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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Editors Reflection: Graduating and Moving on

Bradley Donaldson, Editor In Chief

Bradley Donaldson, Editor In Chief

It’s probably worth mentioning that I’m not leaving Stony Brook. Not yet. I am, however, studying abroad in Spain and saying goodbye to the place on campus that, as a commuter, I can truly call my second home: The Statesman.

I came here in 2007 like any other wide-eyed freshman – ready to have the “college experience.” But as a commuter, I knew this experience wouldn’t be the same.

I figured I wouldn’t have a permanent place to call my own (other than my house 15 minutes away.) My hangout spot would be the 24-hour commuter lounge orientation leaders spoke about, and my backpack would have everything I’d need for the day, and then some.

Three years later, I still carry my deodorant and cell phone charger in my backpack, but I know that if I ever need a quick nap, I have The Statesman office (The couches in there are unbelievably comfy). If I need to heat up some food, I have the microwave in The Statesman office. And if I want to kick back and eat some sushi from Jasmine’s while watching Family Guy, I have The Statesman office.

I’ve met the weirdest, most amazing people by working at The Statesman – both the people I’ve interviewed for stories or met at events and the people I’ve worked with semester after semester.

There I’ve made some of my closest friends… like an English major from England who talks my ear off and shares my love for everything from food to Mika – or the Ecuadorian journalist who might as well be my little sister because we bug each other so much and don’t understand the concept of personal space.

Despite the sleepless nights spent toiling away at an issue, or the countless arguments that ensued over stories, layouts – whatever – I don’t regret anything. By working here, I’ve learned so much more about myself and other people that I can’t imagine having gone here without ever setting foot in this office. It’s been an unforgettable three years.

April Warren, Editor In Chief

April Warren, Editor In Chief

When I first arrived at Stony Brook I hated it.

I hated the isolation I felt as a commuter, how the chemistry department thinks in a class of over 300 students that an average test score of 50 is acceptable because there will be a curve and I really hated paying $10 for a chicken nugget.

After three semesters of being miserable and a few less-than-stellar grades in chemistry, I realized it was up to me to change things.

So I switched majors from marine science to journalism and never looked back.

The School of Journalism is the only thing that kept me from not transferring. I found a mentor for the rest of my professional life in Professor Charles Haddad, friends I can’t imagine not receiving 10 texts and eight phone calls from a day, and a family away from home. It’s a bit like Cheers – everybody really does know your name.

I also found something else at Stony Brook. The love of my life for the last three years — The Statesman. Anyone who has had a conversation with me for longer then five minutes knows this isn’t just a cliché – it’s the truth. I can’t even go longer than five minutes without saying the word.

I still remember the first night I walked into The Statesman office after a nudge from a professor hoping I’d be lucky enough even to get just one article published.

Any journalism career I’m lucky to have after graduation I owe to this paper. It taught me diligence, patience, when to be aggressive and how to work under extreme pressure. And the writers and editors I have met along the way have helped shaped me as a person.

The mantra from Tuesday’s senior project class was “it’s all about the reporting.” Well, if that’s the case, it’s been one sweet ride. Over the last few years I have staked out houses, broke new ground on the latest developments concerning the toxic waste emanating from a Superfund site in Port Jefferson and spent eight hours straight trailing a slightly uncomfortable President Stanley during inauguration week,

It’s been one crazy ride and as I sit here the night before my last production night ever, I wish that I could slow down time.

It’s a bit scary to think that my life will no longer be intertwined with Statesman’s. But the paper could not be in more capable hands for next year. Frank, I have complete confidence you are the right person to take over at the helm. You are dedicated, passionate and a strong leader and I know you have the best interest of the campus at heart. To the incoming staff, don’t limit yourselves; anything you can dream up is possible – as long as it can fit in the layout.

Finally, to Stony Brook University: we didn’t get along at first, but I think it worked out pretty good in the end. Thank you.

Ivanna Avalos, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Ivanna Avalos, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Four years of my life have gone by in what has felt like an instant. I remember arriving on campus thinking that I had the world ahead of me and there were endless opportunities waiting on the horizon. Now I am heading into the unknown once again, except I find that I am not as optimistic or hopeful as I was when I was 17. I also find that I am reflecting a lot on the four years that I have spent here.

I started as a shy freshman interested in writing and fascinated by the arts versus science and the other “practical majors.” I knew that my future did not lie within the science or math departments. Unsure where I could fit in a school of over 20,000 students, I found a home in the newly established School of Journalism that formed as a major the same year I entered the university. I saw it as a sign.

Now fours year later I can’t imagine being in a different program, I found a good fit with the j-school and some unbelievable mentors. Not only was I growing as a student of the j-school but also the school was growing with me. We have both learned from the experiences we have gone through and have taken experiences to be the best we can be.  It’s with great sadness that I contemplate having to move on from a place that has shaped and molded much of the person I am right now. Being in the newsroom has not only helped me grow as a person and a journalist but it has also further instilled within me, a great pride for my culture and family.  It is also with great honor that I graduated from such a challenging academic program.

Within the j-school I have made a great number of close friends that made my experience in the newsroom a memorable one. There are also a few amazing friends I have made outside of the department that I am lucky to have met and I know this isn’t the end but merely the beginning of something new.

The j-school also brought me to The Statesman. I came to the paper in my sophomore year as an intern for the Arts & Entertainment section. In the two years since then I have worked my way through the section and became the editor this past year. While I am sad to leave my position and Stony Brook I know that it is time to move on. I also know that the section will be taken care of by the new editor, Jennifer Long.

Congratulations to my fellow graduates. And I wish the class of 2010 the best of luck in their careers.

Sarah Kazadi, Sports Editor

Sarah Kazadi, Sports Editor

Believe it or not, we’re reached the end of this winding road. Goodbye Stony Brook. I’ll miss you and all you’ve taught me, but I have to move on now. You’ve strengthened my wings, now let me fly.

There’s a long list of people I have to thank for making my college experience more than memorable. But, I don’t want to leave anybody out so I won’t drop names. Just know that I am very grateful for all of you who cared enough to pay me attention, helped mold me as a person and kept a smile on my face.

As a freshman I came here with nothing but a basketball and a dream. I was going to this school strictly to play basketball and make my parents proud. As a soon-to-be college graduate, I leave here with relationships that will last a lifetime, a love for journalism and even bigger dreams. I’ve made my parents proud. I’ve grown as a person. I’ve done things I never thought I would. I fell in love with SONY cameras. All just glimpses of the way Stony Brook has influenced me.

I’ll miss this place terribly. Not only will I be graduating, but I will be leaving my year-long post as Statesman Sports Editor. But do not worry, the section is in the very capable hands of Sam Kilb, and next year will be even better than this one.

It’s almost impossible to mush together the last four years in a concise manner. I’m going to write a book about my life at some point. The chapters on Stony Brook will probably be some of the most entertaining. Make sure you pick it up.

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