Board 147 looks to improve upon predecessors
The Daily Targum has had a rich 147 years of history, from covering the first collegiate football game and suggesting that Rutgers change its color to scarlet to gaining its independence from the University. This year alone, the Targum covered a great deal of big news, such as the Condoleezza Rice protests, Rutgers’ entering the Big Ten Conference and New Brunswick’s #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations.
As the archivists of University history and curators of campus discussion, the 146th editorial board took great pride in covering such events and carrying out Targum’s traditional values. Yet, last Friday marked the time for them to pass the torch to their successors. Although the Targum’s 147th editorial board faces a great deal of challenges in the evolving world of journalism, these talented students are driven, eager and ready to take the reins.
Newly appointed Editor-in-Chief Marielle Sumergido, a School of Nursing junior, started her tenure at The Daily Targum as a staff photographer in September 2012.
From there, Sumergido, from Monroe Township, New Jersey, secured a spot on the masthead as the 145th board’s Social Media Editor and later the 146th board’s Online Editor.
Her decision to push herself to the top of the masthead was rooted in a desire to push herself to become a leader and absorb as much experience as possible.
Managing Editor Michelle Klejmont, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, joined the Targum the first day of the Spring 2014 semester after seeing a post on the Rutgers Photographers’ Facebook page. Soon after, she became the 146th board’s Photo Editor.
“Once I got here, I was hooked,” said Klejmont, from Bayonne, New Jersey.
To Klejmont, the Targum community was the hook that reeled her in. As editors, both her and Sumergido became addicted to Targum culture. Some of their favorite collegiate memories transpired in the Mine Street editorial office, such as singing karaoke late at night, dancing to goofy YouTube songs and laughing at Ollie the Hedgehog’s antics.
One of Sumergido’s favorite aspects of working at the paper is meeting new people and watching editors and staffers grow and succeed.
But the two leading ladies also prioritize the growth of the paper as a whole. They want to promote a digital-first mentality and find creative ways to incorporate video and other multimedia into storytelling.
Sumergido hopes to make content fun and approachable, and Klejmont believes as students intertwined in the Rutgers community, the editorial board’s relatability can help them do so.
NEWS TEAM, ASSEMBLE
School of Arts and Sciences junior Katie Park stepped up to lead Targum’s news desk as News Editor after working as a correspondent for more than a year. Having lived in six different states and working for Newark-based nonprofits her freshman year, Park brings a fresh, socially-conscious perspective to the news desk.
Already, pieces of her vision for the news desk have come to fruition. Loyal Targum readers will notice that today’s paper excludes a University section, includes a police blotter and features writers’ Twitter handles at the end of each news story.
Long-term, Park aims to legitimize the Targum, veering away from boring event coverage and producing stories that students want to read.
Her creativity and work ethic will help her accomplish this, along with the help of her three associates: Dan Corey, a Rutgers Business School first-year, Avalon Zoppo, a Rutgers Business School first-year, and Natasha Tripathi, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.
Even though Corey consistently asserts that “news is hard,” his intuition combined with Zoppo’s passion for writing and Tripathi’s care for the community make them an effective team.
Opinions Editor Yvanna Saint-Fort, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, became involved in the Targum last semester with her column, ‘Three Layers Deep,” where she discussed the social issues that affect black America.
Her personal experience facing these issues allowed her to form a thick skin that binds together an “unashamed” sense of self — consequently, Saint-Fort brings confidence to her desk.
With this position, she hopes to inspire columnists to be perceptive and sharp and plans to encourage diverse sets of student leaders to share their views and stories.
“THE SPORTS GUYS”
Garrett Stepien, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, developed a liking for sports at a young age — before he could read, he would flip through the pages of the Star-Ledger’s sports section.
Nevertheless, Stepien hesitantly joined the Targum at the will of his mother, beginning in the Fall 2013 semester as the beat writer for women’s track.
Now, he feels humbled to take on the position of Sports Editor, working alongside Associate Sports Editor Kevin Xavier, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.
Xavier, who previously served as managing editor of Mercer County Community College’s “The College VOICE,” wants to bring his versatility to the desk. With Xavier’s experience in videography, the two editors plan to transform sports storytelling by incorporating multimedia into the desk.
THE NEW AND THE OLD
School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Danielle Gonzalez had stepped down from her role as Managing Editor to assume the Associate Features Editor position.
Under Gonzalez’s leadership, the Targum revamped its arts and entertainment section, Inside Beat, and with her new position, she will have the opportunity to strengthen it. Now that she no longer co-manages the office, she intends to focus more on thinking creatively and exercising her writing muscles.
The 147th board also has its fair deal of fresh faces, including Social Media Editor Melanie Goulet, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year. Goulet originally intended to work at the design desk but reasoned that working with social media is more fun. “Everyone has social media, so why not,” she said.
She hopes that social media will help the Targum engage with its online readership and is willing to experiment with new platforms, including Snapchat.
Although several positions have yet to be filled, Sumergido said she is confident in the abilities of the current trainees: Chris Roney, Maegan Kae Sunaz, Aaron Savage, Ramya Chitibomma, Naaz Modan and Rachel Narozniak.
Alexandra Meier is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies and Anthropology. She is the former editor-in-chief of The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @alexrosemeier for more stories.