A message from the incoming editor-in-chief

Since my first semester at Guilford College, “comfort” has not been a part of my vocabulary. I was very shy as a first-year and afraid to speak my mind in classes or meetings, afraid to be judged by my accent or by the way I talked.

I was proven wrong when the community opened its arms to my accent, my culture and what I had to offer. When I was finally getting comfortable again, my advisor Heather Hayton suggested that I take Journalism since I was so interested in writing. I didn’t think it was a good idea at all, but it is hard to say no to Heather.

The semester after that, I met Jeff Jeske. That same day, he told me and my classmates that we would all have articles due in a few days. I panicked. Writing for the school newspaper meant others would read every single word I put on paper and just the thought of it was too much for me. This is when Jeff told me, “Beatriz, don’t doubt yourself. I know you can do this.”

And I really did. I did it every week. I not only grew as a writer, but became obsessed with journalism and how much The Guilfordian had to offer its students. Jeff became more than a professor. He became a friend, and before I knew it, I was a part of the editorial board as social justice editor and diversity coordinator.

This year, I have taken the position of managing editor. Although I knew the challenges ahead of me and was making sure I was doing everything right, nothing in this world could have prepared me for what happened in the beginning of this semester.

Losing Jeff was not easy. The Guilfordian became what it is today thanks to thirty years of total dedication and support to the students.

Next year, as the new editor-in-chief, I want to keep Jeff’s legacy alive by telling others about him, teaching the incoming students what he taught me and making sure that we provide the Guilford community with the best student newspaper of the area. I will continue to oversee our connections with the Multicultural Educational Department and the Bonner center as well as our radio station, WQFS, and, most importantly, the student body.

I am here as a friend and as a source to make voices heard and to make changes in our world one step at a time. And as Jeff would say, “Go for the gold.”

Beatriz Caldas