Jesse Erickson Emeritus Editor-in-Chief

“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”  – Michael Scott

I’m obsessive and overbearing and determined. If you ask my staff, I want everything done as soon as possible and nothing better be half-assed. If it is half-assed, I won’t understand why and I won’t let you live it down. I strive for perfection and once again, if you ask my staff, they really can hate me for it. I want us to be first but I also want us to be the best.

For eight years, I have been nosy. I have been pushy. I’ve been described as a micro-manager and sometimes my staff describes my leadership type like one that Trump would have (but a loving Trump at that.) On multiple occasions, I have put aside more important responsibilities to make the newspaper my main priority. I never settle and move on; I’m a problem-solver. I’m a diehard journalist and now, eight years later, I will be saying goodbye to the biggest part of me.

After being the Editor-in-Chief at WRHS media (tbt to highschool), I had been through enough. I never had the intention to take over The Mirror. But when the opportunity presented itself, I had to do it. Like I said, I was never one to settle and though I wasn’t a journalism major, I couldn’t wait for the day when I told my mom I was the EIC of the Fairfield Mirror at Fairfield University, her alma mater.

I’ve always had an internal motivation to make my mother proud. Even when I was doing it for myself, I was doing it for her. So when I took over the paper without any journalism experience beyond high school and sports positions at The Mirror, I knew I would need an extremely strong staff if I wanted to make her proud once more.

The staff of The Mirror is the hardest working group of kids on this campus, especially with me as EIC. At 7 a.m., I could have sent eight different messages in our group chat with eight different requests. By the end of the day, they would have all eight requests taken care of. When I tear apart their layout after they had spent an entire day on it, they don’t cry, they fix it.

And most importantly, my staff knows how to fix me. There have been days when the paper has been too much. One Tuesday I was having the worst of days. I was feeling defeated. But when I walked into the office, they all looked at me with smiles on their faces despite the tears welling in my eyes. Juliana came over to give me a hug, Dan asked me what happened and Cat and Andrew took the staff to go out and buy me Chipotle and cupcakes. This group of very different people with different interests and motivations have come together to form my Fairfield family.

So, to my family, thank you for putting up with my headstrong personality. Thank you for dealing with me at every Mirror party, thank you for dealing with my incessant texts, my constant demands and thank you for your tireless efforts and dedication to this college newspaper. Thank you for loving this paper as much as I do and thank you for loving me.

That being said and now that I am done being soft, the Italian spy is signing off. Ciao ciao for now!

Shana Lynch Online Vine Editor

When I came to Fairfield University my freshman year, I was an English major with an undeclared concentration, but leaning towards creative writing. I knew that I liked to write, but aside from one article published in my local newspaper at home I didn’t have a lot of writing experience. At the activities fair the first week of the semester, I visited the table for the Mirror and put my name on the list to receive their weekly emails. I’m not proud to admit it now, but I ignored every email that year…and the next two years (which is giving me some really real FOMO now, let me tell you.)

At the time, I knew literally nothing about pitching ideas or writing editorial stories, and the Mirror seemed like such a family already that I was afraid I would be an awkward outsider at the meetings. Even though the bribe of free pizza was tempting, I had a vision in my mind of Monday night pitch meetings where everyone sat in a circle and had to pitch an idea to the group and if it sucked, you were forever known as That Girl Who Pitched The Really Dumb Idea and you’d never get to write again. I could not have been more wrong.

At my beach house this year, we had one random roommate (weird for senior year, I know) and she was EIC of the Mirror (hi, Jesse!). During the first few weeks of the semester, she was explaining to me that the Mirror wanted to expand their online outlet. I had just finished my second digital editorial internship with Delish, so it felt like a good fit for me to apply for one of the online positions, which is how I became Online Vine Editor. In a way, I owe all of my Mirror experiences to Jesse.

My first time at an infamous Monday night pitch meeting was this year and even though I knew the same person I go to happy hour with every week was in charge, I was still v. nervous. However, when I got there, I was shocked at how laid back the atmosphere was. Everyone at the Mirror is so friendly and open, and Jesse — the best EIC of all time — made sure everyone felt welcome and knew where to go with their ideas.

As I mentioned above, I have serious regrets about not becoming an active member of The Mirror sooner. There was no reason for me to be intimidated; the Mirror staff is one of the greatest groups of people I’ve met at Fairfield. If you’re reading this as a freshman or a sophomore or even as a junior, and you’ve ever thought about joining their team, do it. You won’t regret it, pinky promise.

Nicole Funaro Online News Editor

This is the first time I have to acknowledge that I’m graduating, and I can’t say I’m handling it well. Which is shocking to me, because when I began my freshman year at Fairfield, my mind was already set four years in the future, and my eyes were fixed solely on graduation day.

While I was focused on planning life after Fairfield before my college adventure truly began, I was a freshman in disarray. I had three different majors in a span of two months, I still was not used to dorm living halfway through my first year, and I wasn’t convinced that I was even attending the right school for me. Nevertheless, I persisted through the communal bathrooms and settled on the right major. I also made what I consider to be the best decision of my Fairfield career: joining The Mirror.

I will never forget the first time I stepped into that office. It felt like I was stepping into a stranger’s home; I remember trying to figure out who I knew, who I should talk to, who may be in the same class as me. I also recall feeling a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities of what I could contribute to the paper: copy editing, news writing, arts and entertainment writing —there was so much to consider. I chose to copy edit and the rest as they say, is history.

I returned to The Mirror office week after week, and every time I opened the door, it felt more familiar. Those strangers turned into acquaintances, and working on the paper turned into a hobby, not an intimidating venture. Three years later, those acquaintances are not friends, they are family. The Mirror is not work, it’s a labor of love. The Mirror office is not unfamiliar territory, it’s home.

To say that I have enjoyed my time on The Mirror is an understatement. To say that I am going to miss working with this staff is even more of an understatement.

Mirror friends, it has been a privilege and a downright joy to spend my college career working with each of you. Your talent, determination and stamina is inspiring. I look forward to the day when I can call you co-workers once more, but until then, stay in touch. I want to hear every wonderful thing you achieve with The Mirror in the coming year and in your quickly-approaching futures. Take care of each other, and take care of our home.

Now, it’s time for me to leave. Of course, I don’t want to. Funny how that happens.

 

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