Editor’s Note | October 2022
Goodbyes are hard.
Last week I had my last board meeting as editor of YDN magazine. It was an open board meeting with many writers walking in and out of the newsroom for final edits. In what has already become a lasting memory for me, I worked with Isabella Zou, EIC Mag 2020-2021, on her personal essay, “The Pole Climb”, while Abigail Sylvor Greenberg, outgoing ME and incoming 2022-2023 Mag EIC, seated across the table, made the final revisions to Noah Humphrey’s religious commentary, “To the Preacher.” As the rest of the 2021-2022 Board filtered upstairs to attend the meeting, Isa and I stayed behind – both to finish discussing her article and also to reflect and reminisce.
Like Isa, YDN Mag was one of my most meaningful experiences at Yale, from writing staff to associate editor to finally taking on the role of managing editor with my amazing sidekick Claire Lee. In addition to the long nights checking content in both rooms, Claire and I spent a lot of time thinking about the culture we wanted to create as EICs. We have set up social activities such as our inter-campus print sales to support our staff of 30. The day before print sales, our board and staff would gather in the YDN basement with glitter glue, scissors, newspaper scraps, googly eyes, and the like. to handcraft souvenirs that would be used to print the Mag. Everyone was very politely following my favorite songs while purposefully cutting pieces of construction paper – in fact, embracing our vision, for which I couldn’t be more grateful.
But producing the magazine has always been a collaborative labor of love, as we couldn’t produce a publication without YDN’s amazing photo, illustration, copy and production and design editors. However, this issue is special because it’s the first time we’ve had a designated creative director, the imitable Catherine Kwon, who has already done a lot to create Mag’s new visual aesthetic. This increased focus on production will help propel Mag into the already emerging digital media culture that is rapidly transforming newsrooms across the country. But more importantly, I had the greatest pleasure of working closely on my latest issue with such a kind and caring soul and a knowledgeable and innovative designer.
This problem is about leaving everything on the ground, as my mother says. This is the first issue of the current volume of YDN Mag which contains a humorous article, Hannah Mark’s brilliant “Inventing H (Annah)”, and an opinion piece, Loren Bass-Sanford’s incisive critique of Yale’s music department. Gavin Guerrette’s stunning photo essay ‘Coming Home’ explores his changing relationship with his home, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, after a year of struggling with Yale’s unthinkable wealth. Caleb Dunson’s Full Profile of Christopher D. Betts follows Betts’ journey as a black and queer artist from elementary school to directing the Jeff Recommended production of “Dreamgirls” at the Paramount Aurora Theater in Aurora, Illinois. And Tyler Jager, in “Tenant Chemistry,” follows Connecticut Tenant Union organizers and local residents as they fight hard for their housing rights against exploitative landlords like Pike and Ocean Management.
I am so proud of the stories told in this issue of Mag. I hope they inspire you to challenge the status quo and remind you that your livelihood is worth fighting for. As I was reminded again and again during my senior fall: nothing lasts forever; all bets are off.