“The Daily Bruin has a blog? I didn’t know!”
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard that reaction, especially in my earlier years at The Bruin. It’s strange now when I hear of people reading my blog posts, sharing them widely and appreciating them for what they are – a distinctly modern addition to a daily student newspaper in the digital age.
As a first-year, I started writing blog posts at the now-retired Mojo, which is hosted on a separate website. My editor’s chipper enthusiasm fall quarter was no match for Mojo’s confusing and isolated niche at the paper, where we held section meetings in a lounge on the Hill. Aside from initial training, I finished my first year never having met anyone from another section. Hell, I didn’t even understand how the Copy department worked.
This sense of confusion and a sense of isolation from the rest of the paper continued into my second year, when my editor was fired in a cultural sensitivity incident early on. I strived to do better in my work even before her replacement, Sari Zureiqat, told me the section was considered a joke by the rest of the paper. It was a fact I didn’t like and wanted to change.
The other contributors dropped like flies, but there I stayed, determined to strike out on my own – even if no one in the print sections knew who I was. Like in Gandhi’s false quote, I wanted to be the change I wanted to see. Along the way, I met countless interesting alumni through interviewing for a series about life after graduation, and even began to understand how the Photo and Video departments worked. I even met, among other interesting characters, a couple of students running an informal restaurant out of their apartment.
I applied for editor that year with this vision of better establishing the blogging department in the Daily Bruin, but was passed over. Though disheartened, I still wanted to help the section become better than the one I joined.
In my third year, Mojo became the Quad, and was moved onto the main page – a symbolic act for both myself and the paper. We weren’t a joke. We were at the front-right of the main page, where we should have been all along.
As I found myself reeling from a move back home to commute to UCLA, the end of my first serious relationship and a transition period between research labs, Kerckhoff 118 – and the people within it – became a safe haven for a lonely commuter student with gaps between classes. I became friends with my editor, Arthur Wang, and so many more people at the paper. The Quad began to change in style and subject matter, leaving behind Buzzfeed-style content for Slate- and Vox-style explanation and analysis.
This year as the Quad’s editor, I’ve continued to strive for better, both in terms of integrating our section with the rest of the paper and in making sure that writers know what they’re doing – even if they’re lost for part of the time. I was lost myself at times, after all. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve learned from them, but above all, I’m glad to know that with the help of my assistant editor, Erin Nyren, and my team of writers, we’ve made it clear the blog is here to stay.
Though I haven’t made as many close friends within The Bruin as others have, I’m proud to have worked with you all. You’ve helped me make the Quad a better section.
Shout out to the Opinion and Online folks, and Tanner, Emaan and Anji for their patience with us as we built out our section and trained our contributors.
Thank you, Erin, forever and always, for putting up with my shenanigans and having my back. And thank you to my former editor, Arthur, for helping put the Quad on the right path.
Yes, the Daily Bruin has a blog. May it always have one.
Yeo was a Blogging contributor 2013-2016, Radio contributor 2015-2016 and Blogging editor 2016-2017.