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Redefining what it means to be a transfer student at The Bruin -30-

Matthew Royer stands for a portrait in front of Kerckoff Hall. (Michael Gallagher/Assistant Photo editor)

By Matthew Royer

June 10, 2024 8:54 p.m.

In my application to join the Daily Bruin, I said that while my major may be political science, my heart was in journalism.

And it was true.

No matter how long I spent in classes – as I rarely skipped – I spent most of my free time in Kerckhoff 118.

I became an assistant News editor weeks into my first year at UCLA, earned staff positions in both the Sports section and at the Copy desk and maneuvered my way into friendships with people throughout the organization – some of whom I consider my closest friends.

I never thought I would have this opportunity. Entering UCLA as a transfer student, I was worried.

The experiences of transfer students need to be highlighted. In your first quarter, you have to decide almost instantly who you are going to be and what you are going to do. There is pressure to do everything, get your classes done and yet, somehow, not burn out.

It’s a stressful world: a new place, new people and a new academic rigor.

I went from being a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in an ocean.

My community college encompassed only a few city blocks, and my student newspaper had, at its peak, around two dozen staff members. UCLA and the Daily Bruin felt like monoliths, and Westwood was a jungle that would take months, if not years, to explore.

I was comfortable at my community college. I had a fantastic support system – led by William Dauber, the paper’s advisor and journalism professor – and found community in the staff and late-night pizza runs on print nights. But you cannot stay in one place forever.

I was grateful for my experience at Los Angeles Valley College, but I knew it was time to take the next step.

So, I applied.

Two years later, I’m in awe of my experiences.

I saw snowfall for the first time on a trip covering UCLA softball in Cathedral City, interviewed congressional representatives while reporting on the U.S. Senate debate, spoke to the loved ones of the late Chris Roberts – who I grew up listening to commentate Bruin basketball and football – worked on breaking stories in a courthouse and even broke the news that a particular fried chicken shop was coming to Westwood.

But these experiences would have been nothing without the people by my side.

Before I get into the sappy stuff, a quick mention to the people who made my time in Daily Bruin just a tad more enjoyable – thank you Anthony Aroyan, Nicole Augusta, Neeti Badve, Gavin Carlson, Jeremy Chen, Tyler Cho, Shreya Dodballapur, Ira Gorawara, Justin Jung, Jack Nelson, Bryan Palmero, David Rimer, Sam Settleman, Abigail Siatkowski, Gabrielle Siegel and Olivia Simons.

To Benjamin Royer, Joseph Crosby and Jon Christon, there isn’t anyone else I would’ve wanted to bond with over advanced statistics, baseball podcasts, malt and hops. I genuinely have cherished our friendships, and I think of you all as my brothers, even if Benjamin is already my biological one.

To Sharla Steinman, to show you the ropes of the city and the crime, but mostly the city, was well worth it. Not only did I gain a tremendous colleague and friend, but I also got to watch you become a dogged muckraker with your ear to the ground. Your talent and tenacity for the craft will carry you far – even if it is to New York. I will be visiting.

To my fellow News editors – 14 of whom I have worked with, including the newest crop – there is a ton I can go over, but there is only one point I want to get across: We put the news in the newspaper. The nights are long, and the pay could be better, but our work is important. We are the campus’ paper of record.

So, when I graduate and move to the journalism school across town, I will leave behind this: my name in the paper of record – Matthew Royer, a proud reporter and editor for the Daily Bruin.

Yes, my diploma says political science. But my heart will remain in Kerckhoff 118.

Royer was a News contributor in 2022, City and Crime editor in 2022-2023, News senior staff in 2023, National News and Higher Education editor in 2023-2024, Sports staff in 2023-2024 and Copy staff in 2023-2024.

-30-

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Matthew Royer | Alumnus
Royer joined the Bruin and the News section as a first-year transfer student in 2022 and contributed until he graduated in 2024. He was the 2023-2024 national news and higher education editor and the 2022-2023 city and crime (metro) editor. He was also a Sports staff writer on the men’s soccer and softball beats and was Copy staff. He studied political science and minored in labor studies.
Royer joined the Bruin and the News section as a first-year transfer student in 2022 and contributed until he graduated in 2024. He was the 2023-2024 national news and higher education editor and the 2022-2023 city and crime (metro) editor. He was also a Sports staff writer on the men’s soccer and softball beats and was Copy staff. He studied political science and minored in labor studies.
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