Grateful for Past, Present and Future Newspaper Leaders

By Kayoneil Wilson

Student Lifestyle Editor

The pandemic shifted the focus from an in-person experience to finding and creating new ways to provide news to the FDU community. Much like the university, The Equinox pivoted to virtual and shifted gears on short notice. Tasks such as office hours, team meetings and editing sessions were on Zoom. News never stopped, and the lines between student and reporter blurred.

When they graduate, Equinox Editor-in-Chief  Elizabeth “Elle” Scalzo and Managing Editor Amaya Morales leave The Equinox a much different newspaper then it was when they first joined the staff in 2019. 

“The biggest thing [the pandemic] taught me was how to set hard boundaries between myself and work. By doing this, the time I was putting in became much more useful for the staff and I. In addition, I was able to also take care of my mental and physical well being,” Scalzo said.

Under the unwavering leadership, the newspaper has grown in how it contributes  to the FDU community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team reported on health and safety issues and policies at FDU and nationwide. With an eye to the big picture, student life events, sports and entertainment stories never lost their coverage.

During the pandemic, Scalzo and Morales pioneered a series called The Roundtable.  It was a biweekly video program on YouTube that included in-depth discussions, recorded via Zoom. The series shed light on important COVID-19 topics such as health and safety, every day college life and how to overcome challenges.

Interviews with President Christoper Capuano and former provost Gillian Small and special-edition video segments updates regarding changes in Communication Department were must-see and read daily stories.

The series also brought awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement and offered insights on the many injustices that have occurred within the U.S.  Guests from both the Student Government Association and the Black Student Union were spotlighted, as well.

Connecting With Others

Working with The Equinox allowed both leaders to build a network of connections through their experiences of interviewing many people with varied perspectives to add context on critical topics.

“Our advisor [Professor Mo Krochmal] and a few of our guest helpers (Nancy Ayala, volunteer editor, along with Barbera Riehl, volunteer business advisor) come with a variety of skills and experiences that they have shared with us,” Morales said. 

Krochmal says it was no mistake the dynamic duo pushed The Equinox in a new direction.  

 “Elle and Amaya were the right people at the right time with great attitude and professionalism – along with the whole Equinox team. This organization will continue to learn, grow, and report for the future.” 

Joining an organization like The Equinox allows its members to build a platform that informs on issues that are important, coupled with the constant building and refining of connections with others to help advance a career in journalism. 

With many different stories being uploaded to The Equinox’s website, the organization also focused on promoting each story to their social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. This is essential to maintain an interactive experience for the community. 

As they graduate, Elle and Amaya leave behind big shoes to fill. John Mineses was recently elected to be Editor-in-Chief, and I will be the new Managing Editor. The former editors shared advice before stepping down: “ It’s important to try, and even if you fail, you are one step closer to success,” said Morales. 

Scalzo offers wise words for the world of journalism and for budding reporters. 

“Journalism is a cut-throat world where you can easily get lost in the crowd, but making a name for yourself will always be your biggest accomplishment,” she said.  

You can show your support for Elle and Amaya when they join the Class of 2022 as they walk across the stage on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at The MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.  

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Present and future leaders of The Equinox celebrate at the 2022 SGA Gala, April 28 at Florham.

Photo by The Equinox