Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line.
I worked as a copy editor for a time which happened in pretty typical fashion, but my trip into Opinion was a bit more unorthodox. Laura worked with me as a copy kitten in the spring and then as EIC in the summer. As the summer neared its end, Laura texted me out of the blue, asking me to apply to be an associate editor. So I just said okay and went with it for the semester, and then the next one too.
Despite my apprehension toward leaving the Copy department, the change felt right. Although I still rant about creative comma usage from time to time, I’ve found immense joy in teaching and working with a team of talented writers. I’ve even learned a few things along the way.
My writers have taught me the unnoticed student issues, the missteps of our state’s bureaucracy and why I should commit to self-care every once in a while. They even taught me many great uses for the em dash — when used sparingly and strategically. So thank you columnists. Thank you for the defenses of your rhetorical questions and idioms, your (sheepishly delivered) bad pitches and most importantly for allowing me to guide you in publishing work you should all be proud of.
My fellow editors have taught me how rewarding our hard work can be. You all welcomed me back every time I quit, tolerated my hottest takes on Frank Ocean and indulged my slight obsession with film scores. Cuillin: I commend your devotion to stanning untalented rappers no matter how much I trash talk them. Josie: I admire your ability to work through a 2-hour editing session with a smile on your face. Liza: I appreciate you for always telling me how great I am and your intimate knowledge about our U.S. presidents. And Laura: I thank you for poaching me from the copy department and for being a ~cool~ boss.
While working for this newspaper, I’ve definitely learned how to be a proficient editor, but I’m mostly thankful for having a job where my tattoos or piercings or blackness was never an indicator of how well I could do my job. My editors had my back when a racist pitch made me question my ability to do this job, and have encouraged me to publish a few rant-y things about being black at UT.
Outside of Opinion, I’ve seen just how committed this paper is to telling the stories of our underrepresented students. Our management team has actively recruited people of color to work with us. Our news department has completed not one, but two, special projects highlighting the experiences of DACA recipients and black excellence at this University.
I’ve had the opportunity to grow with a newsroom that is finally inviting a diversity of identities to foster their talents. So I thank all of the people I’ve worked with, laughed with, argued with and learned with over the years. I will miss you all, but I am excited for the important work all of this talented staff will do after I’m gone.
So thank you Daily Texan. For all of the late nights fighting inDesign, the searching for verification of a single sports stat and all of the lessons I’ve learned and memories I’ve made in that awfully chilly basement.
Campbell is an English junior from El Paso. Follow her on Twitter at @Jar_ee.