Julia Garrison

News Editor

The senior editors sat down in the Voice office to reflect on their time at Wooster and with the Voice as graduation nears.

Editor in Chief Tyler Rak ’24 is a political science and history double major with a double minor in religious studies and South Asian studies. Hailing from Valley City, Ohio, Rak works as a peer advisor in the Global Engagement office, serves on Scot Council and held an internship at Wooster’s Lyric Theatre. At the Voice, he has served in different positions over two years: business manager, chief copy editor and editor in chief. His Independent Study, titled “Crossing the Rubicon: Brazilian Water Access from Public Provision to Privatization” examines the relationship between privatization and water access in Brazil.

Editor in Chief Emilie Eustace ’24 is a women’s, gender and sexuality studies and psychology double major. She is from Pioneer, Ohio. She has been involved with the Voice for three years and served as the Features editor before being promoted to editor in chief. Her Independent Study is titled “In Their Words: A Qualitative Investigation Exploring the Experiences of Body Image and Eating Behaviors among a Group of Bisexual Individuals.”

Managing Editor Ellen McAllister ’24 is a double major in education and English with a minor in Environmental Studies and is from Orrville, OH. McAllister has been working for the Voice for three years, where she started out as a copy editor and the creative section editor. She has also served as the president of Wooster Activities Crew for the last three years. Her Independent Study is titled “Changing the Narrative to Change the Climate: An English Teacher’s Guide to Incorporating Environmental Literature into High School English Classrooms.”

In their time as staff on the Voice, the trio has seen the office go through large changes, especially in a post-COVID-19 campus, a period during which many clubs and extracurriculars went under. The reshaping and reformation of the Voice as an organization would sometimes lead to tensions in the office — which Eustace said have not followed them into their senior year. 

“I think we’ve grown a lot through [the years] and made the Voice a really, really healthy environment. And I think that’s something that I’m really happy that the three of us got to do,” said Eustace. “I like healthy environments and I like to have fun.”

“I think that [it’s] improved the quality of our paper and the kinds of stories that we publish. I think everyone cares a lot about the paper because they’re friends with people in the office, and we have really productive but entertaining conversations when we’re here, which I think is really important,” said McAllister.

Their goals for accountability in reporting have also changed from how previous editorial boards operated, Rak continued.

“I’m really happy with the direction that we’ve pushed [the paper], that people can trust us to come with concerns and to address them on campus,” he said. 

Eustace discussed the approval ratings article published in the Voice earlier this semester and how it reflected concerns addressed in the faculty approval ratings survey — which was accessed by the Voice in Special Collections. She expressed how impressed she was by the large response number that the editorial staff collected during the week of surveying in Lowry and how honest students were about their concerns.

The Voice staff meets for weekly layout of the paper on Tuesday evenings; starting at 4 p.m.and running up until any time from 7 p.m. or 11 p.m., articles go through rounds of copy edits and section editors lay out their pages on InDesign. The senior editors emphasized that although this event puts quite a dent in Tuesday evenings, it is worth it. 

“I love just sitting back and watching everyone else have conversations and genuinely enjoy being here and talking with other people that would never have known or crossed paths with if it were not for the Voice. And I think that is so cool that we foster that,” said McAllister.

On the other hand, the senior editors discussed that some struggles had hindered the editorial board — especially on the national level of student journalism.

“It’s just a lot of pressure. Every week I’m worried we’re going to get shut down,” explained Eustace. “We’re worried even if we are reporting [on] what’s happening on campus. We really want to report on the really important things. But sometimes we’re just worried [that] if we do that, we’re gonna get shut down.” 

Eustace went on to discuss concerns from the editorial staff and conversations that the staff had during the last year.

“We’ve had conversations that have sounded like we could [be shut down] a while ago, but I think that’s kind of always a stressor behind us, the state of student journalism and just the state of our paper.”

For what the editors would like the campus community to know about the newspaper and how it runs, the senior editors emphasized their hopes that the community find the Voice to be informative and impactful during their time at Wooster.

“We all care very deeply about what we’re doing, or we wouldn’t be a part of this,” Rak said. “I think that whether or not you love the stories and read everything every week, just knowing how much time and care and love that everyone in [the] office puts into the Voice is really important, because everyone kind of pours their soul into their section every single week.”

“I think that people think that [the Voice] is this whole ‘thing’, but literally anyone can write. If they have an event that they want covered, they can write for it, or if they have a Viewpoint or something, they can write it.” McAllister said. “It really would be super awesome to see more students [contributing] to different sections, even if they don’t want to do it every week.”

Eustace said that she hopes the Voice can diversify its coverage next year, but that the newspaper calls upon the student body to increase their participation in the paper, even if they feel timid in doing so. She explained that club presidents and committee heads should most definitely continue to keep in contact with the Voice team.

After the trio graduates, they are all hoping to go on to bigger and better things beyond Wooster. Eustace is moving to Chicago, Illinois, where she is entering a doctoral degree  program in clinical psychology at Illinois Tech. She will be studying eating behaviors and body image in sexual minority populations in the Eating Behaviors Lab, advised by Dr. Alissa Haedt-Matt. She hopes to continue to assist people within sexual minority populations who struggle with eating disorders.

McAllister hopes to continue in education as an English teacher from any grade between seven to 12. Her pursuit is inspired by her understanding of the importance of writing and reading for the future. “[I want to] give students a safe place to go and have someone in their life that cares about them,” she said.

Rak hopes to eventually pursue a doctoral degree in political science. Through his time at Wooster, Rak has also discovered a passion for teaching others. He also wishes to continue traveling, something he has been able to do frequently during his time at Wooster.

The three senior editors’ biggest hope is that their leadership has a lasting impact.They have seen the paper go through immense changes through their four years and hope that these changes will continue to be for the better. Their advice for the general student body is to continue to educate themselves and continue to read the paper — whether that be physically or digitally.“Think of how dapper you look. Sitting reading a copy of the Voice at Boo Bears sipping your coffee. You could wear a fedora maybe,” said Rak.

Written by

Julia Garrison

Julia Garrison is the News Editor for the Wooster Voice. From Morgantown, West Virginia, she is an English and Global Media and Digital Studies double major with a pathway in digital and visual storytelling. At Wooster, she covers administrative and faculty news. She also designs visuals for stories.