Letter from the Editor: Closing the door on an unprecedented year

Sanjali De Silva, Editor-in-Chief

When I started this job last June, I never imagined the triumphs and challenges I would face. This year has been the most difficult and most rewarding one of my life — and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

As I reflect on the past year, I must begin by expressing extreme gratitude for my staff. Every single editor, writer, artist, photographer, copy editor and fact-checker made the work we did possible. I have been so privileged and proud to lead such a talented group of dedicated student journalists. Thank you to my staff for chasing the stories, for advancing the truth and for spending endless hours in the Lavin-Bernick Center basement.

Documenting a historic year in Tulane’s history, we covered the passage of an Undergraduate Student Government legislation calling for an equity fee and the removal of a plantation bell that was once a symbol of school pride. 

We reported on a visit from United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the questionable College Board practice of purchasing SAT scores

We launched Hullabaloo HOME, delivering our print paper to doorsteps across the country. 

In the spring, our responsibility as reporters became even more serious — failing to report could put the health and well-being of the Tulane community at risk. From the first coronavirus case in Louisiana to life in quarantine, we provided consistent coverage to our readers. 

While other students were focused on packing up dorm rooms and saying hurried goodbyes, we were on the clock. I learned what resilience and commitment look like — sacrificing our own last hours with friends to keep our Tulane community informed. 

We had to make the difficult decision to stop printing, something The Hullabaloo has done only once before, during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. With no one on campus to pick up a physical copy, we put our all into digital content.

We compiled a video of students’ first reactions to having to finish the semester online, reported on petitions to support our community’s Sodexo workers, informed students of changes to the grading system and showed our readers what students are doing to stay connected during quarantine. 

Presenting another challenge of the online world, we had to elect our next Editor-in-Chief and Managing Board virtually. The Hullabaloo maintained its election policies and elected a new generation of leaders — a group of skilled journalists that I trust to lead our paper into a bright future. 

Though none of us knows what the fall semester holds, you can count on The Hullabaloo to be your trusted source of news. Whether we are reporting from our home in the LBC basement or our homes across the country, we promise to be there for you.

It has been a true honor to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of The Hullabaloo during such a historic year. To my readers, my Hull family and all who have supported me: thank you.