Alexandra Detweiler and Quinn Castaneda have been the backbone of TechNews for well over two years, serving as editor-in-chief and assistant editor-in-chief together since the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year. Castaneda served another term as assistant editor-in-chief before that as well, during the 2018-2019 school year. The organization would absolutely not be the same without them, and the TechNews office will miss them greatly as they move on to bigger and better things. As the incoming editor-in-chief, I’ve decided to pen my goodbye to them — and my general thoughts on this changing of the guard — in a format I’ve done about once every semester since the spring of 2019 semester: framing everything with one of the five senses. This is not literal at all, but more a way to work through five different topics and separate my ideas. It’s also always been an excuse to be melodramatic and needlessly flowery, but it’s a format I enjoy. This one is dedicated to Detweiler, Castaneda, and all other graduating members of TechNews.
Sight: Detweiler and Castaneda have been a consistent presence in the TechNews office since I joined in fall 2017, as a first semester freshman. For the entirety of the time I have taken TechNews seriously, since about the fall of 2018, Castaneda has been the assistant editor-in-chief. The two were almost synonymous with the TechNews office, alongside the stark whiteboard filled with TechNews style rules, the ever-beckoning gallon of beige animal crackers, and the distracting set of that bright red carpet against the black of the desks and cabinets. I have not been in the office for an extended period of time since March 2020, and I miss sharing that space and seeing TechNews members mill in-and-out greatly.
Smell: Does my nose detect slander? The generation of Ethan Castro’s slanderous hijinks and Soren Spicknall’s adjunct-bashing is gone. Detweiler and Castaneda graduating marks the end of an entire generation of amazing TechNews writers before me. All of the late greats that introduced me to the organization — Spicknall, Castro, Annie Zorn — are already gone, now with Detweiler and Castaneda joining them, too.
Touch: Not to be melodramatic, but my heart is just heavy with everybody leaving. Along with Detweiler and Castaneda, Arika Ho is graduating this semester, with her amazing foreign policy articles leaving with her. The late great Areej Siddiqui graduated last semester as well, and I didn’t even know until about two weeks before she was set to graduate. After I wrote a bad take about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Abhishek Krishna Vandadi showed up in the fall of 2019 to tell me I wasn’t being nuanced enough, though he just as soon left the following year, graduating in the spring of 2020. Sundaresh Senguttuvan, the stalwart of distribution and satire — who put out some of the most unexpectedly funny pieces I’ve read in my time here — leaves the heavy role of distribution manager in the capable hands of Ryan Mendoza.
Just as encouraging is the rest of the upcoming generation of writers and TechNews contributors, who make my heart blossom and swell in my chest when I think about what the next year might bring. Barien Gad’s WiSTEM programs and related work have been encouraging and, as it turns out, very sorely needed on this campus. Sameer Sheikh is a Student Government Association (SGA) tank, and nothing else needs to be said. Angela Petrone has an amazing writing voice with fantastic contributions on worldwide and foreign policy topics, filling the void that Ho’s departure is set to leave. She also brings a unique set of perspectives as an international student from Italy and a rare digital humanities major. It makes me laugh so hard, until my stomach begins to hurt, to know that the TechNews Instagram account that I very, very sincerely started as a joke is still going, and I look forward to its future under our new Public Relations Chair Rushali Joshi. A fire of rage burns in my core, heating everything from my chest to my fingers, fueled by hate against two other TechNews contributors: Tejas Nanaware, who sucked me back into “Attack on Titan” and now has me dying for the last part of its fourth season, and Jack Hamilton, for daring to be a such a caricature of the most contemptible class: gamers. I cannot wait until Kris Shiflet comes back to the city and gets the opportunity to walk through their list of things to do; they’re a fantastic TechNews contributor, and I look forward to welcoming them back. Even if not named here, every single TechNews member, their contributions, and knowing the amount of effort they put into their articles puts the stupidest little smile on my face.
If I felt any pressure or weight on my shoulders heading into this position, it would be lifted by knowing that I’m entering this coming school year with the capable and amazing Kevin Barrera as my assistant editor-in-chief and, hopefully by this point, my good friend. I cannot wait to see what the next year holds for TechNews.
Taste: I pledge to burn my tongue on a coffee from the 7-Eleven at every in-person copy editing meeting throughout my fifth year to make up for the times I couldn’t with Detweiler, Castaneda, Barrera, Ho, or any of the other editors or editorial board members in the office as well.
Hearing: I ought to hear nothing but applause for Detweiler and Castaneda, who weathered the storm of an incredibly difficult last year in the organization. I do not envy them for the job they had of keeping the organization afloat and planning a year’s worth of virtual events and meetings. They have done an absolutely incredible job during COVID-19, ensuring continued printing, paper delivery, and just not having the organization fold in half like many businesses and clubs have. My hats off to them. As they depart, let’s have a round of congratulations, applause, thanks, gratitude, and even a grand trumpet fanfare — the best horn in music — for the best two-year executive board pairing to ever do it. To Alexandra Detweiler and Quinn Castaneda, TechNews would not be the same without you, and we cannot thank you for your time here enough.