Photo Credit: Brandon Tan, Design Manager
A letter and many thank-you’s
Alessia Baptista, Editor-in-Chief
It all began on June 8th, 2019, when I walked into Brennan Hall for the first time. On my Welcome Day at SMC, I was given a tour of Brennan Hall where I noticed The Mike’s banner outside its office. I recall taking a photo of it on my little iPhone 5s and dreaming of what it would be like to write for a newspaper. My dream has now become a reality.
During my Orientation, I recall obsessing over The Mike to my first ever friend, Sofija, going on and on about how I dreamt of writing for the paper. I held a copy of The Mike in my hands as we sat on one of the benches in the quad, and I remember her looking at me and saying something along the lines of: “I’m going to read everything you write and watch you run this newspaper one day.” I owe it to her for believing in me from the start.
I’m proud to announce the success of The Mike while serving as its Editor-in-Chief this year. As students returned to campus for the first time in two years, The Mike resumed print publication and circulated 12,000 copies across the U of T St. George campus over the course of the academic year. As we’ve continued to publish online at readthemike.com, The Mike has averaged just over 6,000 page views per month from readers across the country. The work of our student writers has such a wide audience and that is something to be celebrated.
The Mike also supports USMC’s yearbook, designed by our wonderful yearbook team, to capture the highlights of this year at the college. Initiatives like this are what preserve campus life and the beautifully diverse community here at the University of Toronto.
Thanks to the pandemic, production at The Mike has become infinitely more flexible and has allowed us to work remotely. A priority of mine this year was the mental health of our masthead, as I know firsthand what it’s like to experience journalism burnout. Working remotely and having this flexibility allowed me to foster a more positive experience for our staff and contributors alike. Another priority of mine was broadening the range of voices we publish at The Mike, particularly through our Logos section. With this section unique to our college, I hope students find comfort in Logos and continue to reflect the diverse faiths of students here at St. Mike’s.
This year, we’ve welcomed some talented first-year students, all of which I hope continue to gift this newspaper their brilliant writing and editing skills. You are the voice of the next generation of this paper, and I encourage you to push the limits of journalism and continue to lend your voice to difficult topics and entertaining pieces alike.
I owe a large part of who I am to The Mike. To Chiara and Sana, our Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor in 2020, you made my time as Lifestyle Editor during the pandemic infinitely less isolating after allowing me to establish the “Day in the Life” column. Thank you for teaching me how to be an editor, accepting all my ideas, and believing in me enough to encourage me to apply for a larger role in the newspaper.
For the entire 2022–2023 masthead: thank you for your endless work on The Mike, the late hours of editing, and your incredible pitches every week.
To my production team: thank you for being so patient with me as I learned how to be an Editor-in-Chief. Yanni — everyone’s favourite bean — thank you for being such a positive light during this entire newspaper process. I admire your devotion to student journalism on campus and aspire to be as well-versed as you. For Victor, thank you for taking on anything and everything I threw your way. Natasha, my favourite grammar police, I owe you so many cups of tea for the rest of my life. Finally: for Brandon, our Design Manager, thank you for taking on this daunting role and fighting InDesign with me every single issue. Your energy is infectious and I’m glad we’re bonded by the chaos corner.
Accompanied by my love and gratitude for The Mike lies The Varsity. I’d picked up an issue of The Varsity during my first week of classes back in 2019, and I was (and still am) in awe of the university’s tri-campus newspaper. I cannot bid farewell to my career as a student journalist without thanking some people at The Varsity who have had an immense contribution to my involvement in campus journalism.
I extend my thanks to Stephanie for teaching me how to write for a newspaper. You are the reason for making my first article come to life and I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing “Caffeinated Anonymous” in print for the first time. I’ve since spent most of my time with The Varsity in its sports section. Mekhi, thank you for letting me goof around in Varsity Arena all semester and interview some of U of T’s finest athletes; it’s been a privilege to tell their stories. The Varsity has been an intimidating but comforting escape from the challenges of being a student, and I will continue to support this publication as I move onto the next chapter.
The Mike is in excellent care with Victor Buklis as my successor. Victor brings a wealth of journalism experience to the team and is more disciplined than I will ever be. I have every ounce of faith in him to lead The Mike beyond success next year — one Americano and suit at a time.
As we end the 2022–2023 year with our last issue of The Mock, I extend my deepest gratitude to anyone that has picked up a copy of The Mike this year. I’ve been internalizing my excitement and pride any time I’ve seen a student holding a print copy, so here I am externalizing that feeling. Your commitment to reading our biweekly issues and hunger for our crosswords is crucial to keeping journalism on campus alive.
It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve as the 75th Editor-in-Chief of The Mike. I think back to a terrified yet determined first-year student, eager to make words on a page come alive and tell people’s stories through her writing. I hope the incoming staff of The Mike realize the vast amount of creativity this newspaper allows for. As I bid this newspaper farewell, I wish the next staff all the best of luck as they navigate new challenges and evolve The Mike into greatness. The Mike will live on to accept student’s voices and foster a greater sense of community here at USMC through its diverse array of students. To many more late night editing sessions and chaotic production days, I pass on this publication with pride, gratitude, and confidence in the next generation.
Alessia Baptista, Editor-in-Chief
VOL. LXXV, ISSUE 10
THE MIKE PUBLICATIONS