Deputy Editor, Vol. 239
The world is changing every day, a fact easy to overlook as we buried our heads in the library, studying literature, theorems and ancient history. My four years spent at The Daily provided an education outside of the classroom that I could never have imagined. I entered college wanting to be a journalist, and found myself sitting in The Daily’s office on weeknights, meekly asking senior staff writers for advice on anything but AP Style.
The changes at The Daily reflect greater campus changes in the last four years: we moved buildings, we thought about website improvement. We fundraised through special fees, and communicated more and more via email. But much like the rest of Stanford, we also watched countless hours of SportsCenter, drank way too much coffee and had dance parties until 2 a.m. I learned how to write better, but I also learned how to lighten up.
Newspapers may not physically exist for much longer, but the skills they teach us can be applied anywhere. If you want to know how your community is changing, look at what’s happening to your newspaper, not just what’s in it. Most memorable were the people I encountered while reporting: through interviews or editing with young writers at the office. These are the people who are creating today’s headlines–don’t overlook them.
The Daily is a great place to learn about journalism, but it’s an even better place to learn about life.
Deputy Editor, Vol. 240
As a starry-eyed 17-year-old, The Daily was a means to an end: an all-access pass to the sports and the school I grew up loving. With equal parts caution and confidence, I made the brave descent into our dingy old office on my very first day of school and submitted my inaugural women’s soccer recap before turning in my first Stanford problem set. I looked forward to seeing that first article in the paper more than almost anything else about college. But I could never have guessed that, eight volumes later, The Daily would also be the one thing I’m most reluctant to leave behind.
As I once told my parents, it sometimes felt that the main reason I was located here in zip code 94305 was not to attend school–oh no–but to put out a damn newspaper every night. Like my friends whose names you see across this page, I poured myself into The Daily because it gave so much back. I flew across the country for women’s basketball. I pontificated, perhaps too much, about Zelda and Mass Effect. I scrubbed out the static from an interview with Jack Dorsey. I stumbled and soared through half a dozen roles at The Daily, but across all of them, I made tough decisions and lived with the consequences. No class, at any school, can give you quite that kind of experience.
But what would that be without those friends I mentioned? I laughed, sang and danced on tables with plenty of fine people at The Daily. I survived a car crash–CRASH CREW!–and had cheap bottles of champagne duct-taped to my hands. It’s been hard work, harder parties and no regrets. Thanks, Daily.
Deputy Editor, Vol. 238
During my four years at The Daily, I pulled all-nighters waiting for editing software to work, got tackled during flag football, won awards for having no friends and criticizing people, got mercilessly teased for being lactose intolerant and even got in a car accident that brought five of us (Crash Crew!) within feet of serious injury or death.
And damn it if it wasn’t the best time of my life.
When I started as a scared freshman who hated writing, The Daily was simply a way for me to appear busy. As time went on, it became a way to keep up with Stanford sports, and then a way to channel my hatred of USC (my first ever column), and then a place to work on something important, and then a place to have a good time while working and finally, the most memorable and meaningful part of my four years at Stanford.
From forcing the office to watch Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and tons of sports to winning three straight Ink Bowls to stalling on homework with quiz bowl questions to actually managing to churn out five papers a week, The Daily gave me everything I could have hoped for and more.
Most of all, The Daily gave me a bunch of awesomely weird people that could tolerate my weirdness. And for that, I thank each and every person that I’ve worked with over the past four years. In particular, thanks to Zach for convincing me to join and sticking with it all four years as a friend, coworker and ridiculous nickname generator. Special thanks also to Wyndam for helping me get started, Duran for being hands-down the coolest person on the Stanford campus (and the main reason The Daily functions), Ellie for trusting me with more than just sports scores and everyone involved with the sports section for helping it remain far and away the best section in the paper. Lastly, thanks to my family and Karl for being so supportive and loyally reading despite not caring about the majority of my article topics.
Thanks for being so awesome, Daily. I’ll miss you.
Most people will tell you that I’m a pretty weird guy. They’ll probably tell you that I’m funny, too. (Or at least I hope so.) Naturally, I always thought that having a column in The Daily would be a great way to show off my weirdness and humor. It took me two years to even work up the courage to apply, but when I finally did, I was gifted with 750 weekly words of my own in The Daily for the whole of my junior year. I managed to produce 26 pieces of writing that I remain incredibly proud of, but the job was even more than that. Somewhere in between making fun of sororities and telling the whole campus about my love for Taylor Swift, I realized that The Daily was a great community filled with even greater people.
Since that first writing experience, my work has become a little more diversified. Over the past year, I’ve been a copy editor and managing editor of opinions. I even gave last summer to The Daily, trying to convince businesses to buy some ads. I’ve had a range of experiences that I wouldn’t have thought possible a few years ago. So while my activities at the Daily lately have drifted away from humor writing and more toward wondering whether “start-up” requires a hyphen, I wouldn’t change a thing.
In addition, I have to thank my parents, my family and my friends for their support over these past four years. Stanford has been a dream come true, and I couldn’t have done it by myself. It’s been a great ride.
Mathematically, it seems impossible that the whole can ever be greater than the sum of its parts. But, as I have learned over the past four years, if anything can actually defy the odds and do the impossible, it is The Stanford Daily.
Four years ago, when I stepped foot into this very building to edit my first article, I had no idea that The Daily would ever come to mean more to me than just another student-run publication or college newspaper. But all it took was one copy editing stint, one night for me to enter The Stanford Daily family–and the rest, as they say, is history. I fell in love.
I spent countless late nights scrambling to finish last-minute stories before production, fretting over Oxford commas and praying that a misspelling of something like President Hennessy’s name (don’t worry, it’s two e’s, two n’s, and two s’s) hadn’t somehow slipped through the cracks under my watch. But truth be told, The Daily was the place where I grew up at Stanford. Beyond the deadlines, projects and extracurricular activities, the one area of my Stanford experience that has consistently stuck out at me is the friendships I have made over the past four years and the ones that have made me a better person.
Through those late nights, I met an amazing group of individuals who have become my best friends. I traded countless hours of sleep (and, to my mother’s chagrin, a couple of GPA percentage points) for invaluable life experiences at The Daily–and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I learned the value of dedication to the common cause and what it means to be a part of something larger than the individual. And as an added bonus (because we often forget to take ourselves seriously here), I honed my a cappella skills, committed way too many SNL digital shorts to memory, learned how to shoot boba balls at my friends through a straw with deadly accuracy and refined the art of working under pressure and on deadline down to a science. I danced, I cried, I laughed and had a really, really, really good time.
Words can’t express how thankful I am for my four years at this incredible institution–or how much I’ll miss this place. What an honor, what a ride.
Chief Operating Officer, 2011-12
As this year’s business manager and a former writer for The Daily with an especially brief career, I’m aware that a reflection on my time at The Daily has to be less of a careful consideration of the many memories I’ve had here, and more of a rumination on taking the yearlong dive into an organization I remained blissfully ignorant of for much of my undergraduate career. Despite my status as an outsider to this organization a year ago, I’ve found it very difficult to resist a full submersion into the ebbs and flows of the witty, quirky bunch that fills The Daily’s offices every day and night. These are the individuals who are capable of ruffling feathers with their writing. They are responsible for closing deals with advertising clients who use our paper as a means for near-perfect offspring. They are also the students, account executives, editors and friends who make the production of a daily newspaper possible. In my experience, these are pre-professionals who take their jobs more seriously than many professionals do. So much so that several professionals take The Daily seriously in return, pouring hours into the daily distribution, layout, accounting and guidance for a community that provides a service much bigger than any individual. I can safely say I was unaware of 99 percent of this when I started as business manager last summer. But lifting the lid of this pot to find a messy, colorful, ambitious and amazingly dedicated concoction has been more than rewarding.
Vice President of Sales, 2011-12
I joined the Daily way back in the fall of 2007, writing my first sports column just a few weeks after NSO. It was the first student group that I joined at Stanford, and now, nearly five years later, it will be the final student group that I participate in. I’ve held a variety of jobs in that timeframe, from sports writer/editor to staff development to my current position as advertising manager. These jobs have been much more than just a source of income: I’ve improved skills varying from writing to personnel management, learned a ton about journalism and gained a deep respect for the work that goes into putting out a paper, and for the people that put in that work.
But apart from those official titles that I held, what I’ll really remember are the unofficial ones. Daily Churro Chef (on the nights that I–along with our layout manager, Duran–would make churros for the office while blasting soul music). Crash Crew Survivor (long story). One half of an off-key but energetic office singing duo. The list goes on and on, and as much as I’d like to fill this space with inside jokes and references, I’ll stop there for brevity’s sake.
None of these “positions” will go on my resume, but they’ve been the things that have defined my experience at the Daily. Being a part of the Daily community has easily been one of the best and most rewarding parts of my longer-than-usual time at Stanford. And — even though I’m about to leave the actual office behind – with the amount of friends the Daily community has given me, I know it will continue to be a large part of my life well into the future.
Editor in Chief, Vol. 239
Of all the deadlines I’ve faced in four years on the Farm, this one has been the hardest to meet.
Articulating my appreciation for The Daily is impossible. I joined initially as a way to rationalize my love for sports. The fact of the matter was that I didn’t know what I wanted from this school. There seemed to be so much to offer, but the breadth of choices only complicated matters. Consequentially, I thought finding myself would be a complex process full of dead ends and dramatic turns. It was, but The Daily was the one constant along the way.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use my words to further myself academically and professionally. I learned quickly that this was easier said than done. Here in Silicon Valley, it’s often hard to recognize brilliance as an entity that exists outside of engineering. The art of written communication in this landscape is underappreciated, with the vast majority of the attention being focused on tremendous technological achievement. This harsh realization was tough to swallow. There were times during my undergraduate career when I felt unskilled for the rapidly evolving workforce, my abilities as a writer overshadowed by my shortcomings as a programmer.
But I kept doing what I loved, even though I needed all the support I received to stay grounded. I’m humbled to be graduating with this group of seniors, as they have been and will forever be a refreshing reminder that all is not hopeless. This collection of diverse students are among the most intelligent, funny and thoughtful people I have ever met, and I cannot begin to count the ways I have learned from each and every one of them. Developing as writers, reporters and editors has been a fantastic journey, and I can only hope that it means as much to them as it does to me.
I’m also grateful for everyone I have worked with, especially the amazing crew that was assembled during my volume as editor in chief. The obstacles we were able to overcome as a group of young adults showcased the power of motivated youth. And although I now understand that listening to mashups and subpar jokes for six hours each night is probably not the average person’s paradise, they put up with me long enough to make Volume 239 a priceless six-month period.
I came into the world of newspapers naive, anxious and inexperienced. I’m leaving as a proud journalist, still naive and anxious, but with an immeasurable amount of positive experience that will make the real world a little less daunting. The Stanford Daily has been my home away from home during the most important time of my life. My days spent here will never be forgotten.