Editors-in-chief reflect upon the past and future

Dede Ogbueze and Elizabeth Vazquez sit in the newsroom and discuss the legacy of The Sundial. Photo Illustration. Photo credit: Alejandro Aranda

The Editor-in-chief holds the highest degree of responsibility at The Sundial, and each one has left their mark upon many pages, people and the publishing world. This week marks a special moment in The Sundial’s history and future as we say farewell to our current editor-in-chief, Elizabeth Vazquez, and welcome our new editor-in-chief, Dede Ogbueze.

What is the legacy that you are leaving on The Sundial?

Vazquez: The word I would use is “unity.” I wanted to help create a family-oriented staff so they could be motivated to come into work and be happy with what they’re doing.

How do you think you’ve achieved that unity?

Vazquez: Communication. I made a really good effort in sitting down with each editor and understanding where each one is coming from.

What was the best and worst moment as EIC, and what from that moment are you taking with you?

Vazquez: There’s a lot of good moments, but I think the best moment was when we were in San Francisco for the CCMA awards and I saw Dede and Henry [Guembes] get the award for first place for best podcast. I don’t think I can say there was a worst moment, but there’s been tough times, whether it’s someone who’s upset with an article or we didn’t hit that mark on an article.

How did you battle the struggles or lower moments?

Vazquez: I take a breath. It’s hard when you’re leading a newsroom and you never want to show when you’re in such a rough patch because that can have a domino effect. You always have to take a step back, take a breath and come back in because it’s going to keep going, day after day. I have to pick myself back up and just roll with the punches.

How do you feel your time at The Sundial has shaped your character?

Vazquez: I thought before I had a hard shell, but now it’s even thicker because there’s stuff that people say about your publication, your reporters [and] your content. You know they’re wrong but you just got to let it happen.

What advice would you give to the future Editor-in-chief?

Vazquez: Enjoy it. Even on the hard days, enjoy it. It’s the good, the bad and the ugly. You’re going to get a lot from it. You’re going to meet a lot of people with a lot of stories and it’s worth it.

What was the road like to get where you are now?

Ogbueze: I would describe the road as constantly challenging. There were moments where I had to speak up, even when it was a little uncomfortable or awkward. I had to put myself out there a lot. I had to come into the newsroom during times I didn’t want to, complete assignments when no one else wanted to, and I just had to let everyone know that I’m a team player.

What does being Editor-in-chief mean to you?

Ogbueze: It’s a great opportunity to see what I’m made of and to see whether I can take my vision and really put it into fruition.

What can we expect to see in the paper?

Ogbueze: I would like to begin a culture of The Sundial being a much more visible presence on campus. I would like our readership to grow and to have a more willfully engaged audience who wants to participate in the work we do.

Why The Sundial?

Ogbueze: I think student papers should matter. In every movie I watched growing up that was about colleges, the student paper was always in there somewhere. When something was in it, it was a big deal. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to have a voice, to participate with what’s going on with the world and in this case, on campus.

Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Ogbueze: Please let us know. If you like a story, if you want to know more about a story, if you know something that we don’t know, if you don’t like something, if you feel like we’re not covering something, let us know. Please help us be better, help us learn, help us be a more active and engaged part of this campus.