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Senior Letter 2024

By Henry Fisher, Shawn Ness, Christian Hince, and Florinda Gjypi | May 6, 2024

As we finish up with the Albany Student Press (ASP) for the semester, some seniors and I have written up letters as a final farewell to the University at Albany and to the ASP. To all of our seniors: good luck and thank you for all you’ve done for this paper. Now is the time we do as the ASP has done for 108 years – pass it on to the next generation of writers.

- Henry

Photo Credit: Henry Fisher / The ASP

Henry Fisher - Editor-in-Chief

Hey woah that’s me!

I’ve definitely gone on enough in my own Editor’s Note, so I’ll try to keep it brief here. Hint: try.

To say that the Albany Student Press shaped my college experience is a vast understatement. Once I became a copy editor in 2022, my days were thought of in terms of the ASP. Fridays were submission days, Sundays were for copy editing, Mondays were for the edition, Thursdays were the ever-productive office hours, and the rest of the week was a runway for the next ASP. 

The ASP went from a club that I joined for resumé building to one that my life orbited around. Without any previous AP-style or journalism experience, I would rise from copy editor to news editor and, finally, to editor-in-chief. I went from the voice to be uplifted by the paper to the one uplifting those voices and watching them grow as writers. 

Nothing I could say will ever truly summarize how grateful I am for the experience and the friends I made along the way. As for our seniors in the letter, I wrote up a little something for each of them.

Christian, you were thrown into a very difficult spot as the sports section reorganized and reprioritized what they should cover. Together with some other staff members, you made sure the section stayed together despite the lack of writers. You have always been able to offer a strong, journalistic perspective whenever the ASP hits a moral or ethical issue, and for that, I thank you. Don’t let it go to your head. 

Florinda, from first meeting you in the good ol’ UAlbany Fund call center to finishing our undergrad theses together, you have been one of my closest friends. While you may not have had the time to write as frequently as Shawn (stuck in SA coverage) or Christian (keeping sports together), you submitted unique and memorable articles that highlighted often-forgotten parts of campus. Can’t wait to see what you get up to next. 

Shawn, it has been the dream team combo since you joined as managing editor (and later moved up to executive editor). Despite the work you did covering the Student Association each week, you still found the time to help out when it came to things like scheduling class visits, helping new writers, or training our current news editor. Now only one question remains for you: what are you going to do Wednesday nights? And, for that matter, sometimes small sections of Thursday mornings?

There are countless others I could mention in this letter, but I’ll quickly highlight the work of our wonderful social media manager Sophia LoRe, the help with ads from business manager Kyle Flood, and the backbone of our copy editing team Julia Ross-McGuire. 

Keep dreaming,

Henry Fisher

UAlbany 2024

Copy Editor (January 2022 - May 2022)

News Editor (August 2022 - May 2023)

Editor-in-Chief (August 2023 - May 2024)

Shawn Ness - Executive Editor

The Albany Student Press has been the only constant in my four years at the university. I have been here through thick and thin, and I called it my home. My best friends at college I met in this organization, people that I developed with as a writer, as a journalist, and as a person. And I am forever grateful. 

Having a like-minded community on the importance of free speech and freedom of information only made us all want to do better for the student body and deliver the best possible news we could, and I think we did a damn good job. 

Throughout four years, I have served in four separate editorial roles, all while writing nearly weekly articles. It paid off, as I know it did for the others around me. The ASP molded me and will continue to mold future students to be the best reporters they can be. It’s a duty which has objectively made me a better journalist. 

Forever grateful, 

Shawn Ness

UAlbany 2024

Copy Editor (January 2022 - May 2023)

News Editor (August 2023 - December 2023)

Managing Editor (August 2023 - December 2023)

Executive Editor (January 2024 - May 2024)

Christian Hince - Managing Editor

Photo Credit: Shawn Ness / News at 1800

When I was first offered the role of sports editor at the Albany Student Press in October 2022, I was surprised, scared, and excited. As someone leaping from being a staff writer into an editorial role, I didn’t have a strong idea of what being a leader in this way would look like. Nevertheless, not only did I come to love the role, but it made this newspaper a defining part of my college experience.

As sports editor, I couldn’t have taken charge of this section at a better time. The University at Albany’s field hockey, women’s basketball, lacrosse, and track and field teams have all excelled in the past two years, and it was a joy to cover the football team during its best season in school history.

Acting as sports editor not only gave me a clear, proud responsibility, it also got me involved in new, exciting areas of reporting. Covering the April 2023 protests was a spontaneous experience and a chance to be a journalist in an especially visible way, and it was an example of how fast-paced this profession can be.

Being sports editor and eventually managing editor at the Albany Student Press has motivated me in a seminal way, whether it be with writing, editing, ethics, or communication. It’s a duty which has objectively made me a better journalist.

Through my experience I’ve also been able to get bylines with the Times Union, the chance to cover women’s March Madness this year, and a web of connections in Albany media. Anyone in media will tell you that connections are everything, and the ASP has been a key tool for this.

Journalism aside, I’m grateful for the friends that I’ve made within the paper. ASP office hours are meant to be productive – and it is when it needs to be – but the chance to just socialize with other members of this newspaper has made Thursdays better across these two years. Whether I went to Lionheart with you, sat behind you in the WAMC newsroom, or let you use my account, know that I’ve appreciated becoming your friend thanks to the Albany Student Press.

Regardless of what my career holds in store for me, the pieces I’ve written and the people I’ve met at the Albany Student Press will always be where I got my start.

Thank you,

Christian Hince

UAlbany 2024

Sports Editor (October 2022 - December 2023)

Managing Editor (December 2023 - May 2024)

Florinda Gjypi - Copy Editor

When the idea of writing for the Albany Student Press was first brought up by one of my journalism professors in my freshman year, I felt terrified. To me, loving to write was one thing, but doing so for a student newspaper in my second language was something completely different.

And that’s when the ASP enters the picture: the people I have met here and the friends I made along the way changed my college experience and inspired me to try and try, draft after draft, until suddenly I had become part of the student group that reports, writes, tells stories, and carries the tradition of delivering the news to the UAlbany community.

The ASP gave me the chance to be around other students who understand best the difference that journalism and reporting does in the world, and how important it is to tell the stories that take place around us. Every “I’m part of the Albany Student Press” I’ve said in the past couple years has been a unique and proud moment for me. I’m very grateful for this experience and for all the other staff members who have contributed daily in keeping the newspaper running strongly. 

And remember, you’re only one draft away!

Always thankful,

Florinda Gjypi

UAlbany 2024

Copy Editor (August 2023 - May 2024)

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