New editor, same Cigar

Well, here we are.

This is the first issue of the Good Five Cent Cigar in 2022 and it is also the first edition of the Cigar with me as editor in chief.

Though I have been dreaming of and working towards this for the better part of three years, I am still shocked when I think of the journey I am embarking on currently. 

While I will miss those who retired last semester, I could not be happier with my editorial team this semester. I genuinely believe that I could not have a better Cigar staff behind me.

I would like to specifically thank my current editors for the work that they put into this issue: Adam Zangari, Juliana Lepore, Liz Fusco, Aniekan Okon, Ronan Himelrick, Imani Fleming, Leah Popovic, Morgan Maleonskie, Maddie Bataille and Nadia Sutyrina. I believe each of you has a great future ahead of you and I hope to be a part of it.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I joined the Cigar as a freshman five semesters ago. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been paired with then editor-in-chief Ian Wiener as a tour guide before coming to the University of Rhode Island. Whether it was a moment of luck or a coincidence, it may have been one of the most pivotal moments of my life.

Since then I have been a contributing reporter, staff reporter, web editor, news editor and now editor in chief. During this time, I have learned and grown so much. I have learned about countless aspects of writing and journalism. Although I do not plan to go into the field of journalism at this point, being a student journalist has given me so much.

During my time as editor, I hope to continue the legacy of the editors before me. I have big shoes to fill. On top of that, I hope to orient the Cigar towards covering the social issues that we face today. In the past, the Cigar has not covered many of the pressing racial, sexual and gender issues that we face as a community. I promise to prioritize these issues and cover the inequality that lasts at URI.

The Cigar was started with the intention of being “a thumb in the eye of the administration.” While I hope to work alongside administrators at the University to be the student voice of the University, the spirit of the Cigar is still alive.

All of this being said, this wouldn’t be a welcome column without me thanking a few wonderful people. 

First, thank you Ian Wiener for opening the door for me into the Cigar, I would not have felt anywhere near as welcome without your invitation. Thank you Kayla Laguerre-Lewis for being my first close friend in the Cigar when we were staff reporters. I would not have been able to get through pitch meetings without having you alongside me. Thank you Nicole Wagner and Mary Lind for being my mothers and friends, you are both cornerstones of my sanity. Thank you Theresa Brown for being my daily inspiration even when you are far away, I truly hope to be like you one day. Finally, thank you Kate LeBlanc. Words cannot describe what you have done for me. I will always circle back to asking what mother hen would do when I am in doubt.

Thank you to anyone who has gotten this far. I can’t wait for the year ahead. In classic Cigar fashion, we’ll circle back on how I’m feeling in about a year.