Let me tell everyone something — There were some serious doubts that The Eastern Echo would continue after COVID-19.
We had 3-4 writers on the whole team, no news editor, no sports editor, and no managing editor.
This happened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as people reasonably decided to take time off and tend to much more important things in their life.
So, it was definitely a rocky start and not how I imagined my last semester at Eastern Michigan University. I’ve always had a great desire to be editor-in-chief, as some of the most amazing journalists I look up to were EIC at their own university. However, I didn’t know if I could handle re-building an entire team.
Nevertheless, the editors who stuck around, Layla McMurtrie, Caleb Burlingame, Nick Megdanoff, Valerie Goodwin, Courtney Mortier, Jenna Robinson, and our amazing advisor, Christine Uthoff, were there to help The Echo make a great comeback.
We established new policies and initiatives, recruited several students, and created a new precedent of what The Echo stands for moving forward.
This was one of the most valuable learning experiences I’ve had during my college experience. I’ve never had to adapt to a crisis situation so quickly, while also recovering myself of traumatic experiences from the pandemic. We hired as many people as possible, established our meeting and publishing schedules, implemented our writing criteria, and all while training staff to follow the ethics and standards of journalism.
Now, at the end of the semester, we have a full team of amazing people who have shown time and time again their ability to produce great content.
Our new Sports Editor Christian Byers, News Editor Megan Forystek, Design Chief Marq Stafford, and our former podcast editor turned Managing Editor Layla McMurtrie, all stepped up to ensure that The Echo has a dedicated team of students who work tirelessly to make this newspaper the best it can possibly be.
The Eastern Echo will always have a special place in my heart, and I can now graduate knowing that I am leaving it in good hands.
The Echo is meant to be a platform for the Ypsilanti and EMU community. Please continue reading as this incredible staff works to be the voice of those who are commonly unheard.
Thank you for a semester at EMU that I will never forget, and I will continue to root for The Echo from the sidelines.