Tuesday, October 4, 2022

‘There’s space for you at the table’: Meet your editor-in-chief and managing editor 

August 30, 2022
Editor in Chief Sa'Mya Overall (left) and Managing Editor Dina Kaur (right) pose with issues of The State News in which their respective stories were the covers on Aug. 24, 2022.
Editor in Chief Sa'Mya Overall (left) and Managing Editor Dina Kaur (right) pose with issues of The State News in which their respective stories were the covers on Aug. 24, 2022. —
Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

Leading the student newspaper is a task that is both daunting and exciting.

On one hand, we’re faced with the responsibility of leading over fifty student journalists to deliver the MSU community quality, accurate and relevant news daily. 

On the other hand, we have the opportunity to shape our coverage to ensure it speaks not only to students who make up the majority of MSU’s campus, but students that look like us.

According to the fall 2021 enrollment report, Michigan State University’s total undergraduate student body is 67.6% white, compared to 26.1% students of color. This means out of 38,574 undergraduates in fall 2021, only 2,802 were Black and 2,841 were Asian American or Pacific Islander.

Just 5,643 students may look like us at the large university that is Michigan State.

As two women of color, leading The State News carries a heavier weight. We’ve experienced the prejudice and discrimination that comes with being a Black woman and an Asian American woman – both at MSU and in our lives outside of college. 

We were impacted by police brutality in the Black community and mass shootings in the Asian American community. And yet, we’ve watched as our stories were told inaccurately by people who didn’t look like us and didn’t experience life like us – locally, nationally and globally. 

We promise that won’t be the case at The State News.

We strive to make a concentrated effort to actively seek out and listen to that 26.1%. Student news coverage is only relevant when it reaches all of the student body, not just the majority.

The State News is your student newspaper. What matters to the student body matters to us. And when groups like Black Student Alliance (BSA), Native American Indigenous Student Organization (NAISO), Asian Pacific American Student Organization (APASO), Culturas de las Razas Unidas (CRU) and more speak out, The State News will be ready to listen.

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Our roles as editor-in-chief and managing editor gives us the platform to share these stories directly from those who experience them. We hope it implements a layer of trust – we want you to feel comfortable sharing your stories.

But we also hope to serve as role models for all the students of color at MSU. There’s a place for you in the higher seats at the organizations you dream to work for. There’s space for you at the table. Your voice belongs in that room.

So utilize The State News this year. Share your stories. Talk about your pain. Express your joy. Be comfortable in your skin and demand the space you deserve.

And know that at least two independent, female, student journalists of color are rooting for you from behind the scenes.

We hope we do you proud, MSU.

This story is part of our 2022 Welcome Week print issue. Read the entire issue here.

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.

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