The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: Navigating goals, legacy and purpose in the new year

My reflections as a student journalist and plans for leading The Hustler.
Barrie Barto
Editor-in-Chief Jorie Fawcett, as photographed on Oct. 15, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

Dear Vanderbilt,

Happy New Year! As we approach a new semester, I am very excited to continue my work with The Hustler and build a close relationship with the Vanderbilt community. In my sixth semester as a Vanderbilt student, I look forward to my favorite Vanderbilt traditions like Rites of Spring, spring VandyBoys games and sitting under the blooming trees across campus. Most of all, I am honored to lead The Hustler as Editor-in-Chief. 

I knew I wanted to join The Hustler weeks before setting foot on campus. As a bright-eyed, first-year Staff Writer, I covered campus dining, Nashville concerts and student performances, as well as interviewed administrators, student authors and sexual assault survivors. My first home on campus was the newsroom. Writing about my favorite things, like pumpkin spice lattes and fashion trends, allowed me to give my hobbies a direct purpose. I fell in love with lifestyle reporting, later serving as Life Editor during my sophomore year. I most recently served as Managing Editor, a role in which I established general body meetings for our 200-person organization and led recruitment efforts, meeting with new staffers buzzing to join The Hustler, just like I once was. If this sounds like you, fill out our interest form here, and attend a general training session on either Jan. 10 or Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. CST at Buttrick 206! Now, I’m excited to work with the Vanderbilt community as Editor-in-Chief. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting with as many student leaders as possible. I’ve participated in a wide variety of activities during my time at Vanderbilt — from club sports to crafting groups — and enjoy learning from and surrounding myself with new and diverse people. 

To share some of my background with you all, I am from Tiffin, Ohio, and will defend the Midwest against all slander. I major in secondary education and sociology in Peabody College, intending to earn a teaching license for grades 6-12 social studies — a goal I’ve had since middle school. Recently, though, I’ve become interested in education policy, administration and curriculum design. Through my work with Vanderbilt Small Town and Rural Students (STARS), I enjoy studying the intersection of public education and local politics and hope to pursue a career making education as accessible as possible. I pride myself on being the first customer at Local Java most mornings — you can almost always find me behind my computer with a chocolate croissant and an iced Americano. When I am not doing school work, you can find me consuming too much caffeine, reading the latest celebrity memoir, taking a cycle class or forcing my family members to FaceTime me with my cats. But most importantly, I’m just like you. I procrastinate my assignments in Rand booths and religiously wait in Suzie’s lines no matter their length. I experience and understand many of the trials and tribulations that you face as a student and aim to accurately portray and elevate them as Editor-in-Chief. 

During my tenure as Editor-in-Chief, I hope to continue our hard-hitting journalism that has earned 28 national awards this year. Among those honors, The Hustler Sports Section won Best National Web Sports Section for the second year in a row, and we hope for a three-peat this year under the lead of Sports Editor Andrew Wilf! Our newest Multimedia sections — Data, led by junior Katherine Oung, and Podcasts, led by sophomore Kate Connell — have also made outstanding strides with The Hustler recently. Keep an eye out for a first-year survey — much like our Class of 2023 Senior Survey — to be published in a few weeks. The Podcasts section also rolled out four new podcasts this past semester, which will build on their initial episodes this spring. Through the continuation of the Hustler Connects program, I look forward to communicating with organizations and being transparent and responsive with our reporting. If you or your organization is interested in meeting with our team, please click here. Additionally, feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or tips; you can reach me at [email protected]

Student journalists nationwide stand at an important crossroads of information dissemination and community impact. As Vanderbilt does not have an academic journalism program, The Hustler holds a unique opportunity to expand storytelling and ignite passion among budding writers. Our grassroots approach to journalism not only allows for a culture of expressive communication but also builds the foundation for critical thinking, research and informed, powerful storytelling. As Editor-in-Chief, one of my biggest goals is to meet my writers and editors where they are and give them the tools and support necessary to meet their aspirations. Our staffers have a diverse list of hopeful future plans — medical school, broadcast journalism, mechanical engineering and everything in between — but they all have a passion for storytelling. During my tenure, I hope to build their confidence as a journalist, as a student and as a future leader.  

Each time I open an article to edit or pull up a chair in the Newsroom, I think of all those who have come before me and all those who will follow. It takes a village to be our best selves, especially in college, and I am thankful for my village of Hustler editors, especially Senior Advisor Rachael Perrotta for her constant mentorship and guidance during my time as both a reporter and editor. In leading the next generation of Vanderbilt student journalists, I will remember and emphasize the lessons I have learned in the Newsroom and at Vanderbilt. During my time as Editor-in-Chief, I hope to foster a relentless pursuit of truth and to highlight diverse and unique perspectives. In short, in its 136th year, I aim to uphold The Hustler’s strong legacy. I look forward to embarking on this journey alongside you.

Anchor down and happy new year!

Jorie Fawcett

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About the Contributors
Jorie Fawcett, Editor-in-Chief
Jorie Fawcett ('25) is from Tiffin, Ohio, and studies secondary education and sociology in Peabody College. She previously served as Managing Editor and Life Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her teaching, reading or pretending to study at Local Java or Suzie's. You can reach her at [email protected].
Barrie Barto, Senior Staff Photographer
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with a minor neuroscience in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. Outside of The Hustler, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
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