Letter From The Editor: Saying Hello and an Update

By: Conor Merrick

Photo by: Michael Dunn

Hello Jags! 

I’m writing to you today from my apartment in Mobile, happy to be back in class and no longer on Zoom. As a transfer student who moved here during COVID, it’s really quite a sight to see so many students on campus after it seeming empty for so long. It’s nice to see the campus full but with COVID still in the air, The Vanguard will be sure to bring you the latest in COVID news. We want you all to be informed and safe. So while you wear your masks and social distance, we’ll be making sure you know how to stay safe. News can be funny, exciting, dramatic, or even tragic but at its core, journalism is information so while we write up funny stories about chicken nuggets selling on eBay or giving you the latest on sports, we’ll also be pursuing the hard stories you need to hear. 

I hope you all are getting situated and having a great start to your semester. I’d like to welcome the sophomores, juniors and seniors back to campus. Good luck with all your classes and keep your eye on the prize!

I’d also like to extend a warm welcome to the incoming class of 2025. We’re happy to have you here and we know you’re all gonna do great! I recommend showing up to some of the Week of Welcome activities so you all can find some great clubs and organizations to join. There’s lots of stuff out there and you’ll find your people, you just gotta look.

Personally, between moving apartments and getting a kitten gifted to me, the start has been a bit hectic. I didn’t have internet until Aug. 18 and the textbooks I ordered a week ago still haven’t shown up. All that said, things are finally winding down and my focus is back where I like it to be: on the news and on my work. 

 So who is this guy? Who did Jagmedia choose to run the newspaper?

I’m glad you asked (I know you didn’t but let’s just pretend).

 I’ve lived here for about a year and a half after moving from Chicago. I moved to the city from the northwest suburbs to pursue a degree in journalism at Loyola Chicago before transferring to South Alabama last year. I was lucky enough to be there for the basketball team’s crazy March Madness run, see the Cubs win the World Series and enjoy Chicago’s many venues and events. Writing has always been a hobby of mine and being able to study journalism, go to events, meet new people and see new things is something I knew would suit me well. During my time there, I covered crime, events, protests, and university news at the Loyola Phoenix, their student newspaper. Now, I’m a senior here and humbled to be the new editor-in-chief.

 I’m very excited to provide you all with the news you want to read about in some new ways and we need your help to make that happen.

So we want to hear from you.

We’ll be uploading a tip box to the Vanguard page on the Jagmedia website. On there, students and faculty will be able to anonymously leave tips and reports for happenings on campus. There is no issue too big or too small for us to look into. Like our slogan says, “If it matters to you, it matters to us.” We want to make sure your voices are heard and we realize not everyone has the time or is interested in writing. With the tip box, you get the satisfaction of giving your opinion, doing a service, or being a good citizen while the super awesome staff at The Vanguard looks into it for you. So, definitely check it out. We’d love to hear from you. Leave as much or as little info as you want. None of the text boxes aside from a description of the tip is required. You can be anonymous or leave info for us to get in touch with you.

I’ll also periodically publish letters like these to say hello.

These letters are a way for me to write to the audience in a more informal way. It gives you all a chance to learn a little bit about me and know what’s going on behind the stories. 

You’ll see a few of these letters from me throughout the school year. You’ll also see me around campus so feel free to say hello! I love talking to people and lending an ear. You can often find me at the communications department or at an event. Don’t be afraid to come say hi!

We’ve got a great semester ahead of us and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Your editor-in-chief,

Conor Merrick