Staff offers support throughout final year

by Editor-in-Chief Anna Grace Usery

At the beginning of my term as Editor-in-Chief, I thought I knew everything about my role.

“Yeah, I can manage a few editors. Yeah, I can write three stories this week. Yeah, I can call our lawyer. Yeah, I’ll call the police and get this figured out. Yeah, I can fix the air conditioning.”

Turns out I didn’t know half of what being an executive editor was about. I could talk the talk, but the walk crippled me.

What saved me from a downward, scotch-soaked, cigarette-stained spiral? I have to give it to the ladies and gentleman who helped put this great paper out every week. Just know I love each and everyone of you and will cherish our experiences together.

Kali — thanks for being my conscience. You’re like the voice inside my head telling me “you’ll probably get fired or arrested for doing that.” Thanks for letting me know my nose was bleeding after party-rocking at The Forge, and thanks for taking me to see the animal prison. Even though I never listen to your advice, you keep my head above water and I am grateful to have had you as a best friend and co-worker for the past year, minus the purple hair and face piercing.

Ashley — I can still taste the hurricanes and shrimp gumbo we shared during spring break in New Orleans. Truth be told, that city just wasn’t ready for us. After our horrific squander north of the quarter and Asian influence, I couldn’t have picked a better best friend to experience Cajun culture with. Keep the bulldog journalist mentality and you’ll be breaking hearts and breaking news before long, partner-in-crime.

Dustin — thanks for running the sports section because God knows Kali, Ashley and I would have air-balled. Although I’m supporting your professional rap career, Swaggy Pete, I know you’ll make a hell of a sports journalist and husband… to Shakira.

Mari — thanks for your eccentric spirit and creative storytelling ability. If I could give a “most improved/force to be reckoned with” award, you’d be the recipient. Keep writing innovative content and shed your unconventional happiness on everyone you meet.

Shilo — thanks for being my first friend here at UNA. You opened up your home to me, acclimated me to UNA and allowed me to have fun on your watch. From late-night Taco Bell runs to cooking dates, I’ve had a college-filled blast with you in my life. Thanks for sticking this journey out with me. See you on the big stage!

Jordan — thanks for always encouraging me to pick on Kali. Although it usually gets me into trouble, you laugh uncontrollably and that’s payment enough for me. My door is always open for another VHS night, so get on it.

Jasmine — thanks for silently supporting my attempts to pick on Kali. In all honesty, thank you for being a wonderful online editor. You taught me, the previous online editor, how a true multimedia journalist works. The quality of your videos is astounding, and your work ethic will transfer to your managerial roles on staff next year.

Thank you to everyone else who crossed my path in this whirlwind of a four-year period at UNA. Good, bad and ugly, it’s been an amazing ride. Until next time, Florence.