Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Strong Writer, Strong Editor: Melissa Lin

    Nicole Schlaeppi • The spectator

    At the last Spectator meeting of the year, outgoing Editor in Chief Caroline Ferguson looks on as Melissa Lin leads her first Spectator meeting as the paper’s new leader.

    Ferguson, who will be graduating with a Humanities for Teaching degree later this month, joined the Spectator as a volunteer writer her freshman year and came on as a staff writer shortly after.

    Nicole Schlaeppi  •  The spectator
    Nicole Schlaeppi • The spectator

    She continued on through the fall of her sophomore year. The following quarter, Ferguson was promoted to a news editor position replacing an editor who was studying abroad. She continued the remainder of the school year in that position. Her junior year, she held the position of copy chief and managing editor.

    During Ferguson’s time as editor in chief, she has concentrated on accuracy of facts in the articles. She has altered the way that assignment meetings are done, so that everyone on the staff—editors, writers, photographers and designers—have more of an equal footing, making the process more educational and more collaborative.

    These are all changes that Lin hopes to continue next year in her new role.

    In her writing, her style and her approach, she always strives to be innovative.

    She is a strong writer, who in turn became a keen editor, taking full charge of every article she wrote or assigned. Always paying attention to the finer details of more sensitive issues, she stands on her own and is ready to make desicive calls. A leader above all else, Melissa has the full backing of her staff as she connects
    personally with them.

    Nicole Schlaeppi  •  The spectator
    Nicole Schlaeppi • The spectator

    Those are some reasons why Lin will make a great editor in chief next year. Yet on top of this, Lin has big plans for the Spectator.

    Ferguson has made an effort to include as many different voices as possible in the paper, and Lin wants to concentrate on this even more.

    “I want to lift up [marginalized] voices that relate to my different inter-sectionalities and do justice to other people,” Lin said.

    Lin, a first-generation Taiwanese-American, is passionate about social justice. In fact, it’s a big reason why she chose to come to Seattle U.

    “It produces a lot of well-rounded people who go out and do great things in a variety of different realms,” Lin said. “I was also really attracted to how civically involved the majority of people are [on campus].”

    Her passion for social justice and love for storytelling are what drove her to want to become a journalist.

    “Journalism can do a lot of good,” Lin said. “It can also do a lot of harm if not done properly, but I want to contribute to the good.”

    Her ladder up the Spectator has been a peculiar one. Her sophomore year, she was a volunteer writer and was hired as a staff writer this past fall quarter. It is unusual that a volunteer writer steps into an editing role so quickly, but when the Spectator needed a second news editor this winter, Lin was an obvious choice. She has been working as news editor for the majority of her junior year, and tackled it solo this past quarter.

    This year, Lin said, she has received significant support from her colleagues, who made her feel more secure in questioning the things she cared about, especially injustice.

    “My favorite part is how empowering it has been,” Lin said.

    She’s motivated to continue asking tough questions, and she hopes to pursue stories that matter to Seattle U students, and to her.

    “I just want to seek out more nuanced perspectives of injustices felt on a cultural, social, and institutional level,” she said.

    Working at the Spectator has allowed her to explore ways in which she can use her intersecting identities to her advantage. Lin’s time here has made her more aware of the implicit assumptions she makes of others, and she has learned to constantly challenge those assumptions.

    Her capacity for self-reflection and her ability to produce quality work has not gone unnoticed by her predecessor.

    “I feel really confident that she will do me proud next year,” Ferguson said.

    Outside of the Spectator, Lin has also served in a leadership position for International Club. And when she is not busy putting her heart into a story, Lin uses her spare time to play a number of Chinese instruments, including the Gu-Zheng (a Chinese harp) and the Pi-Pa (the Chinese lute).

    In any case, next year’s leader of the Seattle U Spectator is bound to make an impact.

    Siri may be reached at [email protected]

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