Opinion | Columns

Gratitude to past, present, and future Speccies for inspiration and dedication

Thank you Mikey Zhong for writing one of the best senior columns of all time, and for telling me I could steal the format. Here goes.

My elders
Thank you Ben Cotton for setting an upstanding and conscientious example—you were my first role model at Spec. Thank you Thomas Rhiel, Alix Pianin for not being intimidating when I introduced myself at that open house, Betsy Morais, Joy Resmovits, Maggie Astor, Christine Jordan, Akhil Mehta, Mrinal Mohanka for Senior in the Springtime, Jim Pagels for your levelheaded wisdom and common sense. Thank you Sam Levin for encouraging me to run for deputy news editor—I don’t know that I would have had the confidence otherwise. Thank you Michele Cleary, Sam Roth for not being the same person as me, Jeremy Bleeke, Ann Chou, Alex Collazo, Jasper L. Clyatt, Phoebe Lytle, Amanda Cormier, Hannah D’Apice for your warmth and kindness—you made me feel at home at Spec.

News is the best
Thank you Leah Greenbaum for teaching me to pay attention to the human element—working with you made me a better journalist, and getting to know you made me a better person. Thank you Amber Tunnell for taking me to my first University Senate plenary and teaching me how to deputy, Karla Jimenez, Jackie Carrero, Sonalee Rau, Chelsea Lo, Shira Poliak, Madina Toure for being such a dedicated beat chief in your post-deputy days, Emily Neil for your easygoing attitude, Arvin Ahmadi, Jessica Stallone, Jordan Freisleben, Kelly Lane, Emma Goss for rewriting my Twitter bio (and for your mad pumpkin-carving skills!). Thank you Ben Gittelson for camping out in Zuccotti Park, Margaret Mattes for owning the Peña-Mora storyline, Gina Lee for being a mentor to so many Speccies, Jillian Kumagai for falling in love with Spec and never looking back. Thank you Daphne Chen, Rakhi Agrawal, Luke Barnes, Qiuyun Tan, Naomi Cohen, Lillian Chen for your sincerity and encouragement, Avantika Kumar for your gentle spirit and unmatched work ethic, Josephine McGowan, Chris Meyer, Tracey Wang for covering communities we’ve never been good at covering, Cecilia Reyes for promoting #NewSpec like nobody’s business, Maia Bix, Yasemin Akçagüner, Emma Bogler, Deborah Secular, Channing Prend. Thank you Sophie Gamez, Elizabeth Sedran for inviting me to your seder, Rana Hilal, Sharon Liao, Eva Kalikoff for pretty much being Tweeter of the Century (and for forgiving me when I mispronounce your name). 

To 136
First, of course, is Sarah Darville—your poise and vision were a constant source of inspiration for me and so many other Speccies. Thank you Maggie Alden for the late-night comma arguments, Stephen Snowder for making silly jokes and commenting on my ROTC articles, Daniela Quintanilla for managing to serve on a Turkeyshoot board and then Turkeyshoot the next year. Thank you Andrea García-Vargas for making me aware of so many diverse perspectives, Abby Mitchell for braving the trip to West Harlem with me to report my first (and your second) story, Trevor Cohen for figuring out how to make money, Lanbo Zhang for sticking to your convictions—I’ve always respected you for that. Thank you Maya Fegan for making the design office a stress-free place, Abigail Fisch for building community within copy and across Spec, Ashton Cooper, Tala Akhavan, Jake Davidson, Zara Castany, Jeremiah Sharf, Anneliese Cooper, Meredith Foster, Cathi Choi, Rex Macaylo, Yuma Shinohara for making The Greatest Graphics of All Time. Thank you Henry Willson for being one of my first friends at Columbia, and for sticking it out with me the last four years. I can’t believe we’re here.

I’m glad our paths crossed
Thank you Nicole Santoro for joining team “university,” Emily Sorensen, Ben Sheng for your general adorableness, Bob Sun, Rega Jha, Adil Habib, Ayèlet Pearl, Leo Schwartz for making me think Big Thoughts, Douglas Kessel for your chipper spirit, Christina Phan, Kyle Perrotti, Pete Bohnhof, Kate Scarbrough for taking that great photo of my family at CDSAAD, Krista White, David Ecker. Thank you Jennifer Fearon, Ryan Cho, Gabe Falk, Nathalie Barton, Peter Andrews for your bold words and kind heart, Laura Wasserman for lending Spectrum your unique humor and charm, Chancellor Agard for validating my TV obsessions, Rosa Smith, Nelson Castaño, Nicole Bleuel, Steele Sternberg, Rachel Smith, Max Marshall, Jenny Payne, Derek Arthur, Burhan Sandhu, Stefan Countryman, P.J. Sauerteig. Thank you Orli Matlow for Getting Graphic, Kyla Cheung, Olivia Aylmer, Neha Sundaram, Andrea Shang, Alessandra Poblador, Camille Baptista, Grace Kim, Jim Yoon, Becca Arbacher, Ione Wang for every amazing illustration (especially the Orientation 2013 cover). Thank you Madeleine Schwab, Peter Bailinson, Nicolas Sambor, Sinjihn Smith, Luke Henderson, Allison Schlissel, Carroll Gelderman, Katie McMahon, Rachel Dunphy, Anuj Sharma, Jenny Xu, Rukmini Mahurkar, Sarah Batchu, Celine Gordon, Rebecca Schwarz, Abigail Golden, Alexandra Warrick. Thank you Ellen Lannon and Dan Smullyan for keeping Spectator running like clockwork, and for caring about all us Speccies. We owe you guys. 

To 137
It’s hard to know where to start. Oh yeah, thank you Doug Bienstock for telling the joke about the bear and the rabbit. Thank you David Brann for your honesty and sharp insight, Lesley Thulin and Charlotte Murtishaw for making funny faces from the A&E office toward the Panopticon, Rikki Novetsky for your confident leadership and ambition, Regie Mauricio for always being such a pleasure to be around, no matter how late the hour (and for Wing). Thank you Rebeka Cohan for making Spectator a mentally and physically healthier place, Alison Macke for not abusing your power to hit people in the face, Alex Smyk for the #CATZ, Jeremy Budd and Casey Tolan for being the greatest successors Finn and I could have asked for—we love you guys and miss hanging out with you at 4 a.m. Thank you Myles Simmons for defining sports journalism at Spectator, Laura Booth for keeping a cool head in a crisis, Suze Myers for writing funny tweets even when I don’t understand them, Nika Madyoon for making H-W proud, Annie Wang for being The Eye’s secret weapon. Thank you Yasmin Gagné for making opinion shine, and for holding things together no matter how tough it got—I have so much respect for everything you’ve accomplished at Spec. Thank you Ryan Veling for your selflessness, and for being such an incredible role model to your staff (and to me). Thank you Sara Garner, Alison Herman, Alan Seltzer, Rob Frech for introducing yourself 20 times, Wes Rodriguez for the Oren’s gift card, Grace Bickers for your sage counsel. Thank you Isaac White for doing things that nobody else could have done, and for being such a steadfast friend. Bagels tomorrow?

The future
I know 138 is the present, but you guys will always be the future to me. Abby Abrams and Steven Lau, Finn and I are unbelievably proud of you, and so impressed by the leadership and vision you’ve shown this year. Stay bold, stay brilliant. Thank you Alanna Browdy, Will McCormack, Karen Nan, Albert Cui, Megan Kallstrom for that incredible Nicolas Cage face you made during your Turkeyshoot interview, Samantha Cooney for carrying on the campus news legacy of hard-hitting investigative reporting, Christian Zhang for following your spot-on reporting instincts. Thank you Mihika Barua, Samantha Sokol, David Salazar for your wisdom about dreams and sleep, Sarah Roth, Muneeb Alam, Eli Schultz, Emma Finder for being so damn good at everything you’ve set out to do, Megan Cunnane, Lisa Huang, Kiera Wood, Natan Belchikov, Karl Daum. Thank you Dunni Oduyemi, Kierstin Utter for your thoughtful edits, Anna Espinola for making such beautiful art for my lead story, Parul Guliani, Mollie Galchus, Dan Garisto for caring about the quality of every article, every sentence, every word more than anyone else I’ve worked with at Spec (although sometimes you care too much). Thank you Sam Waters, Audrey Greene, Fred Enea, Michael Ouimette for rewriting Spec’s future.

Special people
Thank you Finn Vigeland for being my (journalistic) better half, and Melissa von Mayrhauser for seeing me across the office at a news meeting and thinking I looked mysterious. Spec was the best experience of my life, and you guys made it all worthwhile.

Sammy Roth is a Columbia College senior majoring in sustainable development. He was a deputy news editor for the 135th volume, campus news editor for the 136th managing board, and editor in chief for the 137th corporate board.

Read the rest of this year's senior columns here.

To respond to this column, or to submit an op-ed, contact opinion@columbiaspectator.com.

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Mikey posted on

Thank you Sammy Roth for one-upping my column, keeping your dry wit and humble spirit, covering Valentini's first town hall as dean with me, and dazzling a few generations of Speccies with your reporting, positivity, and hair.

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Sammy Roth posted on

You're welcome, Mikey! I'd almost forgotten about the Valentini town hall...the thing that really stands out for me is when you taught me to liveblog before that ROTC town hall.

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I counted posted on

203 names

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Anonymous posted on

liek dis if u creiy errytime 4 spec ;______;

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