Dear readers, 

Monday, March 16, marks the day that The Collegian’s new editor-in-chief, Olivia Diaz, will take over. Olivia is an incredibly talented reporter and qualified leader. I have no doubt that she, along with her amazing team of editors, will help The Collegian continue its pursuit of the truth and its mission of thoughtfully covering every inch of our campus community. 

I am writing this letter under quite unexpected circumstances. On Wednesday, the University of Richmond administration joined hundreds of other schools across the country in temporarily closing its doors in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19. 

As a senior Spider, I am devastated that I will have lost three weeks of living on campus, taking classes and soaking up these precious final moments as an undergraduate student. But as a journalist preparing for her career in reporting, I am watching closely as this global pandemic continues to unfold. This situation is unprecedented; history is being made before our eyes. We will remember this time for the rest of our lives. 

I want to assure you that although our campus may be in a “modified operating status,” The Collegian is not. Olivia and her team of editors, writers, photographers and countless others will diligently work to continue producing the coverage our campus community needs. In addition to reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, The Collegian will still be publishing feature and lifestyle stories, news pieces and opinion editorials as its leaders see fit. 

When you care about a place deeply, you work to illuminate its problems and celebrate its triumphs. Journalism is the tool that allows us to record our daily lives, make meaningful connections within our communities and challenge our own ideas, beliefs and experiences. 

It is my hope that all members of UR’s campus — faculty, staff and students — continue to hold themselves accountable. Speaking up takes courage, but it is always the right thing to do. 

Although this was not how I had envisioned my time as editor-in-chief ending, I leave the position feeling nothing but gratitude. Serving in this role has been my greatest joy and proudest accomplishment. Thank you for trusting me to do this job.

Here’s to another year of pursuing the truth and celebrating our community.

Always my best,

Jocelyn Grzeszczak

Contact Jocelyn Grzeszczak at jocelyn.grzeszczak@richmond.edu.