When I was elected editor-in-chief of the New University, I didn’t have any formal training in journalism. I was nervous about how I would handle all of the situations that come with being the editor of a college newspaper. Fortunately for me, those situations surfaced far more often than I expected.
All of the e-mails I got early Monday morning after an issue was printed elicited mixed emotions. Some of the comments were positive, while others were abrasive. At the beginning of the year it was difficult to accept harsh criticism that often led me to question my abilities as the editor-in-chief.
I thought it was my job to make sure that our editorial content was ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ and to simply inform the student body of what was happening on campus. But I began to appreciate the variety of opinions I was getting and was satisfied to know that I, too, was being challenged by my peers.
I’ve listened to numerous opinions from a variety of people fighting to instill change on this campus, in this community and in this world. Some of those opinions criticized the New U., which often resulted in me getting defensive for the newspaper. As frustrating as it was, I didn’t see eye-to-eye with many of my readers. But that proved to be my most valuable lesson.
In a time when free speech is criticized and people’s opinions aren’t always accepted, it is imperative that we as students take an active role in listening to what our peers have to say.
Allow yourself to question what you read, hear or see. In a heavily multiracial campus, it is our duty to be tolerant of others’ beliefs.
As students, it is easy for us to get wrapped up in our daily lives of school, work and friends, but it is of equal importance to embrace the college experience, which includes learning as much as we can from fellow students through peaceful dialogue and simply being sensitive of others’ beliefs. As the editor-in-chief, I saw the importance of this firsthand when I dealt with students from various clubs and organizations struggling for their opinions to be heard.
To the class of 2005, I wish you much luck as you determine your future career paths. I hope your time at UC Irvine was everything you expected it to be and more.
To continuing students: Make the rest of your time at this school worthwhile. Get involved by joining a club or doing some volunteer work. Seize every opportunity you have to make a difference on this campus or in the community.
Throughout my years here I have met some of the most brilliant minds, and for that I am thankful. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn as much as you can while at the same time doing your part to contribute to the UCI community.
Joe Del Vecchio
Outgoing Managing Editor
I often find myself asking how I got here. When I graduated from high school I had plans and ambitions
Filed Under: Opinion