Senior Sendoffs

Sam Velazquez: Editor in Chief

It’s a bit difficult summarizing four thoroughly and consistently wild years here at this ol’ UCSD Guardian office, but I’ll try, because I’m nothing if not a man of the people. It all started when I checked out a Guardian recruitment event my freshman year following the combination of two factors: sheer boredom and an earnest recommendation from a suitemate. Bless that boy and each tennis ball he gives a good whacking to. Sure, he may never read this or know how to read in the first place, but had he never suggested this holy organization — a space that sanctifies the principles of student journalism, agency, and whining — the Sam I currently am would be disappearing into the ether like a more attractive, ethnic Marty McFly.

That would be bad.

Instead, here I am four years later coming away slightly more experienced in: writing, stress, editing, disillusionment, and procrastination, but it wasn’t just me on this cromulent ride. I’ve formed some of my closest relationships here in the darkest of times (a now distant retreat to the Nevadan hellscape) and had some of the best damn pancakes I’ve ever had on our office griddle. Among the fine faces I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and arguing with here are an Italian philosopher with the boorish manners of a Yalie, a geriatric giant from Cape Town, a scientist with a peculiar interest in worldwide epidemics, and a baseball fan under the age of 40. Yes, the people here are and look peculiar, but peculiarly enough, that’s what kept me here these four years.

Although I may be graduating without the glint of hope I had in my eyes as a freshman, I can at least say that I have a lot more confidence in my successors than a certain King Lear. The youth have got it down. As long as Chris isn’t swept away by a strong breeze, he should do well leading the paper into the brave new future of the 2018-2019 school year. If the wind does indeed whisk him away, I’m confident that Lauren will do a great job glowering — if not guilting — people into submission. As for A&E, Chloe and Daisy will be great editors. Hell, their initials are “CD” — they’re music and movie-oriented to their very core circa 2001. Never quit questioning authority. Thank you people of the Guardian; it’s been a damn fine four years.

Marcus Thuillier: Editor in Chief

Joining the UCSD Guardian was undeniably the best thing I have ever done in my life. Those past four years have been filled with surprise, excitement, and to be honest, a lot of stress. I have spent a lot of time at UC San Diego on the second floor of the original Student Center, getting much of my work done there and spending time with the many people who make this organization extraordinary.

To Brandon, Charu, and Lauren, who first recruited me, I thank you for putting your faith in me. To Daniel and Gary, I thank you for staying on in sports and supporting me. To Andrew, Vincent, Tina, and Sam, thank you for believing in me and what I could do at the paper and taking this journey with me. To Lauren and Chris, I know you guys will be great here and will carry on the tradition of this paper proudly and aptly. To my mains Alex, Caroline, Brittney, Annika, Aleya, Jojo, and Quinn, thank you for being there with me through it all. You are all very special to me and made my experience at the paper infinitely better.

This paper has changed my life. I found my voice between the lines published every week, honed skills as an editor in the past three years, and was the proud leader of the paper for the past two. This experience has made me a better writer and allowed me to meet the most interesting people UCSD has to offer. I am so incredibly grateful for these past four years. I will miss this office, the people, and the paper. I will miss everything about it, good and bad. I wish the best to the next generation of the G; you will be great. I’ll always have those past four years, and I will forever be proud to have been a member of the Guardian.

Alex Wu: Sports Editor

It’s kind of funny — I hate writing. I spent every day of middle and high school dreading the hour-long block my English class resided in, praying for some deus ex machina that involved the president signing an executive order that replaced all English classes with video-game time — or other things that I can’t mention in a school newspaper, but I digress.

“I can’t wait till I’m in college,” I would tell myself, looking for any way to cope. “After I finish my GEs, I’ll never write ever again.”

Yet here I am writing my senior send-off for the campus newspaper I spent three years working at, two of which I worked as the sports editor. One would expect that at some point I reached an epiphany, some mythical moment where something just clicked and I thought, “Yeah, I love writing and I never want to stop.” That moment never came, as my career trajectory remains on a computer-science-heavy path that is unlikely to change, but I learned to find pleasure in everything I worked on. Working here helped me realize my voice and how to build upon it. But why did I spend three years of my life here, and why should anyone else do the same?

In short: the people. Nowhere else would I have met the weird, varied, and interesting people whom I have worked with over the years. Perhaps I would have met other interesting casts of characters in another establishment, but I wouldn’t have met these people.

At a time when I felt out of place in many of the groups I worked with, I found a group of people — a family — that took me in and let me be my weird, monster of a person without (too much) judgment. I found a place that allowed me to hide from my technically heavy curriculum, decompress, and attack the world again with newfound energy. I met people that challenged me to be better, forced me to rethink who I was, and ultimately changed me and my viewpoint on life — for the better.

I may never want to write another f—— game summary ever again, but I wouldn’t trade my time at the Guardian for anything else.  

Melissa Palafox: Marketing Director 

Just like every assignment I have done throughout my college career, I’m writing my very last UCSD Guardian article the day before it is due. Hey! I’m Melissa Palafox and I have been writing for the Guardian for three years. Sadly though, all good things must come to an end. I can’t go on to talk about my experience at the Guardian without first thanking Lifestyle editor and my good friend Brittney Lu for introducing me to the Guardian and encouraging me to apply. It was one of the best decisions I made in college, honestly.

I remember being instantly intrigued to join Arts & Entertainment because, heck, once I heard “free concerts,” I was in. During my time in A&E, I have written album reviews, concert reviews, and “songs of the week” blurbs. I started during the Karly dynasty, lived through the Sam era, and ended my time in the Alicia period. Thank you all for helping me improve my writing and expand my music library!

Of course, I can never stay in one place for too long. After a year or so in A&E, I joined forces with Yeji, Alice, and Alex to make up the marketing team of the Guardian. I mean, okay, we drove around campus on the cart giving out free coffee and newspapers … but our other plans are in the works. I am now passing the baton to Rachel and Carmela to continue spreading the Guardian name, and I know it is in good hands. Lastly, as I need to wrap this up, if I had to summarize my years at the Guardian with one event, it would be POOF, which was our own little Pocket Office open mic. I made it my mission to continue the tradition after my predecessor Peter graduated, which I did! So basically, in a nutshell, my experience writing and marketing for the Guardian was something I truly appreciated and will have me critically listening to music for the rest of my life.

Caroline Lee: Advertising Director

After four years of working at the UCSD Guardian, I am excited to actually be writing for it! Since my very first quarter at UC San Diego, I have been contributing to the business side of the paper — communicating with UCSD departments and local San Diego businesses to coordinate the advertisements that you see both in print and on our website. But I also spent a year living by the Associated Press Stylebook as a copy reader!

I enjoyed all of my roles at the Guardian and the experience definitely would not have been the same without some amazing people. First, I would like to thank Audrey Sechrest and Andrew Huang for bringing me on the advertising team and copy team, respectively. I learned so much from both of them and am grateful to have had their guidance. I would also like to thank our business manager Jennifer Mancano for keeping me on top of all things ads. Jen, thanks for answering my many questions and for always finding a way for us to get that last-minute ad in. And finally, shout-out to my fellow old-timer Marcus Thuillier for keeping me company in the office. Marcus, you are alright, I guess.

I am proud of what I was able to accomplish during my time here, and I am thankful for the friends who I have made because of the Guardian. Now, please look forward to all of the incredible things that I know our new advertising director Hejin Shin and the rest of the team will do next year!

Brittney Lu: Lifestyle Editor

Innocently and naively, it started with a desire to eat around San Diego and a fascination of leisure-based journalism. Little did she know that what began with a food review — of a now- shut-down sausage shop in Hillcrest to which she swears her article had no responsibility for, but that’s beside the point — would become a penultimate space for stories and shade alike.

Food reviews have since segued into  snarky crusades against hegemonic, capitalist structures written into an advice column courtesy of The Christian Lifestyle. Not to mention a cornucopia of Golubkova-spearheaded surveys to investigate the reality of student lifestyles circulating finances, porn, and the like. Nor do we forget when 2016 editor-in-chief Vincent Pham donned a dress for a commentary on student fashion, or the series of stories told from the shores of the Philippines and the Bay Area, thanks to the script of Annika Olives. All of this was sprinkled with a Marcus-Thuillier flair of the occasional, yet endearing, jab at why San Diegans wear flip flops year-round.

As for this one, she hopes the weekly spread was a safe space for amplified student voices and oxford commas. She — ashamedly — was never around on production days (except one lucky Sunday when pancakes were made via communal griddle), but learned from the G the importance of preserving, telling, and breaking stories.

While there are still features of compensated meals in exchange for a 500-word piece, she hopes Lifestyle has been a home for a collective voice aiming to celebrate diversity through a team that has fluctuated from three to 12, with each member speaking at a different volume and frequency. It’s been a long, wandering way, and she’s sure there is only much more to come.

Aleya Zenieris: Design Editor

After 3 years of threats, I finally quit. I miss Jose and Marcus was the only thing that got me through. #MyThoughtsAndPrayersAreWithYouTina. *She exits the design room as “Vroom Vroom” by Charli XCX plays at full volume.*