BY SAVANNAH RHEINHART, Editor-in-Chief
Three years ago when I was chosen as Copy Editor for the Michigan Journal, I hadn’t yet declared a major, didn’t know anything about winged liner, and my favorite news story was about the woman who “repainted” the 19th century picture of Jesus.
Now, as I sit in my office, on the last production day of the year, I am just about done with my degree in Journalism and History, read hourly updates from multiple news sources, and am rocking a fabulous winged liner. How things have changed.
After my year as Copy Editor, I moved up to the Managing Editor position. Not only did I learn how to deal with advertisers, work with a miniscule budget, and perfect sleeping on my desk, but I learned to lead. It was with the skills that I acquired in this position that helped me in every aspect of my life. Most importantly, however, it helped me to be more empathetic and respectful of my colleagues and friends.
Through my leadership positions, whether on Panhellenic, in Phi Mu, or here on the MJ, I’ve also had to deal with difficulty. It’s easy to come to a campus like UM-Dearborn with an idyllic viewpoint, but as with everything, politics are involved. Being on a newspaper only exemplifies this, especially as a state university. However, for the most part, I have been lucky enough to work with staff and administrators that care about both the student organizations, as well as the individual students. Anytime an issue came up, it was our administrative support that helped us through, especially our recently retired Vice Chancellor, Stan Henderson. It was his “open door policy” that seems to inspire others here on campus to always be available for the students. Whether it was Vice Chancellor Henderson’s office to talk about leadership opportunities, Kristin McDonough’s office to laugh and/or cry about Greek Life, or Professor Tim Kiska’s office to talk about news in Detroit, it was people like them that got me, and our organizations, through the difficulties to come out the other side better people.
If there is anyone that truly deserves my thanks, though, it would be my friends. The ones who have stuck by me at 1am, waiting for the paper to get sent out, or listen to me complain about how much I have to write for the upcoming week, even knowing that I secretly love every second of it. The friends who sit in the office and hug me while I cry and congratulate me when I succeed, those are the ones I’m forever indebted to for my success. Thank you Sarah, my past Editor-in-Chief, for inspiring me with your work on the paper and for encouraging me to follow in your footsteps. To my sorority sisters for always supporting me and being proud of the work I’ve done outside of the chapter. To Matt, for always listening to me rant and getting coffee at 9pm.
Most importantly, I thank the readers. Without all of you, none of this would be possible. And I thank the University of Michigan-Dearborn for giving me and my staff the opportunity to do what we love every week.
I have learned so much from working on this newspaper, but not just about Oxford commas, writing headlines, and creating a budget. I’ve learned to be a leader, a writer, and a friend. Being a member of this campus community has given me the tools to become the person that I am proud of; smart, caring, and always growing.
My Mondays are going to seem very empty without the Michigan Journal, but it will always be in my heart. I can’t wait to see what is to come for this paper because I know it’ll be great things. Forever Go Blue!