Letter from the editor: staff changes for The Easterner

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By Drew Lawson, Sports Editor

Dear readers of The Easterner,

My name is Drew Lawson. I’m the sports editor here at The Easterner, and I wanted to let you know of some staffing changes going on within our student-run news organization.

Student staff members are the key to putting out a weekly print copy of The Easterner and also putting the content we generate on our website, theeasterner.org. Unfortunately, we have experienced a period of severe staff turnover among many of our key positions.

For various reasons that I won’t delve into out of respect for my former colleagues and still-current friends, in the past two months our editor-in-chief, managing editor, news editor and arts and features editor all left The Easterner. This clearly creates a culture shift within the organization, and decisions had to be made quickly as winter quarter got under way.

After much discussion with our director, Jeff Bunch, and our faculty adviser, Jamie Neely, a decision was made to make myself and our multimedia director, Malati Powell, co-managing editors in the interim in addition to our current positions. For now, a new editor-in-chief will not be hired.

Malati and I will accept many of the responsibilities bestowed upon higher management. It is certainly a break from past norms to have co-leadership at the top of the organization, but I fully trust Malati as a colleague and know that we will continue to put our best foot forward as we seek to create content for our readers to enjoy and be informed by. Malati is an experienced designer and photographer and has already shown great leadership skills in helping to keep the ship afloat in this time of transition.

I’d like to thank a few people who have been influential in keeping The Easterner running. Our former managing editor, Dylan Harris, stepped down at the beginning of winter quarter, but has continued to come in on layout nights as a favor and provided invaluable copy editing and advice to Malati and me. He’s been a calming force amidst a time of transition. 

Jeff Bunch and Jamie Neely have also been phenomenal aides. Jamie has provided editing, constant advice and guidance as decisions surrounding the paper are made. Jeff has also taken extra time out of his busy work schedule to make sure that those of us still on staff have the resources we need to keep running. The Easterner would have been in serious trouble without their help.

The Easterner does still have several holes to fill. We’ve hired Lizzy Price to be our new arts and features editor. Lizzy was formerly an arts and features reporter who quickly showed a knack for the job and will use her writing and creative skills to move into her new position seamlessly. You can expect some great content from the arts and features section under her guidance. 

We are still looking to hire a news editor, copy editor and one or two new reporters. Those positions will be made available on EWU’s Handshake site soon. Students interested in working for The Easterner and helping us create content that informs readers of the happenings at EWU are encouraged to apply. 

Though there has been much staff turnover, I want to stress that our mission remains the same. Many students have worked at The Easterner in its 103 years of existence, and it has become a reliable news source regarding the EWU community. I want that to continue throughout this school year, and Malati and I are committed to continuing that tradition while learning many valuable skills while doing so. Thank you for reading, and I hope that you continue following The Easterner for all things related to EWU news. 

Sincerely,

Drew Lawson