Campus life editor bids farewell to the NI



Campus Life Editor Leziga Barikor reflects on her time at the Northern Iowan, wishing her colleagues well in the future.

LEZIGA BARIKOR, Campus Life Editor | [email protected]

It would seem that more often than not, all those organizations you meet at orientation and fleetingly pass your email address to don’t usually end up being organizations you stick with. 

The Northern Iowan (NI) staff at the time must’ve known that, because I never did get that “Come to this meeting” email from them. But I wanted to work for a paper, so I did.

That’s my advice to anyone who is thinking about doing something they’ve wanted to but haven’t gotten around to yet — just go for it.

When I finally started working for a paper, I wrote everything — politics, event coverage, historical pieces and many more. I jumped at the opportunities I was given. I kept my schedule mostly empty so I could fill it with interview meetings, and I made a lot of cold calls to strangers.

But in the words of the preacher or Ecclesiastes 1:9, “That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun.”

There are patterns to a UNI news cycle. School starts with stories focused on enrollment and tuition talks, football, Homecoming, Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) election season, “basketball could be good this year” and so on. 

That’s not to say I’m bored of UNI. On the contrary, my school spirit has grown exponentially in the past three years. 

Rather, I realized I’ve spent every minute I had working at the NI, and now don’t want to report on events anymore. I want to enjoy them.

I started out as the NISG senate meeting live Twitter correspondent, which was a lot of fun my freshman year. It gave me the opportunity to stop the presses as the resignation of the vice president was issued in the last five minutes of a meeting. 

It was a fun night to be a journalist.

And, contrary to popular opinion, I think 2016 was a pretty fun year to be a Republican on a college campus. I had fun writing some of my first opinion columns, and I think I approached them all in a way that leaves me with no regrets.

And, to quote Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black again, “I do not believe that it can be too often repeated that the freedoms of speech, press, petition and assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment must be accorded to the ideas we hate, or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish.”

It matters that opposing opinions of every avenue are exhausted. If they fall under scrutiny, then we just made the world wiser because of it. That is my parting challenge to the new NI editorial staff — don’t fail to look at the opposing points of view.

Thank you to all the previous staff members I worked with who believed in me and helped me make it this far. The time I put into the graphic design of my pages is because of the inspiration I got from watching people like Iris Fraser and Katie Baughman work.

I want to give a special thank you to Laura Smith for all your help and guidance which I have deeply appreciated. 

I don’t have enough words to thank Michele Smith — she’s been a lifesaver.

Nick Fisher as executive editor made me a better writer, and Clinton Olsasky made me less stressed. Thank you. 

Dylan Pady, you are an enigma and a really cool kid. I hope your Soundcloud music blows up one day. 

To Jacob Madden, Josh Dausener, Gabby Leitner, Joel Wauters, Sydney Hauer and Sierra “the Meme Queen” Steen, all the best of luck. You’re all more than capable humans, and I’m sure you’ll get out before midnight next fall.

And to you reading, your life matters. Live it well!