Sandra Petri, BS International Business
It’s been a few years since I held a position at The Triangle, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to write one last time. I have so much appreciation for everything this publication and the students behind it did for me during my first three years at Drexel. It taught me the importance of honest journalism (even on a University level) and allowed me to engage with the Drexel community in a way that many students miss out on. It taught me technical and management skills that got me co-op jobs that shaped my career path, even though that path is hardly related to journalism or writing.
After serving as editor-in-chief for six months, I learned how to trust my peers with the organization I had grown so attached to. It taught me that an important part of leadership is trusting your people, taking a step back and letting things carry on without you.
So from one half of the OG double-headed news team, I say thank you to all of the other staff members who were a part of this with me — especially those who trekked to the production offices during that blizzard, who spent countless hours brainstorming via Google chat, who taught me everything I know about InDesign, Photoshop and AP Style, who didn’t laugh at me when I started crying at staff party after you all chanted “Sandra P., E-I-C,” and who showed me every week that the best students at Drexel prioritize publishing the newspaper over their schoolwork. We had warm-fuzzy-you’re-my-favorite-people-at-Drexel times. We had eight-hours-of-voluntary-work-on-a-Thursday-why-do-I-keep-coming-back-here times. But you taught me more than I ever expected, and I cannot say thank you enough.
Julia Casciato, BA English
I’ve sat down to write many pieces for The Triangle before, but this one is different — I know this will be my last. Throughout the last year I’ve had to reflect on my Drexel experience and how it shaped my future. I started Drexel as an English major, but I’m leaving as someone much more than that. In two weeks I’ll start working for an app company and I question how I ended up on this path. The English department would say it’s because our field is far-reaching. The SCDC would say it’s because of co-op. But I know it’s because of The Triangle. Being part of The Triangle for four years opened numerous doors for me both inside and outside of Drexel. Yet, I can’t take sole credit for my success. During my time at The Triangle I had the most amazing staff members to support me whether I was editor-in-chief, a newbie news writer or trying to fill Justin Roczniak’s shoes in the opinion section. Never have I — and I doubt I ever will again — worked with such a diverse group of people, each with their own ambition and drive. We constantly challenged each other to be better, to do better. This support and friendship wasn’t limited to 3010 MacAlister. It still exists with the life-long friendships we created. That may sound cliche, but I know the friends I will have forever are the ones who taught me more about journalism and life than anyone else. They were the ones I fought with at 2 a.m. about deadlines. They were the ones who took group cuddling pictures on my couch. They were the ones who walked to Wawa to get icees, coffee, pretzels and whatever else we needed to get through a Thursday night. They are the ones I still count on. I may only be half of the OG double-headed news team, but I have more love and appreciation for this organization than I can ever express.
Jeremy Snyder, BS Graphic Design.
Freshman year my next door neighbor Ken kept bringing back cold free pizza on Monday nights. Free cold pizza is still free pizza, but I decided sophomore year, I wanted to get to the source and get it while it was hot. So, I showed up to my first Triangle meeting. I kind of just milled around for a year doing random graphics related projects and the front page until I accidentally became managing editor.
I had the privilege of serving in this role for 12 months as part of the Roczniak administration on top of my 2 years as production manager, and even after I thought I had escaped (and I mean that in the most affectionate way) I still ended up coming back for one final term.
Working at The Triangle taught me so many different things, from technical aspects of print, to re-designing a newspaper, to working with lots of different people with lots of different personalities and backgrounds and motivations. Despite nobody ever really knowing what they were doing, we still managed to get the paper out every week. And we did this through financial crises, staff turnovers, power outages and missed deadlines.
I’m honored to have had the privilege to work with a long list of dedicated people who volunteered huge amounts of time to ensure the paper continues to publish every week. I don’t really know why we’re all there since everyone constantly complains about anything you could possibly complain about while there, but we all keep coming back week after week and put the paper above school work and sleep.
[Insert mushy/catchy/cliche ending]
Azwad Rahman, BS Biological Sciences
It was a hot day when I walked up to my first Activities Unlimited. Lancaster Walk was crowded with free candy and sign up sheets, but lo and behold the first table I ever saw belonged to Drexel’s student newspaper — The Triangle. I’ve written more than 67 articles, and have edited many more; I held three different editorial positions and one staff manager position; spent one summer riding our infamous Triangle Gator; consumed countless calories worth of pizza and soda; and four years later this is my last official piece as a member of Drexel University’s only independent student newspaper.
To be blunt, I don’t really care about what I’ve accomplished for The Triangle; I care about who and what I accomplished it all for. What I learned about being a journalist was this: If something needs to be said, it is your job to ensure that it is said. I didn’t go into journalism appreciating this, but in serving the news department I saw the people I wrote about become a part of Drexel’s chronology and my chronology. I take this lesson with me today and will carry it with me as I continue to make a mark in this world. So, to the people who can read this and the people who cannot: Thank you. Thank you to Fatima Rahman, Jonathan Gomez, Andrea Messina, Kinzey Lynch and to the many others I’ve had the utmost privilege to write about. I hope my few words for you could begin to capture your important role in shaping our time here at Drexel and your important role in shaping me.
Justin Roczniak, BS Civil Engineering
I’m not graduating this term. I have probably two more to go. The staff made me write this sentimental crap anyway, so let’s get this over with:
I’ll say it right now: if it weren’t for the Triangle and my own generally poor academic performance I would have transferred ages ago. Why?
I came here because I wanted hands-on learning. I came here because I wanted to do things, not sit in lectures and regurgitate information on exams. I came here because I wanted to create – and I have only seldom been offered the opportunity in coursework.
Instead there have been lectures with hundreds of students, slim-to-non-existent professor-student interaction, no lab time. I made no friends in the department. I spent most of my time on academic probation. I had to present a mediocre senior design — bizarrely the first engineering project I’ve had to present, after five whole years of study — and it was with a man who sexually harassed my staff at this very newspaper.
The shaft is real, and it extends outside the classroom: Drexel effectively killed the first student organization I was passionate about, Formula SAE (wherein you build and race an actual race car), for liability reasons. They demolished Hess Labs, the cornerstone of the engineering program’s hands-on learning and research capabilities and one of the biggest reasons I came here. They demolished the Intercultural Center, home to many of my friends’ organizations and spaces. I have been kicked out of my own beloved home so it can be demolished for University-approved housing.
I can also say that through it all, I was proud to be a part of and later to lead the only independent, self-funded, student run newspaper on campus. We handled hard, unforgiving deadlines each week. We ran 20-plus workstations, all obsolete and unstable, to design the paper. We distributed half-a-ton of newsprint each week to locations around campus — ourselves. We redesigned the paper from the ground-up, as well as the website, to better serve collegiate readers. We investigated, we reported, we wrote, we edited. And of course, we made mistakes, we had drama, we had walk-outs. We were short-staffed most of the time.
Despite this, we always had papers on the shelves on Friday. We surmounted an enormous logistical and editorial challenge every week, and did it on top of classwork or co-op, and with essentially no advising for most of the time I was in charge. We didn’t get grades for it, or academic credit — for myself it isn’t even a great resume builder. We did it because we wanted to.
All I can say is thank you to my staff, for keeping me sane and giving me a sense of purpose, and a reason to be motivated, which is something academia has never been able to give me.
And to Drexel: stop asking me for donations.