I first became involved with the Southern Accent because it was required for a news reporting class. This was in the beginning of my sophomore year. I was extremely shy and intimidated. The professor, Accent adviser Alva James-Johnson, told me I looked like I was about to cry. However, as I gained more experience with conducting interviews and writing articles, I learned to set aside my fears just to get each assignment done.
I am not sure when I actually started to enjoy the process. But after the class ended, I found myself wanting to become more involved in student journalism. I became a lead reporter and covered the Student Association election on campus. And, I continued writing stories remotely during the spring and summer quarantine last year. When I returned to campus, I became a copyeditor. Now, at the end of my junior year, I am in training to serve as next year’s editor-in-chief.
My main goal for next year is to strengthen two-way communication between the Accent and the student body. I want to provide outlets for students to send feedback or post tips through social media. If students want to become more involved by contributing articles, stories or opinions, I want to encourage that by providing easier means of contact with the editors.
I also want to expand topic coverage in the sports section. The Accent has been covering mainly national and international sports stories. Next year, I want to include on-campus sports events as well.
I recognize that next year will be difficult. Just like when I was in the news reporting class, I am feeling a little intimidated and nervous. But I am also excited for the new experience.
I appreciate the guidance and support from this year’s Accent team, especially from Paola Mora and Professor Johnson. They have taught me and continue to teach me many valuable things. I hope to use those lessons to better serve and be a voice for the student body.
I look forward to working with next year’s team and serving as your editor-in-chief for the 2021-2022 academic year.