From The Basement: Started from the Bottom

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I have filled the role of sports editor for almost a year now, and I have yet to participate in a weekly version of “From the Basement.” The purpose of this column is typically to give an opinion on a contemporary sports issue, yet I ask that this week I take a different approach. Rather than going on a long-winded rant, I choose to inform our readers on the true growth I have seen within this section. This is not only because I feel we have all heard enough opinions within the past week, but because this section has made significant strides within the past year that should be noted.

If I am being completely transparent, I decided to apply for this position on a last-minute whim last December. At the time, I was a freshman who only had one semester of journalistic expertise under her belt, and I had no idea what I was doing applying to a board position so early. However, I was encouraged by our then-Editor-In-Chief, now Tulane alumna Lily Milwit, to take a shot at the position because it suited my interests and my personality. As a football-loving Southern girl, I realized she was not too far from the truth, and I sent in my application.

From there, I had to prepare myself for an interview in front of the then-managing board. Now, for those of you who do not know me, interviews are not my strong suit. I am a very quiet-natured person, and I typically enjoy keeping to myself. This position was something I wanted desperately, however, so I knew I would have to step outside of my comfort zone a little.  So there I was, in business professional clothes, standing next to one of the other candidates, who was stunting a St. Louis Cardinals hat and Tulane football shirt. I was convinced he would get the position over me. Little did I know that I was sitting next to my future co-editor, Grant Barnes.

Shortly after, Grant and I both received the email confirming our acceptances, and we got to work rebuilding the section. The first semester working together was rough, I will admit. We came back into the spring semester with no consistent writers and no relationship with Tulane Athletics’ Strategic Communication department. We did not let this hinder us from our goal, and even though it took us writing multiple stories a week, we got the job done. By the time May came around, we had a solid associate editor and a strong relationship with Tulane athletics, a feat that even Grant and I did not think we could accomplish.

Coming back after summer break has been a more difficult transition, as external communications have not been in our favor as of yet. Nonetheless, the Sports Section has been producing outstanding content that flows with contemporary issues and truly analyzes the performance of athletes both on the collegiate and national level. The content that the section publishes every week never ceases to make me smile and proud of the team we have created.

Currently, the sports section is home to two outstanding associate editors, Colleen Drangines and Bella Baff, along with three dedicated and talented writers. This is much more than we could have hoped for within this section, and I am constantly amazed at how much this “last minute” decision has rewarded me over the past year. I would not trade it for anything.