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Leaving a mark on The Daily
By Maya Goldman, Daily EIC for 2019
My term as 2019 EIC ended as they often do, with a raucous, hilarious final night of production.
We couldn’t get up into the attic, although not for lack of trying (University maintenance declared it “off-limits” two years ago with a new secure latch). But we danced on the desks and played card games and enjoyed having all our friends in the newsroom together for one last night.
I didn’t realize quite how lucky we were to have that night until the COVID-19 pandemic hit Michigan just a few months later. Although I’d gotten to complete my own term at The Daily, I watched anxiously as 2020 EIC Lizzy Lawrence and the rest of the staff scrambled to make a paper each day. I mourned the fact that I couldn’t spend time with my friends in our final semester on campus. I graduated this spring feeling like there was unfinished business — feeling unable to completely let go of college or The Daily.
So when Kathy asked me in May if I wanted to go up into the attic before roof construction at 420 Maynard, the Stanford Lipsey Student Publications Building, required it to be sealed off completely, I jumped at the chance. When I crawled up the ladder and onto those precarious beams, I found myself surrounded by the names of people I’d spent the last four years admiring, names going back several decades. I felt a sense of closure that I hadn’t been able to get my senior year.
As I bent down to add my name to the planks, I wished my fellow Class of 2020 friends could have been with me to sign their own names, too. But I know we’re sealed in the history of The Daily in other ways, our names printed in black and white alongside everyone else who’s called our newsroom home.
The words scrawled on ceiling beams by 2002 EIC Geoffrey Gagnon stayed with me as I started down that narrow ladder: “You wrote for the greatest college newspaper in the country — never forget what The Daily does and how much it means for you.”
Pandemics arise, attics must be sealed, student journalists — and their traditions — come and go. But I like to think that The Daily will always be here: breaking news, chronicling history, and changing the lives of young journalists, year after year after year.