Long live the Cigar!

PHOTO CREDIT: Maddie Bataille| Photo Editor

Since September 2, 2019, my life has been dominated by one thing: the Good Five Cent Cigar. That was the first Cigar meeting I ever attended. It was only my second week at the University of Rhode Island, and though I would never have admitted it, I was lonely and afraid.

I was lucky enough to have the former editor-in-chief of the Cigar, Ian Weiner, as my tour guide on a visit to Kingston before my freshman year at URI. He pushed me to attend the first meeting of the semester, and I was so nervous that I arrived 30 minutes early. Although I, a random freshman, arrived awkwardly early, I felt invited and at home by the end of the night. I already knew I wanted to be the editor one day, just like Ian.

This is all to say the Cigar has been my everything for these three years, but now is my time to move on and hand the reins to the next generation. This paper marks the end of my time at the Cigar. 

Working my way up from contributing reporter to staff reporter to web editor to news editor and finally, editor-in-chief has been a privilege that not many get. I have had the opportunity to take part in so many experiences, and I have been able to meet some amazing people along the way.

The Cigar serves as the main news source for the URI Kingston community, and I believe we have met that goal. Journalism is never easy, especially for student journalists who are also balancing classes and work, but we have not wavered in our commitment to this community. Of course, there have been errors along the way, but we have done everything we can to address those issues and improve in the future.

I only hope that the URI community knows how much we put into this paper and that it serves our community. Please continue reading the paper and reach out to us with any story tips, letters to the editor and feedback. Your participation only enriches the paper.

Now, I have so many people to thank. Thank you Ian Weiner for welcoming me into the Cigar and encouraging me to do my best from the first time we met. Kayla Michaud, thank you for pitching the first story I ever took and getting me started on my journey as a reporter.

Thank you Theresa Brown for inspiring me to live up to your example. You continue to inspire me to work harder and do better. I hope that you realize how much of an impact you had on me. To Evan McAlice, thank you for always being funny and kind when it was most needed.

Kate LeBlanc and Nicole Wagner, you are both like honorary parents to me. I only hope I was able to live up to the examples you set for me this past year. You both made the Cigar a home for everyone involved and constantly pushed us to do our best. You two shaped me into the person I am today. I want to thank Mary Lind for welcoming me into the Cigar with open arms and being one of the kindest people I know.

I want to thank Adam Zangari, my managing editor, for always being there to support me and check me when I need it. I couldn’t do any of this without you, and I couldn’t ask for a better person to work alongside. There is no amount of praise or money I could ever give you to thank you for standing with me all this time. I am truly honored to call you my friend.

I also want to say thank you to all the editors who worked with me during this past year: Jenny Kang, Juliana Lepore, Ronan Himelrick, Liz Fusco, Imani Fleming, Aniekan Okon, Leah Popovic, Claudia Stepien, Alexa Potamianos, Kyle Standing, Maddie Bataille, Nadia Sutyrina, and Morgan Maleonskie. I would say more about you all if I had the space, but I will state the obvious: I couldn’t have asked for a better team of editors and a better group of friends. I will never forget any of you, and I cannot wait to see all the things you do in the future. All I know is that whatever it is will be amazing.

I also need to thank Mallory Lentz for sticking beside me even through this journey. Thank you for being there when I needed you through all of the stressful times. Lastly, I would be remiss not to thank my parents for making this all possible. Your support throughout these past 20 years has made me who I am today. Thank you for making it all possible for me.

I am so excited to put the Cigar into the hands of Juliana Lepore as editor-in-chief and Ronan Himelrick as managing editor. I know the future of the Cigar will be bright with you two at the helm. 

I can’t thank all of these people enough for what they have done for me, but none of it would have mattered if it weren’t for you, dear reader.

The Cigar is my home, my community and my home. I am sad to be done with it, but I will forever be grateful for the three years of life this paper brought me.

Long live the Cigar!