Editor’s Column: We’re Back…in Print

Melody Rivera (Me) has been the Editor-in-Chief of The Recorder since Feb. 2022.

Janet Rivera, Edited by Melody Rivera

Melody Rivera (Me) has been the Editor-in-Chief of The Recorder since Feb. 2022.

Melody Rivera, Editor-in-Chief

As you pick up this issue of The Recorder, there are probably many thoughts running through your mind. Maybe you’re saying, “it’s about time!” Or “wow, I didn’t know The Recorder was active.” Perhaps you have some questions like “where has The Recorder been?” Or “what took so long?” Allow me to explain everything the best I possibly can. Like other organizations at CCSU or anywhere else globally, COVID-19 has been a menace and caused many issues for us. We’ve been meeting virtually on Microsoft Teams for two years and lost the majority of our staff. In the past couple of months, The Recorder has barely been able to survive and publish articles online under a constantly changing Editor-in-Chief; there were three Editors-in-Chief in the fall 2021 semester alone. Just when The Recorder was getting more student writers and staff, the former Editor-in-Chief resigned in Feb. 2022. This caused the delay of one of our online issues, and everyone involved was confused about when their work would be published and who would be the next Editor-in-Chief, mainly because there was a high reluctance for anyone to step up. This is where I come into this story.

For those who may not know who I am, I’m a senior journalism student who’s graduating in May, 2022. I’ve been writing on and off for The Recorder since my first semester at CCSU, Fall 2018. I attempted to run for leadership positions early on in my college experience, but I was unsuccessful. So it wasn’t until last semester that I secured the position as The Recorder’s Social Media Manager for Instagram (something that I’ve continued to help with).

When the previous Editor-in-Chief resigned, I was shocked and contemplated if I should step up to be the next one to receive the torch. But, like everyone else on The Recorder staff, I was hesitant because this was a huge responsibility. As someone who was also in charge of two other clubs, the Autism Connection Club and Best Buddies, and many other obligations along with wrapping up my studies, I thought I couldn’t handle leading the paper. This was until I realized and was motivated by something very important.

I noticed in my senior year, especially, that I’ve gained so much support from my journalism professors and colleagues. I was repeatedly complimented on my assignments and my work ethic, as I get things done on time with good quality. It’s because of this that many encouraged me to be Editor-in-Chief.

“Melody, you’re literally the best journalist out of all of us,” Samuel Pappas, a senior journalism student said.

Even Dr. Vivian Martin, the chair of the Journalism Department, recommended I step up and told me to “not sell yourself short.” With all this support in mind, I made the decision to be Editor-in-Chief for the rest of spring 2022. I’ve learned so many skills in a short amount of time, including how to upload and publish articles on The Recorder’s website and categorize stories. I’ve also recruited more writers and got a few new staff to help the paper be more active, even if we were exclusively online for most of the semester.

Editing all these articles and working on more stories than I’ve ever done before has been a lot of work, and I’d be dishonest if I said this was easy; we’re still finding our way and are still in need of a Layout Editor along with other staff positions to ensure The Recorder will consistently have print issues in the future.

However, once again, with all the support I’ve received from The Recorder staff, writers, faculty, and other journalism students, I’ve been able to accomplish many things that seemed nearly impossible back in February. This, of course, includes The Recorder’s first print issue in two years.

“You should be so proud of all you’re accomplishing,” Alexis Dascher, a rising junior journalism student, said.

To the future Editor-in-Chief and anyone who aspires to be a leader in any career field: always put your best efforts into whatever it is you’re doing. If you ever feel lost or don’t know how to progress, please reach out to others so they can assist you, no matter how nervous and uncomfortable you may be. I’ve struggled with advocating for myself throughout my life, but you’d be surprised how many kind people are out there willing to help you.

I can’t say enough how much I couldn’t have done all this without the majority of the CCSU community, especially those within the journalism department. If there’s something I’ve learned in my entire experience pursuing my education at this university, it’s that hard work is rewarding, but it feels even better when you have a robust support system. As an autistic woman who’s struggled with my social life and sometimes my confidence, I’m humbled to receive recognition for something passionate about. Although my time as Editor-in-Chief was short and a part of me wishes I can continue this role, this experience has been enjoyable and rewarding for me. Thank you to everyone who believed in me.