grant Ashley and Anthony DeCicco for being patient with me and being good leaders whom I could learn from. Thank you for also making the newsroom a safe space. Allowing everyone to come in and talk to y’all, not always as a boss, but as a friend, really made this experience amazing for me. I was able to open up and make my forever family. I would also like to thank you all for helping me learn how not to take criticism personally and see that it’s meant to make my work the best it can be. 

I would also like to thank Victoria Hill for being there for every step of the way. We both worked on the LASA story together, got promoted both times at the same time, and stayed on the news desk with each other. Professionally, we were always able to work together and collaborate on stories. Victoria, you are an exceptional writer. I remember feeling super anxious at first, wondering if I was contributing as much as I could, but I learned so much from you. I really appreciate you for always checking in with me, showing that you care and want to see me. 

The friendships I made here really made a difference. 

Thank you Amy for being one of my first “besties” at The Spectrum and for putting a smile on my face everytime I see you. 

Thank you Katie for working with me, making me laugh and being someone who brings great energy. 

Tenzin, Alex, Meret, Darcy, Emma, Moaz, Jade, A.J., Suha and Kara — thank you for keeping me company in the office and making it a safe space. I will miss everyone on staff!

Kiana Hodge is a news editor and can be reached at 



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