Letter: Goodbye to The Collegian, hello to the future

The Fresno State Collegian student-run newspaper, located in the Speech Arts Building. (Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado/The Collegian)

As the clock strikes midnight on 2020, it delivers a bittersweet farewell to a year full of promise, anticipation and sadness. Tonight will be the final hurrah to a year that some will hope to forget and that many won’t be able to forget.

For me, 2020 was my final year as a member of The Collegian, serving as the editor-in-chief (EIC) in my last two semesters.

Coming into the position, I was filled with a sense of excitement, fear, uncertainty and drive, but I was prepared to tackle the job of leading the paper head-on. 

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any way to prepare for what COVID-19 would have in store for me, the paper and the world.

Three months into my tenure as EIC, The Collegian was now produced remotely, the momentum myself and my staff had gained to start the semester was lost and the presence of a pandemic was on everyone’s minds.

Even in these uncertain times, The Collegian continued producing impactful, hard-hitting and captivating stories despite the setbacks that the pandemic caused. I am the proudest of my staff for striving to be the best students and journalists possible during a worldwide pandemic.

It would be an understatement to say that times were trying, but we fought through it as a staff. I am happiest knowing that during my tenure as EIC, I led a group of journalists that fought through numerous obstacles to provide Fresno State with news, sports, arts and entertainment.

As I look back at my tenure at The Collegian, there are also a few of my colleagues that I can’t help but appreciate for being my trusted confidants and friends.

I want to thank former EIC Seth Casey for allowing me to express my creativity and passion during my first semester as a sports editor and preparing me for the role of EIC during my second semester as a managing editor.

I thank Samantha Domingo for being my right-hand person during my first semester as EIC, helping keep everything organized and on track for publication, which is a dubious task given my scatterbrained traits. Without their help, I don’t know how the semester would have turned out.

And I want to thank my managing editor Zaeem Shaikh, one of the best hires that I made during my time as EIC. After working with him in the summer and fall semester, he helped relight my journalistic passion, which was missing after the paper’s unceremonious transition to remote production. 

Shaikh will be the incoming EIC for 2021, and I can’t wait to see the heights he and the staff will attain. With his talent and passion, The Collegian is in extraordinary hands with him at the helm.

Now on my way out, I think back to when The Collegian hired me in 2018. All I wanted to do was cover Fresno State sports, a dream that I had since I was a kid, but sometimes life has a funny way of pushing you in directions that you would have expected.

Working my way up from sports editor to EIC was not my goal and was something neither I nor others expected. But never one to run from a challenge, I took the opportunity to prove myself as a leader and journalist.

During my time at The Collegian, I was afforded the opportunity to cover events I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, won numerous awards for my sports coverage and finally earned a degree that I thought I would never attain.

But I believe that my fondest memories will be spending time with my fellow journalists in the newsroom, at Fresno State sporting events, during production nights and even during Zoom meetings.

As I move on, I hope that those who appreciated my work at The Collegian will continue to follow my career. But more importantly, I hope that you continue to support the work that The Collegian will continue to do in the future.

Because without The Collegian, I don’t know where I would be career wise, and I will always be grateful for the skills, experiences and memories I had while working here. 

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