USAC and Chancellor
Stepping Out of the Den
Before the Internet, foreign correspondents would report back via telegraph and sign off with the phrase “-30-” to indicate the end of their transmission. Every year, as a tribute to the Daily Bruin and the hours and hours spent reporting, photographing, producing and editing, graduating staff publish their final farewell columns in the last issue of the year—their -30- columns—to signify the end of their Daily Bruin experiences.
Select a name from the left to read his/her column.
Stories pulse through paper
Away on a mountain retreat, our fledgling editors sat in a wide circle learning a lesson in storytelling on a Saturday night.
The prompt hung ambivalently in the autumn air, the angle undefined: What has made you who you are?
Nobody spoke for a few pensive minutes. The wood floor was hard beneath us, the lights off. Clothes rustled as we shifted nervously. We barely knew each other.
Hesitantly, the stories came out one by one. No one interrupted, no one responded. Our ears attuned to the quavering voices, quiet at first, then gaining speed and rambling through memories—with no direction and no editing, just stories in the raw, shared into the unassuming darkness.
Three hours later, we turned on the lights, meeting each other’s bleary eyes and softened faces.
Some sense of closeness emerged that night as we fumbled through our stories, trying to express the essence of ourselves in hopes that someone in the room would understand.
After all, that’s what we do here—tell stories.
Every day we tell tales of adversity and achievement, corruption and creativity, frustration and friendship.
So much life has graced our fingertips, as we humbly try our best to get the heart of a story just right.
On that autumn night, we realized that the heart of a true community paper comes from within one of the most important communities—our own.
That night, a family was born out of love for one another and love for our craft, and what it means to care for a group of people who choose to live their lives in parallel, if only for a few years.
That family has only grown this year. Each story lived within and beyond the walls of our newsroom adds to the expanse of experience we have shared.
As student-journalists, we live at the intersection of these stories, depending on the strength, tenacity and kindness of strangers-turned-family to make a community, make a statement and make it through the year.
And we made it. So, next year’s staff and readers: Now it’s your turn to make a paper.
Jow was the editor in chief for 2011-2012, a slot editor and news reporter for 2010-2011 and a copy editor for 2008-2010.
Capturing the crazy journey
The table is cluttered, the room is empty and the moon illuminates the room. I sit here, trying to conjure a cleverly written introduction to my column.
Wait, I’ve got it.
I had just brushed my teeth and was getting ready for bed. It was early spring quarter of my second year, and I was particularly excited this night because I was anticipating a call from the Daily Bruin’s photo department.
Right before I fell asleep, I got a notification on my phone. It was an email from the photo editor. I didn’t get in.
It’s been over two years since I received that email and things got better.
I was later accepted, and became the jerk who sends the rejection emails to hopeful and aspiring photojournalists.
The amount of work is incessant; I spend more hours working a single day in Kerckhoff 118 than I do in an entire week of class, and the stress, though motivating, is unavoidable.
I have never been happier in my life.
But this isn’t about me. It never was.
This is about all of those faces that believed, the faces that made this column possible, the faces that made this journey memorable. Thank you for trusting, listening, and being there.
In one year, I’ve tried to improve the function of the Photo department in the newsroom, I’ve seen my photo run in the New York Times and been offered an editorial internship at the U-T San Diego.
Here is where this Cinderella story ends, the one about the guy who got rejected (twice) and was lucky enough to have been given a chance to prove himself.
The table remains cluttered, and I still sit alone, accompanied only by the moon’s glare. I’m getting ready for bed and I’m once again feeling particularly excited because now, for the first time in a year, I’m not anticipating a call from the Daily Bruin, or a text, or an email.
I’ve finished the journey. I’m holding my camera, peering through the viewfinder, remembering everything it saw this year. I may have run out of film, but now I’ve got all of these memories captured.
I mean, that’s the whole point of taking pictures, right?
Arjonilla was a 2011-2012 editor, 2011 staff photographer and 2010-2011 photo contributor.
Epic finish is only start of story
Such finality in the words, such magnitude of meaning. The phrase is commonplace in our culture—ironic, because we clearly hate endings.
We hate endings, which is why we have 10-year reunions and graduate school and dessert and encores and seconds of dessert and 13 “Land Before Time” movies.
I covered sports for four years here, and people tend to be drawn to sports for the epic finishes. I count myself among that group. Over the last few years in Westwood I’ve covered walk-off home runs, game-winning shots at the buzzer and last-second field goals.
Cue the celebrations!
But don’t even sports fans hate endings? Word out of the University of Kentucky was that the day after the Wildcats won the national championship for college basketball this past April, message boards, online forums and call-in radio shows were buzzing with talk of recruiting and possibility of repeating victory. The day after!
We’re not too good at handling endings, regardless of how spectacular they are.
Most of you have probably seen “The Avengers” by now. Yeah—not just one, but TWO scenes after the credits! It’s a cool tradition and all, but just end the movie already.
What then is the reason for our seemingly inherent incompatibility with endings? I’m sure many of you could put on your social anthropology hats and give me an answer, but I’m of the belief that we are just not wired to accept the finality of endings.
My experiences at UCLA and the Daily Bruin have taught me many things, some rather interesting and some completely irrelevant. But in all the reading and writing that comprises the schedule of an English major and a journalist, I’ve confirmed the conviction that our life stories do not simply end with death, that our souls were created for a narrative infinitely longer than one that ends with a pair of words signaling the conclusion.
Graduation might mean that it’s time to start a new chapter, but it’s certainly not time to close the book. It’s been four years of character development, plot twists and cliffhangers, and man, oh man what a fun and memorable chapter. But shoot, there’s plenty left to read in each of our stories and I don’t think you’ll ever have to finish.
Just like this column, the end is only the beginning.
Eshoff was a sports senior staff writer for 2010-2012, assistant sports editor for 2010-2011, sports reporter for 2009-2010 and a sports contributor for 2008-2009.
Bittersweet challenge of journalism
Call it an occupational hazard of journalism that you’ll spend a lot of time staring at a blank Word document thinking, “Where do I begin?”
The cursor will blink mockingly at the top, left-hand corner of your screen, inviting you to type something—anything (as long as it’s not, “When…”).
You’ve done all the reporting. You can recite the facts like an encyclopedia. You even have a great quote that you’d like to work in at some point. But that first sentence!
Sometimes, holding off until just before a story is due (called “writing on deadline”) works wonders for writer’s block. This is risky though, and editors don’t like it, so other remedies are generally to be preferred.
Often, it’s a matter of better defining your story. “What am I trying to say, and why is it important?” Or, “Why would someone want to read this?”
But when all else fails, I’ve followed the advice offered by my high school English teacher: “Just start writing.”
Now, after four years of writing ledes and nut grafs and whatever the remaining stuff is called; after laboring over the tiny details of syntax that no one else will notice, but caring anyway; after knowing the satisfaction that comes with finishing a story at 3 a.m., blurry-eyed but feeling good about it; after experiencing the rush of picking up a newspaper and seeing my name printed on the front page, I’m left with a new challenge: the conclusion.
How do I say goodbye to a paper that has given me so much?
More than anything else, the Daily Bruin came to define my college experience. I learned to observe, ask questions and report. I met fascinating people—fascinating like, “I surgically separated conjoined twin babies,” or, “I jump out of airplanes for the U.S. Army when I’m not too busy taking classes and leading the UCLA cheer squad.”
Above all, I made friends at the Daily Bruin without whom I would never have made it this far. It is to them I wish to dedicate the rest of this column.
So, thank you to Carolyn, my editor of two years who is the reason I did not quit as a freshman.
To Sam and Sam, for being the best co-editors I could possibly have asked for.
To Sean, Sonali, Devin and Kelly, for sticking with me when I made mistakes and for being great at what you did, each in your own way.
To Farzad, for your bang-up job as editor and your always amusing analogies.
To all my writers in Westwood and Crime—I still don’t know how I got so lucky with you.
To News, which has grown so much in three years due to the dedication of its writers and editors.
To the editorial board members, for listening to my silly opinions. And to everyone else, for the many things I have not mentioned.
Like any story, my time at the Bruin can only be so long before it becomes too long.
Although I am stepping away from the paper and, indeed, journalism, I do so knowing the people I met and the experiences I had will stay with me for a lifetime.
It’s a bittersweet ending, and thinking back to the beginning, I’m struck by how fast it all went by.
Schonhaut was a news senior staff reporter for 2011-2012, the news editor for 2010-2011, an assistant news editor for 2009-2010 and a news reporter for 2008-2009.
Deadline is more than an end
I am addicted to working on deadline.
I do it for stories and editorials. I now do it for essays and midterms. In fact, I’m doing it right now as I write this column.
The closer it is to 5 p.m., the better I can think through and feel out a story. Call it an adrenaline rush, if you will.
Over the years, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better at managing deadlines. But my looming graduation deadline is something I don’t quite think I have a handle on yet.
I joined the Daily Bruin as a first-year, hoping just to improve my writing and to make sure that journalism was something I wanted to pursue as a career.
When assistant news editor application deadline rolled around, I made all kinds of excuses—I was too young, the job was too much. In the end, a strong editor convinced me that my time had come.
“You take on so many articles and you’re always in the office,” she told me. “You must want something more.”
At that moment, she knew me better than I knew myself.
Nothing can compare to the knowledge you gain as part of senior staff. I learned about the realities of daily production, built a new threshold of stress tolerance and realized how much I loved to work in print.
But more importantly, I found a new family. People with whom I could go on road trips with, make hand turkeys, eat ramen—simple things that fostered the transition from colleague to friend.
After four years at the Daily Bruin, I think that’s what I’ll be taking away. It’s kind of like the layers of wall quotes plastered across the office’s walls.
Everyone makes a mark on the paper, but over time, you simply become part of the underlying foundation.
Quotes from the past are now layered under sayings from the present. Though I have a few choice words displayed in the News section, I know they won’t always be there.
So when I file my last story and leave the paper in the hands of the new staff, it’ll finally be my cue to move on. After all, what is deadline but a chance to start on a whole new story?
Masunaga was a news senior staff writer from 2011-2012, an assistant news editor from 2009-2011 and a news contributor from 2008-2009.
Diverse student body set to make global impact
There’s a special excitement in the air as we wind up another successful academic year and look forward to summer.
The many commencement and awards ceremonies held during this season bring families and friends to campus to join us in celebrating the amazing achievements of UCLA students.
I want to be among the first to say congratulations to the Class of 2012.
I am so proud of all of you, and I hope you realize that it is your own stellar accomplishments and unwavering commitment to excellence that have brought you to this magnificent milestone.
A UCLA degree signifies your ability and determination not just to succeed, but to redefine success. It shows that you overcame the hurdles you encountered along the way. And for many of you, it also represents your family’s dedication to helping you prepare to fulfill your dreams and become a game-changer anywhere in the world.
You can leave here knowing that you are ready to lead in whatever you choose to do. That’s more than optimism; it’s confidence firmly based in reality.
At UCLA, you have gained an understanding not only of your own major field of study but also of the perspectives of other academic areas. This will be invaluable in today’s world, where complex issues demand a multidisciplinary approach.
You have also encountered the various viewpoints of your diverse fellow students, the other high-achievers all around you. In seeing the world through a prism different from your own, you have broadened your worldview, which is critical to functioning well in our increasingly global society. Some of your UCLA classmates will be your friends for life and will continue to enrich your experience. I urge you to stay connected to your fellow alumni; the Bruin network is a remarkable group that can empower you in whatever you pursue.
UCLA students inspire me in so many ways, but especially in their desire to be of service to others and to truly make the world better for all. Through your research projects, civic engagement and volunteering, you have enriched the Los Angeles community, and some of you have traveled far away to share what you have learned here. I encourage you to continue to apply your knowledge and talents to make a difference wherever you are. As Bruins, you know you can create a brighter tomorrow.
Some of you will pursue graduate studies right away, others will begin professional careers, some will take time to travel or volunteer and ponder what comes next. Whatever you do, I urge you to keep strong ties to UCLA. You are now Bruins for life, and your continued engagement will benefit you and help us better serve the students who come after you. Your support will enable them to have the same opportunities you have had.
As new graduates, you stand on the cusp of so much. Countless options are open to you, and you are equipped to surpass the status quo in any of them. This is a time of promise and exhilaration. Remember to savor the moment with your classmates, family and friends. I know you will make us proud, and I hope you know that you will always be welcome back home at UCLA.
Absence of rules permits independence and change
If there is one flaw to which I will readily admit, it is that I can sometimes take things a bit too seriously.
I study constantly, take too many classes, worry incessantly about law school admissions and lie awake at night wondering about the headlines I wrote. In short, I am your typical impatient, overanxious, perfection-seeking Type A college student, and I probably fit right into the stereotype of the chronically sleep-deprived, deadline-driven journalist.
Recently, several of my friends asked me why I had chosen to join Copy. I rambled on about something random and inconsequential, as I am wont to do, but later, I had to think about it.
It took me a while to realize that one of the innumerable reasons why Copy is great is that there are rules dictating just about every single thing—style, grammar, spelling, proper nouns, titles—many of them baffling, some of them probably inane and all of them gloriously reassuring.
When I didn’t know what to do or why I was doing something, I could always rely on a rule born from the expertise of people with far more experience and knowledge than I. If nothing else, I could always fall back on a rote, “That’s the rule, sorry about it,” when talking to a writer.
The Bruin forced me to understand that the best manner to approach some things is to let them go, rather than obsessing over them.
When I became copy chief, all the rules that had previously been so reassuring became nerve-wracking instead, as it fell primarily to me to decide them. Terrified of any missteps, I was caught off-guard more than once, stuttering before leaping forward with an answer that, in all likelihood, I had just made up on the spot based on experience, caprice and a great hope that I was correct.
Of course, my better decisions were always due to the gentle nudging from pointed questions by the other slot editors and by insightful, curious writers.
Lacking my previous safety net of having a top editor make the ultimate decisions for me, I built my own structure as copy chief, and learned to depend on the other copy editors around me, a lesson I am still absorbing.
But here I am, on the cusp of graduation and the first step into a life that won’t necessarily have the orderliness I have always preferred.
I am afraid of a time when I will no longer have email chains and group texts about scheduling, stories and random Daily Bruin style tips, a time when I can no longer even latch onto social bonds. I am terrified of not knowing the rules that will keep me on the right path moving forward, of not having anything to fall back on or anyone to catch me if I mess up.
As I have learned, though, this lack of structure sometimes just means an abundance of possibility—the possibility of creating our own rules, of forging our own paths.
Leong was copy chief from 2011-2012, a slot editor from 2010-2011, and a copy editor from 2009-2010.
Lack of jobs not a sign of lack of preparation
“I know I’m ready.”
I wrote that four years ago in a blog post during what I called “the biggest change of my life”: graduating from high school and leaving for college. Four years later, I’m taking another big step on the eve of another graduation. It’s strange how much things seem to change because all I can think about now is how this time, I don’t feel ready at all.
Graduating when we are, I know that most of the class of 2012 must feel the same way. That is, unless you’re a South Campus student or one of those people who landed some investment banking job. You all can return to flipping through IKEA cataloges and figuring out which couch goes with your new apartment. I hear the “Ektorp” is a solid choice.
Graduating. When I graduated from high school, all I could do was look forward; college was an adventure, and I was only armed with the warm memories from home.
But that was enough. I was ready for everything, for all the monstrous midterms and hangovers I knew awaited me.
But now, all I can do is stare out across the threshold while real life pushes me into another adventure, one with worse monsters called “unemployment” and “moving home.”
It’s unbelievably scary to work toward the promise of a job and success for four years, only to reach the end and find out that what you were looking for doesn’t exist anymore.
I entered UCLA as a computer science student and it’s difficult not to wonder if leaving the major was the right choice, or if I wasted my time as an English major, or if I should have reconsidered law school instead of slaving away at the Daily Bruin.
But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I’m more ready than I ever thought. UCLA and Los Angeles are such big places that it’s nearly impossible not to pick something up. Like many students, most lessons took place outside the lecture hall.
I’ve eaten samosas on the roof of the Fowler Museum and smelled defeat in the Rose Bowl locker room. I’ve seen Downtown Los Angeles light up at night and scaled the cliffs at Malibu. I’ve watched sunrises from my dorm room after all-nighters. I’ve eaten at Fat Sal’s.
I’ve talked to playwrights, former gangsters and basket weavers. I’ve seen what comedian Patton Oswalt once said is true, that “everyone and everything has its own story, and something to teach you, and that they’re also trying—consciously or unconsciously—to learn and grow from you and everything else around them.” I’ve realized how important that idea is.
While four years hasn’t paid off in the jobs, fame and money we were promised, we’re still prepared. To paraphrase Jack Donaghy from “30 Rock”—we’re young, and we still haven’t blown it completely, so let’s not start now.
I’m still afraid. I still question my choices. I still don’t know what comes next. But whatever that is, I know I’m ready.
Estrada was a video producer and an illustrator for 2010-2012.
End of era starts a new experience
Four years ago, I walked into 118 Kerckhoff Hall for the first time.
It was Thursday of week one during my first quarter at UCLA. I was a quiet, confused and awkward intern-to-be. An entire undergraduate career’s worth of experiences later, I will be walking out of those familiar double doors a loud, but still confused and awkward ex-senior staffer.
The unchanging brick exterior, the eternal griminess of the keyboards, that one bowl of frozen noodles in the back corner fridge that never seems to expire are deceptive. The Daily Bruin is all about evolution.
Three years ago, what was formerly known as Daily Bruin TV got a face lift. The other editors and I had many reasons for this change: the changing nature of media, a new viewer generation, the shift to documentary-style storytelling. All this came in addition to the fact that we were not actually on TV and had not been since we lost our channel a decade ago.
The result was Daily Bruin Video.
“You’re in Video? But the newspaper is made of like ... paper.”
This is the typical response I get when I tell people that I work for the Video section. I explain to them that, like many other modern news outlets, the Daily Bruin has an online section.
We have been rebranded with the sophisticated name “multimedia.” We have been dubbed “the new face of journalism” and “a vision from the future.” Supposedly, we are the section that everyone will want to be in five years.
Really, we’re just the people in the office everyone else forgets because we don’t have mug shots and bylines like all the cool kids. And sometimes, we don’t even have content.
The second evolution runs much deeper and encompasses the entire newsroom. At the end of each academic year, the office undergoes a metamorphosis akin to a heart transplant: the entrance of a new crop of editors to replace the old.
As each year ends and the office sends a group of outgoing editors to brave the real world, I always assume it’s the end of an era for the office. What I have yet to realize is that each spring is the start of a new one.
The heart of the Daily Bruin does not die with the graduating class. Rather, it is resuscitated by the incoming people as they breathe fresh life and energy into the newsroom.
So my final column is dedicated to them, the newsroom of 2012-2013 and the years to come. To all of you, including those who have not yet arrived at UCLA, I wish the very best.
Embrace every moment in that windowless office because those experiences are what college memories are made of.
Du was an assistant video producer from 2009-2011 and a video contributor from 2008-2009.
Newsroom was unfamiliar, now home
I wasn’t really a UCLA student my third year of college. Technically, I was enrolled in classes and paying a lot of money for things like “libraries” and “gym memberships.” But as far as I was concerned, I lived and learned in the Daily Bruin office that year.
Being an assistant editor in the Kerckhoff 118 office was my version of studying abroad. Sure I didn’t travel far, but I was immersed in a strange culture where people spoke in quotes, wrote in “grafs,” participated in a daily ritual called “budget” and ostracized the poor Oxford comma.
Oftentimes up was down and down was up. Time spent in the classroom was used for writing stories and coordinating interviews while breaks in the office were used for writing essays and scanning class readings. Complaints about Kerckhoff coffee were followed by trips upstairs to buy a third cup for the day.
When I first joined the paper, editors and staff writers seemed like insane masochists who had given up on having a social life and healthy levels of vitamin D. They are, but if UCLA taught me one thing it’s to take a closer look at the things we can’t understand.
Each day I was in the trenches with forty or so of the most dedicated and hardworking students I’ve met at UCLA. These are students who work from 12:15 p.m. to 2 a.m. to create a new issue of the paper only to wake up the next day and do it all over again.
It’s inspiring. It’s motivating. It’s the most passionate I’ve ever been and all jobs will be measured against the year I lived in the Daily Bruin office.
At one point, the Los Angeles Times intern recruiter talked to a group of us about journalism resumes. A fellow editor asked if we should include our GPAs.
The recruiter shrugged his shoulders and went on to say something to the effect of: You work for the Daily Bruin, so it’s probably pretty low anyway.
I’ve never been prouder to be a member of the Daily Bruin. It’s true we work there at the expense of other things, but in the end there is a reason we stick with it. The Daily Bruin has become our home away from apartments and dorms.
We studied abroad for a year in Kerckhoff 118 and found the place in which we belonged at UCLA.
Suchland was Prime editor for 2011-2012, A&E assistant editor for 2010-2011, an A&E reporter for 2009-2010 and a multimedia staff for 2009-2010.
Unity propels USAC forward
If you had told me when I first stepped foot on this campus that I would be involved in student government, I would never have believed you. My senior year of high school, I was the commissioner of spirit, but I thought that would be the extent of my involvement. Little did I know, I would serve not one but two years with UCLA’s student government and have a better time than I could have possibly imagined.
Serving as a general representative my junior year and as president of the Undergraduate Students Association Council this past year has been such an honor. I am beyond proud of the incredible work my offices have done, like founding the campus farmer’s market and bringing back Homecoming, and all the tangible achievements the USAC council has made as a whole by working together.
I want to stop and reflect on the amazing year we had as a USAC council: new and successful programs for students, more USAC visibility than ever before, co-programming and creativity like no other, respect from fellow councilmembers and all this in spite of budget shortfalls and the other obstacles we encountered. I am so proud of each and every one of my fellow councilmembers’ incredible feats and of the great work this council has done as a whole.
Next year’s council has some very big shoes to fill, but I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish. I encourage them to reach out and to co-program, be honest and transparent in their representation of all students and emerge from this year with more enthusiasm and passion to make change than ever before. Above all, I hope they too have an amazing experience.
I witnessed firsthand that USAC has the power to affect real and positive change on this campus and change lives of both current and future Bruins for the better.
People often ask if I’m excited to not be president anymore because of the insane time commitment, but, while I am enjoying more free time, I really miss it. I have never learned more about myself in a year and I was truly honored and humbled by the whole experience.
I am graduating with a major in psychobiology and considering either going to graduate school for physical therapy or throwing my pre-medical background to the wayside and going into marketing or public relations, since I absolutely love talking to and meeting new people! As president, my everyday routine was pretty hectic, so I put my future on hold. I am really looking forward to figuring out what I want to do next—but for now, I’ll start with my third summer at Bruinwoods.
I couldn’t be prouder to have served as your USAC President this past year. It was the best experience of my life, especially because I had the opportunity to work with so many of the amazing students, faculty and staff of our university. My sincerest congratulations to the Class of 2012, and go Bruins!
Emily Resnick was the president of the Undergraduate Students Association Council for the 2011-2012 school year.
Experience is crash course in writing
I applied to the Daily Bruin on a whim—and in typical fashion, turned in my application one hour before its deadline. My roommates thought I was crazy. I worried it would be a lot of writing.
Turns out, the Daily Bruin involves a lot of writing.
But when I nervously submitted my application to the Daily Bruin arts & entertainment section in fall quarter of 2009, I never imagined my whim would be the best decision of my college experience.
Three years later, I only wish I would have made the decision sooner.
It’s hard to explain life in the Daily Bruin newsroom to those who have never been beyond the doors of Kerckhoff 118, but it’s just the right mix of mayhem and magic.
Amidst the decades-old computers, wall quotes, curiously stained couches and never ending piles of newsprint is a kind of mafia.
I’ve been student to several dozen professors, but the Daily Bruin and, more importantly, the talented individuals working behind its printed pages, were among the greatest teachers I ever encountered at UCLA. And more than a UCLA niche, the Daily Bruin was, quite literally, my second home.
I soon found the terror of public embarrassment in print to be far more inspiring than a final paper, no matter how much my grades depended on it.
But the terror subsided some. And writing never got easy, but it did become fun.
For three years, I’ve had the surreal pleasure of meeting contemporary artists, reviewing concerts, writing an L.A. adventure column and interviewing some of UCLA’s most inspiring students and professors. I’ve been proud to be a part of something truly phenomenal, 93 years old and counting. And no matter where I end up whenever the real world hits, I’ll forever treasure that.
Perhaps I should blame the Daily Bruin for exacerbating my chronic addiction to coffee, habitual all-nighters and the recurring adrenaline rush that comes with the dawn of a deadline, but that’s really all just part of the fun.
And so, this is my love letter to the Daily Bruin, or rather, the people in our dusty office nook that made it my favorite place to pass the time while procrastinating on all those class papers.
So thank you, Shelley for believing I could fill your shoes as Lifestyle and Theater editor, Maryia for having faith in my editing, Sammie and Alex for laughing and commiserating along the way.
And thank you, Andrew “Angel” Bain for your wise-beyond-your-years friendship and Lenika, Marjorie and Spencer for carrying the A&E torch. You’re as incredible as they come.
It is because of all of you that I was provided with the greatest crash course in getting over my fear of the interview, the follow-up question and the phone call. And even with a bleak job market on the horizon, I feel as prepared as I’ll ever be for the tough job interviews ahead.
So if somewhere on the UCLA campus someone reading this is on the fence about joining the Daily Bruin—perhaps worrying that it may involve a lot of writing—rest assured, it does. But I think you’ll like it.
Lauren Roberts was an A&E senior staff writer from 2011-2012, Lifestyle and Theater editor from 2010-2011, an A&E and Prime contributor 2009-2010.
Exposing a photographer’s adventures
I’ll confess. I shot a porn star last year.
I remember my stomach felt more upset than if I had eaten Panda Express for breakfast, Chipotle for lunch, and then ended my evening with a nice order of Mister Noodle. My hands were shaking, my mouth was dry, and my voice might have faltered slightly, but I did it. I shot her.
Well, more specifically, I photographed her. And to be even more specific, she was fully clothed, and it was for a Daily Bruin article profiling this UCLA student with an intriguingly unique extra-curricular.
But the Daily Bruin hasn’t just been about shooting porn stars—that’s just a cool story.
As I’m winding down my time at UCLA, I’ve been starting to reflect on my experience here, possibly even as much as the nostalgic Rick Neuheisel. No, maybe not quite that much.
I once stayed up staring at my computer far past midnight, wondering if it was worth an all-nighter to fill out a Daily Bruin application as a pre-medical student with almost no photography experience. A year later, I found myself staying up staring at my computer far past midnight, editing photos for the next day’s paper.
I spent so many late nights in this office that the staff at Sbarro knew me all too well (Thanks for the extra breadsticks, by the way). It took so much out of me—the Bruin, not the breadsticks—but I kept coming back.
I kept coming back because the Daily Bruin kept giving back. Sure, the opportunities were amazing: I got to sit on the court and photograph Andy Murray and Andre Agassi, two of my favorite tennis players; I got to be there at legendary coach Al Scates’ last game before he retired as coach of our volleyball team; I even got to photograph UCLA’s basketball team when it played St. John’s in Manhattan at the height of “Linsanity” (I was tempted to start a “Trapanity” chant late in the second half).
The shoots were great, but not because of the access. It was what they taught me—and the learning curve was more intimidating than my Chemistry 14CL class. Getting thrown into a situation, sometimes completely unprepared, and quickly figuring out not just how to capture the essence of what is happening, but to capture it in a way that’s never been done before. I had to look at seemingly boring situations and figure out how to make them visually interesting for the readers.
If I could go back in time and sit next to that hesitant sophomore staring at a computer and debating if the lack of sleep was worth the slim chance of becoming a Daily Bruin photographer, I would tell him the wise words that plague Facebook album covers: “YOLO”—which from its perpetual usage could stand for “Youth Often Lack Originality.”
Luxenberg was a senior staff photographer from 2011-2012, an assistant photo editor from 2010-2011, and a contributing photographer from 2009-2010.
Copy editor’s hoarded newspaper memories jump off the page
In my room back home sits a box full of personal mementos—my crown from my high school senior ball, a Diddy Riese tin can filled with trinkets I collected my first year of college, a blue packet bursting at the seams with pamphlets, tickets and receipts I accumulated while studying abroad.
In my room in my apartment sits an embarrassingly large pile of Daily Bruin newspapers.
I’m a bit of a collector, you see (or a hoarder, depending on who’s asking). On occasion, I like to go through my old belongings and admire them, fondly recalling these memories from the past.
I do this with the newspapers I’ve stored up, too.
I can recall a unique memory from every one of them: that night I forgot to check the blues and watched as my friend completely re-designed a page at 1:30 in the morning; that time when I thought up the perfect headline that fit the space just right; that issue for our undergraduate election, a night when I finally plopped down on my bed at 4 a.m. after an entire newsroom pulled together to create some truly amazing content.
What my stash of papers won’t tell me is all the other times I spent with my friends, both in and out of that windowless, unreasonably warm place known as the Daily Bruin office.
Like all those nights my friends and I, exhausted after finally sending the layouts to pagination, simply sat around and talked about life and the scary prospect of growing up as we waited for the call from the printer.
Or the moment I ceased to be the token male slot editor and instead became a fellow small Asian girl in Copy’s coterie.
And the occasions spent bonding outside the office—the retreats, the feasts and (oh, yes) all of the parties—there’s no single item that can encapsulate the joy I felt from those experiences.
The articles printed in these issues don’t tell the whole story. They don’t reveal the stress involved with daily production, the pride I feel when I see someone pick up the paper or all the laughter that takes place in Kerckhoff 118.
I’ve amassed so many copies of the Daily Bruin, but all the fun times I’ve had in the office can’t be depicted on a dozen pages, no matter how many papers we print.
And that’s the beauty of it—all the highs and lows of my life, they can’t be summarized by any material item, whether it’s a box full of guides and brochures or a mountain of newspapers.
These memories go beyond the page, shared in part by all my friends and stored forever in my mind.
I like to keep and preserve objects that signify big moments in my life. For this past year, no number of items could have captured my happiness of being an editor at the Daily Bruin.
Lau was a slot editor from 2011-2012, a copy staffer from 2010-2011, and a copy contributor from 2009-2010.
A home to return to
After four weeks of training, I felt ready to take on my first story. After the Arts & Entertainment sectionÕs intern party, I felt like I had found my college family. After my first two articles—the only stories I would write my first quarter at the Daily Bruin—went to print, I felt like a real journalist.
But at the end of the quarter, I dropped out of school for three years. When I came back to UCLA as a 22-year-old second-year, the only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to start writing for the Daily Bruin again as soon as possible.
I went to the A&E editors and told them my story. I had an assignment that weekend.
Despite different faces, it was still the same Daily Bruin.
The office at 118 Kerckhoff still had the same layout. A&E still occupied the same corner of the newsroom. Stacks of CDs and unreviewed novelty books littered the shelves and desks. There still were deadlines. And there still were no Oxford commas—a testament to the fact that true style never changes.
Our daily product had not changed, neither had the process by which writers and editors create the product. But more than anything, the fact that the Daily Bruin felt like a home to me had not changed—no matter who led the paper.
Charles Proctor. Alene Tchekmedyian. Farzad Mashhood. Lauren Jow.
These are the Daily Bruin editors-in-chief under whom I have worked. I think of these four men and women as great leaders. Each had different struggles as they tried to take the newspaper in new directions, navigating the increasingly tempestuous climate of print journalism. Their leadership was essential to the success of the newspaper.
But even the top dog at the Daily Bruin is eventually forgotten. No other undergraduate at the Bruin remembers Proctor. In a few years, Tchekmedyian, Mashhood and Jow will fade from memory. And what about me?
I have written so infrequently this year that my byline hardly even knows who I am. Most writers who joined staff this year will not even recognize my face in that mugshot up above.
If the general readership of the Daily Bruin concedes to even scan this column, most will agree with the statement: ”I never heard of the guy.“
And thatÕs fine by me. I soon realized that I did not write for the Daily Bruin to get a byline. I later realized that journalism was not my lifelong passion.
I have always written because I wanted a place where I felt I belonged. A place that would never go away, even if the people did. I wanted a place, not where I would be remembered, but one that I could never forget.
That is exactly what I got with the Daily Bruin. Something real, everyday, making it true. Something to hold in my hands, even if that something never knows it was held.
Daniel Boden wrote for A&E in 2006 and from 2009-2012. He worked for multimedia from 2010-2012 and was web producer for the summer of 2011.