The Student News Site of State University of New York at Brockport

The Stylus

The Stylus

The Stylus

I never had to drive alone  


A farewell from the Editor-in-Chief 

Staring at the asylum-green painted walls that enclose our newsroom has never felt more like home. Behind the locked door lay stacks on stacks of scattered newspapers and ideas—life without movement.  

When I turn the knob and step onto the gray commercial carpet (that could really use a thorough vacuuming), I walk in place of the dozens of inspiring student journalists who came before me. Students who have pushed boundaries with their words. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to do the same.   

I’d compare leading this group of incredibly talented and driven writers to driving down a country road—the kind without shoulders or lines splitting the two-way. It’s scenic, peaceful and safe, but there are always potholes and surprise deer that sometimes jump in the way. The thing about this team, though, is that the car is always full. I never had to drive alone.  

Lainey Porter stepped into the shotgun seat of managing editor as only a sophomore. She’s been my right hand through everything. Her writing is captivating, and her voice is strong, but the head on her shoulders has taught me more than I ever thought it could. It’s solid and steady and open. She sees the big picture, and in a newsroom, much like in life, that’s worth everything. It’s been the best support, and I’m confident it will take her anywhere, and I mean anywhere that she wants it to.  

Each one of my section editors has taken a turn in the passenger seat—always stepping up when needed, always making room for other voices.   

Cambrie Eckert served as news editor this year, and after two semesters, I’m still convinced she’s the best one out there for the job. News is the root of our paper. It’s the essence of what we strive to do. Cambrie is sharp, detail-oriented and incredibly passionate. The amount of heart she’s brought to the position and The Stylus as a whole has helped showcase our purpose in the strongest ways possible.  

Our current features editor took on the position this semester, and my only complaint is that I didn’t have more time with her. Graciella Dressler has done more than fulfilled her role. Her ideas for the section have always been top-tier, and her commitment and passion to making our paper the best it can be speaks for itself through her words. I think she’d be an amazing editor-in-chief one day.  

Like Graci, our entertainment editor took on his role just this semester. Sam Piccione has brought more pizzazz to the entertainment section than it’s had in a long time. His layouts and designs are dignified and impressive. And his writing—I don’t think I could come up with words to explain how enchanting it is. You’ll have to read his pieces for yourself. I’m not sure if he’s planning on writing a book sometime in his life, but I really hope he does. I have no doubt it’ll be a bestseller.   

Our two sports editors, Mike Rose and Shannon Blankenship, have revamped the sports section and brought the life to it that it deserves. They’ve found ways to engage more readers and attract more sports writers. They’ve written 90% of the sports stories themselves, attended games every week and have found stories that often get hidden behind the “top athletes.” Specifically, Mike’s game coverage has been so immersive. He’s reported on the events firsthand—detailing plays, steals, goals and the little moments that are missed if one isn’t all in. It’s brought our sports coverage to a new level, one that everyone is proud of.    

Our copy editor Jaden Smith, our social media manager Mia Pandža and each one of our staff writers have contributed so much to this paper. It truly wouldn’t be as great as it is without them.  

It would be wrong to not acknowledge our advisor Kim Young. Since the first day I walked into her classroom, she’s been more than just a professor. She’s been a therapist, a life coach, the humor in the stress, my rock and most importantly, a friend. I will miss our weekly 30-minute meetings that turn into 60 minutes of laughs. The Stylus will always be strong with her as the advisor. She’s as tall as a Ferris wheel, the way I look up to her.   

Looking forward, someone new gets to pick out the “car” for next year, and the one person who’s always said yes, who people—including myself—admire and look up to, is Shannon Blankenship. I’m absolutely delighted to welcome her as our new editor-in-chief. She’s a natural leader and a team player. She’s headstrong in all the best ways, and with her at the helm, success is inevitable. I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes, and I’m thankful I get to pass something I hold so close to my heart over to sturdy hands.   

It’s hard knowing I’ll only get to drive this talented group for a few more weeks—that I’ll only get to unlock the office door a handful of times more. Even the green coating the walls is something I find myself nostalgic about, (and damn, it is so ugly).  

My time as an athlete wearing green and gold is coming to an end, professors who offer passionate guidance and knowledge who I’ve been surrounded by daily won’t be standing in front of me for 6 p.m. class and The Stylus papers will no longer print with my name on them.  

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for what’s next—even though I’m not entirely sure what that is—but I still wish I had more time. I always seem to feel that way. I’m incredibly slow but keep things slow on purpose. The longer I can soak it all in, the better. It’s been a year of rebuilding at The Stylus. The returning members were scarce, and we didn’t have a strong team right off the bat. While there are so many things I wish I could have accomplished this year and didn’t quite get to, I am proud to have rebuilt an organization, which in my opinion, is currently the best it’s been in a very long time.   

Brockport was the last college I wanted to attend. Blunt statement, I know, but it’s true. I started out at SUNY Geneseo, did this and that, and eventually transferred here. Four of my seven college years have been spent at Brockport, and I’m so grateful to say that the once confused and lost 17-year-old freshman is now having a hard time grappling with the fact that her time as a Golden Eagle is ending. The people who have created moments important enough to turn into memories have filled the past four years with more love, sincerity and chutzpah than I could have ever imagined. I don’t know if I believe in luck, but wow, do I feel it now. To each one of you—I am eternally grateful.   

With love,  

Sarah Killip, Editor-in-Chief 

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