Valeria Reyna Salaices, Editor-in-Chief
I’m starting this letter with a confession: I wrote this a couple hours before the print deadline. My procrastination, this time, was not due to a character flaw or bad habits. I just didn’t want to say goodbye to something that has been part of my core identity for the past four years.
Since freshman year, I’ve been the person that “works for the news.” I’ve been dependable and you all have approached me with qustions and news tips because you knew we have the means and skills to satisfy your desire to know. I’ve been trustworthy and you all have approached me with concerns and stories because you knew we cared about the wellbeing and spirit of the community. I’ve been a contributing writer, a copy editor, a news editor, and an Editor-in-Chief. It’s been an honor to be all these things for you all.
To be honest, I don’t know what I’ll “be” next, but I do know that I’ll be resilient during the difficult times and grateful during the good ones. The University of Dallas community has taught me this during the past four years. I’ll carry this experience with me for the rest of my life.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Colin Lancaster, Managing Editor
Four years, eight semesters, 40ish classes, and nearly 80 articles after I arrived at UD, I finally turn to contemplate leaving it.
Though I loved my courses, appreciated certain clubs, and have flourished as an RA, my time at the newspaper and fond memories of interviews, late-night editing sessions, debates about covering this or that in the newsroom and mad scrambles to finish articles fill my mind.
I realize: in my time at UD, I viewed our community as a bit of an outsider, as an amateur journalist and editor seeking to understand and better UD from the outside-in.
While I came to UD to study politics, what I ended up studying most of all, ironically, was UD herself.
Though I believe I’ve learned much about her, I’ll only offer this last thought as a parting gift:
UD is a pit stop along the path of our lives, giving us rest and preparing us for the hardest leg of the journey still to come. We come here to become who we ought to be so that we can handle whatever happens next with grace, discipline and prudence.
To those of you who remain at UD: treat her as such and preserve her so she can do the same for future generations.
To those of you who are leaving: leave with confidence and joy because, if UD is what we say she is, you are those most ready to face whatever is to come.
BeLynn Hollers, Fall Commentary Editor / Spring News Editor
As a transfer student, I didn’t understand UD when I first arrived. However, through my interviews with the people who make up this community, I came to find one quality consistent amongst them: the understanding that the pursuit of Truth and passion for what we do at UD, even amongst different approaches, reigned.
This past year I was fortunate enough to serve as the Commentary Editor in the Fall and as the News Editor in the Spring. Although both are distinct in their respective approaches, each position gave me the opportunity to witness UD with a bird’s eye view.
As Commentary Editor, I was challenged by differing perspectives, but found that even in the most radical of differences in opinion, many had similar goals in mind. It reminded me that we are not all that different.
As News Editor, I would sit on the Cap bar patio and think about what mattered most to our students: COVID-19 regulations, the safety of our students in Rome, and transitions in university leadership among other important issues.
As I sat there, I would listen to underclassmen debate passionately and watch Rugby boys run to practice while the vibration of the tower bells echoed around me. What did these students want to know about their university, about their fellow students and about national politics that would affect our community?
It was in these moments where I was exposed to different perspectives or covered breaking news that I not only started to understand this community, but really learned to cherish it. The newspaper gave me a voice when I felt voiceless and held me accountable to the Truth.
I am proud of the work our staff has done this year during immense upheaval in our nation, globe, and personal lives.
A special thank you to Rudy Bush who pushed me out of my comfort zone on my first meeting three years ago, challenged me to stick it out when stories got difficult, and always had my back as a reporter, editor and writer.
Rosa Venditti, Spring Commentary Editor
When prospective students visit UD, their parents usually make a hasty swoop to grab our newspaper. If they notice that “Rosa Venditti” is on my Admissions nametag and in the paper, they’ll proceed to hound me with questions about UD’s culture. They recognize that the news is a representation of the student body, and as Commentary Editor, so am I. The realization is humbling.
While I may have only worked as the Commentary Editor for this spring semester, I have thoroughly enjoyed my role. I have learned so much about UD’s culture, students and professors; through my work with writers, both myself and the UD community have been able to better understand the varied opinions and experiences that students have on campus.
Early in the semester, when professors Walz, Crider, and Engelland debated each other in successive publications in our newspaper, they set an example for scholarly and academic debate. I would like to thank those students who followed their example and pursued their own debates in the Commentary Section.
UD’s students pursue the truth, and I am happy that the UD news can be a means by which they discuss that truth. I’ve edited students’ articles on important and controversial topics, covering everything from transgenderism, race theory, freedom of speech, and COVID-19 debates.
I would also like to extend my thanks to BeLynn Hollers for guiding me through the transition from contributing writer to Commentary Editor. Rudy Bush, thank you for catching my errors―your guidance has been indispensable.
Gwendolyn Loop, Arts & Culture Editor
I stumbled into my first journalism meeting in the brand-new Cardinal Farrell Hall in freshman year. I had never written a single article before, but I was immediately entranced by the energy of the group, the sense that I was a part of something greater than myself.
This is my second year as Arts and Culture editor, and it has truly been an honor to serve my school with strong student teams and Rudy Bush. I’ve loved getting to know underclassmen, working with different departments, and highlighting great parts of our school.
Many students have expressed surprise to me after actually writing for the paper, since they had no idea how many layers of work and editing go into each piece. In the age of rapid-fire social media, there’s really something special about the dedication and curation of our process.
I spent most of my senior year in my room due to COVID and time doesn’t have much meaning anymore, but our weekly printing schedule has kept me tethered to reality and to our whole UD community. The bittersweet reality that the seniors will be gone soon, that my friends and teammates will be scattered to the winds and pursuing our futures, didn’t really hit me until I saw that the newspaper only had a couple editions left.
I’ve spent four years giving my life to this paper, and I’m so proud of all that we’ve accomplished.
Elsa Feltl, Spring Community Editor
To understand a campus, my dad told me when we visited his alma mater, you have to grab a copy of their newspaper.
When he and I visited the University of Dallas for the first time, he grabbed a copy of The University News. We flipped through it together and skimmed over stories of the new incoming president UD’s first teaching fellow Ryan Anderson. I remember thinking that this University seemed teeming with vibrant intellectual life. The students were passionate about their school and its culture.
Our newspaper holds a lot more than radical commentary articles and COVID updates. It is our life, in print. The newspaper has helped me foster a love for the broader UD community far beyond the narrow sphere of my own friends and classes.
Editing the Community section has been another extension of myself. Meeting artists and featuring their work has been an incredible privilege. Reading family traditions and learning about the writers’ families, their cherished memories, and an aspect of themselves is awe-inspiring. To share these with the UD community has been an eye-opening way to see our school in a new light.
I am so grateful for a place for this section, for a space for creativity and community to grow. To exhibit the good, to share a story or artwork so personal to someone (literally a glimpse of their soul!). It has been a privilege to write for this newspaper and have a place for voices, not only to publish complaints and address problems, but to foster friendships and love for UD.
Thank you to everyone who has read and loved our newspapers. And thank you to the incredible student writers, editors, and staff members who have given so much to this paper.
Dalayna Marji, Fall Sports Editor
The newsroom is a place full of ideas, rumor, hearsay, and hypotheses. It is the job of the writer to wring out the truth from the lies. As a freshman, I took on news articles weekly, so enamored by the pace and rhythm of the hustling of the news – scheduling interviews between core classes, sitting down to write surrounded by the hussle of the cap bar, and finally turning in my hard earned piece. After just my freshman year, I was asked to be the sports editor for the paper, to which my heart just jumped for joy – of course I wanted to integrate myself more fully into this community of campus truth seekers.
Two years later and I have to say, it has been just that. The stress of the deadlines and sometimes a lack of writers can really get to you at times, but on our team specifically, you always have someone to call on for help. As an editor, instead of just participating in the rhythm, you truly are a conductor, leading your team through the struggles and triumphs, writing difficult stories and celebrating beautiful moments of our campus’ history. I’m so happy to be a proud member of The University News, and hope to continue helping our paper document University of Dallas’ history.
Libby Regnerus, Spring Sports Editor
I like to consider the pandemic as a kind of roller coaster, oscillating between moments of slow, steady build-up, and wild acceleration toward the finish in the abbreviated time. Jumping into the role of Sports Editor midway through the year was one of those quick twists brought by this unprecedented year.
Yet, unlike many of the now-routine, COVID-fueled reversals, this turn was welcome. As a former SCAC athlete, I enjoyed keeping up with the outcomes of our Crusaders and blending two of my passions, fitness and writing, together. Another welcome reversal was the return of games this Spring, following complete Fall cancellations. This normalcy, albeit with extra restrictions and alterations, strikes a hopeful note.
Covering the successes and struggles of playing after a year on the bench was both a challenge and a delight. I’m grateful to my sports writers for stepping up and to my fellow editors for their guidance and hard work to produce such a thought provoking, informative issue of the paper each week.