August 2016 Alumni Newsletter

Here’s a PDF of the August Newsletter.

Letter from the Editor

Jared Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief

Last week, for the first time all summer, I walked into the newsroom and saw someone I didn’t recognize — a freshman writer. Not only are all our editors back for the school year, but our beat and listserv writers are hard at work already.

We’ve published two issues this month as of my writing this, and we’ll publish one more — our football preview special section — on Aug. 31.

Earlier this month, we did something The Maneater hasn’t done in several years: We published a short-tab welcome week issue. The tabloid-sized paper was called Discover Mizzou, and it contains guides to downtown, news stories to watch for, and Mizzou sports and players who our editors predict will make it big this year. It’s a beautifully designed issue, and due to a serendipitous (but pricey) printing miscommunication, it’s all in color. Even though most of you are past the point of needing a new- student orientation to Mizzou, I hope you’ll check out the PDF on Issuu.

Most of the content for Discover Mizzou was produced by our Editorial Board, but our first regular issue featured our beat writers in full force. Beat writer hiring took place in the first week of August, and we put together a sizable and promising staff. Sports and MOVE Magazine each have staffs of nearly 20; each news section hired five beat writers, and we have over a half dozen opinion columnists.

Although we’ve lost two Editorial Board members this month, we’ve gained a deputy copy chief, assistant production manager, assistant graphics manager and assistant online development editor. We’re hiring an assistant newsletter manager, copy editors and a couple more beat writers the first week of September, so our staff is continuing to grow.

Now that our fall staff is coming together, we’ve been doing some formal training. Editorial Board training was on Aug. 20, and columnist and beat writer boot camps were on Aug. 28. It was cool to see nearly our whole staff together in one room and talk to them about how to do good journalism.

In the seemingly never-ending realm of writer recruitment, some editors and I presented at the Freshman Interest Groups movie night, tabled at an involvement fair (with two more fairs coming up next month) and held a collaborative info meeting and open house with MUTV and KCOU, the campus TV and radio stations, respectively. I was pleasantly surprised by how many people are interested in working for us, and not just writing — we’ve found new students passionate about photography, web development and print design.

Speaking of collaboration with MUTV and KCOU, we have several exciting projects in the works. Our opinion editor, Kasey Carlson, is continuing The Student Voice, a news show on KCOU — last year, when Kasey worked for KCOU, she was the co-host with former Maneater Opinion Editor Jack Herrick. We’ve also got plans to release a weekly news podcast with KCOU. And a videographer from MUTV made an incredible motion- graphics video to go with Projects Editor Tessa Weinberg’s Discover Mizzou guide to the events of last fall — more on that in the Top 5 Stories section.

We’re rolling out a series of online improvements, too. MOVE Editor Katie Rosso and I worked to create a new logo for the magazine and Online Development Editor Reiker Seiffe made some quick aesthetic improvements to the website, and it already looks so much better. He and his assistant, Mike Smith, are working on rebuilding the back-end content management systems for both The Maneater and MOVE’s websites. And our newsletter, The Maneater Daily, recently went back to being sent to subscribers’ inboxes every morning. It had been weekly over the summer. I’ll leave you with one last request: that you sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already. It’s a fun piece of content we produce, and it’s part of the future of journalism. Sign up here and watch your inbox tomorrow morning!

The Maneater Picks: July’s Top Five Stories

1. Frequently asked questions about MU’s historic fall, by Tessa Weinberg

Our projects editor, Tessa Weinberg, wrote up a detailed explanation of the events of MU’s historic fall 2015 semester. She took a conversational tone, which helped make the information seem less overwhelming and more easily understandable. This story was designed as a two-page spread in our Discover Mizzou issue with a “Key Players” graphic, and received a lot of positive feedback. A videographer from MUTV, the campus TV station, created a video to pair with this story on social media, and it became one of our most-engaged stories all summer.

2. Family surrounds J’den Cox as he heads to Rio, by Alec Lewis

Another freshman writer, Nick Kelly, profiled freshman basketball recruit Reed Nikko. Kelly’s use of an umbrella motif throughout the story tied together different aspects of Nikko’s life in a way that moved the story from biographical to almost analytical.

This is a well-sourced sports profile that’s accessible even to people who aren’t die-hard sports fans, which is excellent.


3. Despite MU’s decline in enrollment, other Missouri universities see increase, by Megan Dollar

The story of MU’s dramatic decline in enrollment this year has been retold many times. Some people blame a natural decline in student populations; some blame the events of last fall. But Megan — who’s now a University News beat writer, but was not when she wrote this story — went beyond the worn-out narratives and asked if other Missouri universities are seeing similar enrollment declines. The answer, interestingly enough, was no. This is a great example of a “day two” story, a wider-net follow-up on today’s news.

4. Interactive Map: Greek houses make accessibility updates, by Tess Vrbin

In April 2015, The Maneater published the long read “Accessibility in Greektown,” which won several awards at the MCMAs. Over the past few months, Tess has been working to follow up with all the Greek chapters to gauge how far they’ve come on accessibility since the original story. The information lent itself well to an interactive map, so our projects editor, Tessa Weinberg, built a color- coded Google Fusion Table map that gets the information across in a more compelling way than charts or plain text.


5. Column: Living the American dream, by Rashi Shrivastava

Our final top story of the month isn’t an article, per se; it’s an essay in MOVE Magazine about coming to America, to Misouri, as a student from India. Rashi’s writing is beautiful and her descriptions force us to take another look at our own culture. MOVE’s theme this week was about finding home and making a home here at Mizzou, and this guest column fit into it very well. She’s very straightforward about what she sees, and she shares what she’s learned in a genuinely enjoyable read.

Alumni Corner

Clayton Hotze, 2011-13

I accepted and began working at the Arkansas State University as their Campus Photographer. Returning to being a full-time photographer.

Ask the Alums

Andrew Blasko, 1991-95
As a prank, I believe I convinced some poor guy to look for the AP wire on production night.. Not the stories on the wire — the *actual* wire. I even gave him a description. Something like “It’s about six inches long with a male plug at one end and a female plug at the other and it says ‘AP’ on it.” Had him go down to the Missourian and, I think, the Tribune looking for it. He kept calling into the newsroom to report his progress. We did everything we could to keep from cracking up during these updates.

Delia Cai, 2011-14
The Incident With Nassim And The Gravy 2012

Pat Finan, 1981-82

This goes way back…1981-82, in Read Hall. We still used typewriters, typed copy on newsprint paper, and cut-and-pasted with scissors and rubber cement. Rubber cement is wonderfully flammable. Every now and then, a news ed would set fire to the bottom of the paper sticking out of the typewriter if he/ she felt a reporter was taking too long (deadlines being so loose). Sometimes, if the hint wasn’t taken, they’d slather rubber cement on the machine and torch it. One particular night, well past 3 a.m., a bunch of us torched a typewriter and threw it out the window of Read Hall. It was glorious, like a comet, only with gravity and an awful crash. Nobody was around, of course, but somehow we got hauled into the adviser’s office the next day and were reprimanded. Ah, but it was worth it! 

Gina Lamb, 1991-95
Nuggathon was a Chicken McNugget-eating contest that took place during a production night. There were relays to the McDonald’s on Lowry Mall. There was a hotline. Wacky hijinks ensued. Then we did it again, on another production night. I could go on, but I’ll forget something — or I’ll burst into uncontrollable laughter at my desk at work and spit out my coffee, and then I’ll have to explain, which will make me laugh harder.


Nick Ehrhard, 2011-13
I’ll never forget sitting at the photo desk/cubicle and Seth Meyers unexpectedly walked by. Ya know, just to visit.

Cathy Senderling-McDonald, 1990-93

“Stack collision with heap.” Everyone from the early 90s will remember this random error message that would generally pop up as one hit “print” on a page it had taken hours to lay out. If you hadn’t saved the page (and sometimes even if you had) the Mac you were working on would crash, taking your hard work with it. Many production nights were thus all-night affairs, often resulting in a 6 am trip to Shoney’s to hit the breakfast bar, then home to sleep it off (and sleep right through your morning classes, too).
Mitch Gerringer, 2012-14
Ted Noelker singing “The Climb” every time I played it.
Pat Iversen, 2010-13
The night Tony Puricelli and I lost our sanity and spent a good 30 minutes in the EIC office with the lights out telling each other a story about a sentient muffin that was thrown away and came back to life seeking revenge. That was Kelly Olejnik’s favorite production.
Nicole Bogdas, 1997-99
The night we covered the tornado was fun. Suzanne Struglinski Broadfield and I hid in the basement of Brady together. But we beat the Missourian because they went to bed at midnight and the tornado struck at like, 2 a.m. I remember Paul Wilson calling from the dorms to see if he should come in and help. I went out to the shelter to interview victims and the KOMU reporter came over and asked if I would share my notes. I said , “you should have gotten here sooner.” She said, “I was in makeup!” I was like, “Should have gone into print.”

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