Incoming Editor in Chief Promises Continued Excellence for the Paper

I know what you’re all wondering: “”How can The UCSD Guardian possibly hope to maintain — let alone improve — its astronomically high standard of excellence with so many editors and staff members graduating?”” Well, not to worry. I promise there will still be good reason to grab a Guardian when September rolls around.

It is true, we are losing some extremely talented and hard-working people — people who are irreplaceable, really.

Our beloved editor in chief, Vincent Gragnani, will be graduating, leaving behind the newspaper that has practically defined his college career. After two years of being a staff writer for news, and one year of being news editor, Vince was the only choice to hold the reigns of the Guardian this year. And held them he has. The Guardian will never be the same without him.

But don’t worry. A couple of weeks ago, Alison Norris and I were elected co-editors in chief (by freakish coincidence, we tied), and Vince has been training us for the job ever since. We cannot replace Vince, but we can bring our own ideas and styles to the Guardian, hopefully building on the quality and standard Vince has brought this year.

True, we are also losing our managing editor, Bill Burger. After a year of writing, Bill became sports editor last year, and as managing editor, he kept in touch with his roots by covering men’s and women’s tennis. Bill made a perfect managing editor: He is approachable, decisive and fair, and he can even hold his own with a red pen.

Luckily, next year’s managing editor slot will be filled by current news editor, Lauren Coartney. Lauren has done a great job with news this year, and we are confident she will be able to continue in Bill’s footsteps as both an editor and a manager. So we’ve got that base covered.

Tom Vu, our opinion editor, will also be leaving us. Like clockwork, Tom managed to come through with a section chock-full of all the skewed and out-there opinions us Guardian weirdoes could possibly come up with. His section was rarely late, and was always solid and balanced. It will be quite difficult to repeat his performance.

Facing this challenge next year are Divya Runchal and Jennifer Sposito. Divya became co-opinion editor earlier this year, so she has had plenty of experience. Much like many of our opinion columns, Divya is also skewed and out-there, so our opinion section should continue to be quite interesting. Jenny, who is co-copy editor, is an extremely eloquent writer and should add exceptional clarity and intelligence to the section. Perhaps even Ben Boychuck will agree that our opinion section will indeed be fine.

Sports Editor Robert Fulton and Associate Sports Editor Scott Burroughs are also graduating, relinquishing their solemn responsibility of bringing the UCSD community all of the UCSD sports news fit to print. Robert is Mr. Dependable here at the Guardian. His section is almost never late, and in its pages are all anyone would want to know about sports at UCSD. If one of his writers was out of town or sick, Robert would just write the article himself. Scott is the best sports columnist we’ve got. Though sometimes his columns are only slightly related to sports, they are always entertaining, and from knowing the guy, they very well could all be true. And yes, Neil Dennis does in fact exist.

Despite losing such talented and diligent sports editors to graduation, sports is perhaps the section we have to worry about least. It will be headed up by current Associate Sports Editor Isaac Pearlman and current Features Editor Josh Crouse. We would be lucky to have just one of these guys running sports. Isaac has worked under Robert for most of the year, so on top of being a superb writer, he knows how to consistently put out a quality section. Josh has written sports for a daily and has been an editor for almost two years now, so he has more than enough experience to run a great section.

David Lee, our mysterious Hiatus editor, will no longer be pushing the limits of what arts and entertainment are. Dave expanded the scope of Hiatus to subjects that would not be covered by typical arts and entertainment sections, but he pulled it off beautifully. It is likely that the Guardian will never again have a writer quite like Dave.

Knowing this, it is safe to say that the Hiatus section will be a little different next year. At its helm will be Joseph Lee and Charlie Tran. Joe was co-Hiatus editor with Dave for most of the year, so he will bring the experience needed to keep the section running smoothly. Joe is also committed to exposing the ugly underbelly of the oft-criticized San Diego music scene. Charlie, now our design editor, will bring a new look and feel to Hiatus. An avid movie critic and fan of the arts, Charlie should satisfy those who enjoy the finer arts.

The Guardian would be nothing without photos, and Photo Editor David Pilz has certainly made it something. Due to the overall quality of Dave’s and his photographers’ work, there have been more pictures in this year’s issues than there have been in a long time. When he wasn’t out shooting or developing, Dave was critiquing and improving his photographers.

For that reason, next year’s photo editor, Lyon Liew, is more than qualified to bring the campus informative and aesthetic photos. Lyon has a firm grasp of what photojournalism is, and his sports shots have improved to the point that they are downright outstanding.

Last, but not least, Web Editor Brian Wikner is graduating. Brian was responsible for getting every issue onto the Web this year, and he’s made numerous improvements to the Guardian online edition. Coming in in the middle of the night to post the articles and photos online is a thankless job, but Brian did it with enthusiasm and care.

Knowing his days at the Guardian were numbered, Brian trained his replacement, Zhi-Ning Liang, to be the next Web editor. A computer science major, Zhi-Ning should continue to improve and add to the Web site, making it more interactive and easier to use.

All these Guardian editors who are graduating may just sound like names to you, but you really do know them. You know them by seeing the sections they produce week-in and week-out. You know them by the articles they write. You know them by the photos they shoot.

So get to know the new crop of Guardian editors. We’re excited to carry on the proud tradition of supplying UCSD with all the information it needs to be the most informed UC school.

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