College junior Arianna Skibell was elected the next editor-in-chief of The Emory Wheel on Saturday by the newspaper’s editorial board and staff members. She will assume her new role after spring break.
Skibell ran uncontested and received 15 votes.
Skibell began writing for the Arts & Living section of the Wheel in the fall of her freshman year. She was named Assistant Arts & Living editor that November, and was then named Arts & Living editor the following spring. In the spring of her sophomore year, she was named the Wheel’s executive editor.
Current Editor-in-Chief and College senior Evan Mah, who has worked with Skibell since her freshman year, said he believes Skibell will do a great job in her new position.
“She loves the Wheel,” Mah said. “She believes in the mission of this paper.”
Skibell said two aspects of the organization she hopes to address are the effectiveness and efficiency of the paper’s internal workings and the paper’s presence on campus.
To accomplish the first goal, Skibell said she will implement certain practices that will allow all writers and Wheel members to feel more integral and appreciated for the time an energy they put in at the paper, thereby encouraging a more inclusive and effective work environment.
Skibell said one way to strengthen the newspaper’s presence on campus without creating a conflict of interest is to capitalize on the Wheel’s neutrality by moderating forums in which faculty, administrators and students can come together to discuss campus issues. She added that she wants the student body to recognize that the newspaper strives to cover the major issues on campus, reporting stories that may not otherwise be covered. Mah said the numerous breaking news events — including the departmental changes announced last semester — that have occurred this year tested the paper’s legitimacy. Mah and Skibell said they are proud of the Wheel’s coverage of these events.
Skibell said that Mah has stabilized the financial side of the organization, which will allow the Wheel to concentrate on other improvements that are central to internal efficiency.
Skibell — who grew up in Atlanta and is now a joint major in psychology and linguistics with a minor in English — said she became passionate about the Wheel when she saw how much of an impact the paper could have on campus.
When Skibell saw how the newspaper provided a service to the school that no one else was offering, she saw the organization as a “real gift.”
That gift is most exemplified for Skibell in the organization’s editorial board meetings, where the board discusses not only ways the paper can be improved, but also major issues that affect Emory and the student population, forming a collective opinion, which is published in each issue’s Editorials section.
“Seeing a group of brilliant, young people caring so much about the state of their University … sort of restored my faith in my generation and encouraged me to be critical and thoughtful,” Skibell said.
Skibell said she has a lot to learn, but has a decent foundation for her time as editor-in-chief.
“In the upcoming year I would like to simultaneously maintain the external advancements that [Mah] has made, while finding ways to strengthen this organization’s internal structure and effectiveness,” Skibell said.
— By Karishma Mehrotra