The Daily Targum caucused in its 153rd editorial board this weekend virtually, as the paper continues to operate remotely and expand its digital outreach.
Despite the event being held over Zoom for the first time, the Targum continued its traditional caucus format by asking the editor candidates questions about grammar, leadership, journalistic integrity and potential projects for the upcoming year.
After each candidate is questioned, both the outgoing and incoming board votes on whether to approve the candidate. Editor positions typically last a year, but some members of the 152nd board continued onto board 153.
Hayley Slusser, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and the former head news editor, is the Targum’s new editor-in-chief. She said the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which forced the Targum to halt its printing operations, showed her how important it is for the paper to improve its website and other digital content.
“For the first time, we have an editor solely focused on social media, which will be crucial for creating more engaging content that highlights the hard work of our student journalists, photographers and videographers,” Slusser said.
She also said she is eager to help the section editors strengthen their relationships with their writers as well as one another in order to develop a more collaborative environment.
Madison McGay, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and the former associate news editor, is the Targum’s new managing editor. She said she hopes to minimize the gap between the Targum and the rest of the Rutgers community by increasing outreach and encouraging more students to get involved.
“The Targum is meant to be a newspaper by students, for students,” McGay said. “Due to everything that has happened this past year, it has been difficult to expand our reach but I am looking forward to building a better connection with the student body.”
Victoria Yeasky, a Rutgers Business School sophomore, is taking over as head news editor, and Joanne Chung, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, is the new associate news editor. Both editors said they hope to recruit more students to write for the news section, develop story ideas that students are most interested in and boost the Targum’s readership.
“I am so excited to be taking over this position not only so I can continue to foster my own passion for writing, but also so I can be a leader for other writers and keep the Rutgers community informed,” Yeasky said.
Chung said although the COVID-19 pandemic has kept Rutgers students separated, she believes the section can help students learn more about the University and will help bring them together.
“News is an education — in community, in writing and in life. I want to make it so that more students see this in the Targum and incorporate our student newspaper into their learning experience at Rutgers,” she said.
Taking over as opinions editor is Alice Militaru, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. She said she is most excited to expand the range of topics discussed in the opinions section.
“There are so many topics out there and as Rutgers students we really do have a diverse pool of opinions to choose from,” Militaru said. “We do not exist as conduits for other people’s takes, but as independent writers and thinkers that learn from our professors, our peers and mentors.”
She said she hopes to better showcase the wide range of literary abilities that students at Rutgers have to offer.
Elana Ortiz, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, and Dylan McCoy, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, are the Targum’s new head and associate sports editors. Ortiz said she is looking forward to working alongside McCoy for the next year.
“Rutgers sports is on the come-up in so many departments and I want students to be able to rely on us to get all of their Rutgers Athletics news,” Ortiz said. “I think we’re going to incorporate some fun new ideas that readers will love.”
McCoy, who plans to work in sports media after college, also hopes to broaden the sports desk’s scope.
“I’m hoping to implement more long-form sports articles that show writers’ voices and opinions throughout,” he said.
Rania Rizvi, a Rutgers Business School junior, is the Targum’s new features editor. She said she is excited to take over a section as creative as Inside Beat and plans to expand upon the work that was done by the previous features editor through diversifying the section’s topics.
“As editor, I hope to continue to do this and push the boundaries of student journalism,” Rizvi said. “I hope to inspire others to share their voice in the paper, and of course, maintain our status as the best section of the paper.”
Kelly Carmack, a Mason Gross School of the Arts senior, is returning as head photo editor for the semester. She is joined by new associate photo editor Nadia Rahim, a Mason Gross sophomore.
Carmack said the pandemic has made it difficult for the photo desk to continue its usual operations and wants to ensure that the desk will be successful in the future.
“I want to definitely recruit more photographers, or be in the process (of doing so), so that when we are back on campus we will be able to grow our desk even more,” she said.
Rahim said she is looking forward to collaborating with the Targum’s new social media editor, School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Hezekiel Poluan, in order to expand the paper’s online presence.
“By providing more graphics and authentic content I am eager to see where the new board takes the Targum,” Rahim said.
Poluan said he is also eager to collaborate with other members of the board during his term as the Targum’s social media editor.
“As the first person to hold this position, the possibilities are endless,” he said. “Yet, one main goal of mine is to translate the (more than) 150-year-old history of the Targum into all of our digital social media platforms.”
Returning as the Targum’s head and associate video editors are Tarana Parekh, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, and Eli Horowitz, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.
“The Targum has been an exciting place for me to cultivate my videography and editing skills,” Parekh said. “For this board, I plan on expanding on the projects we started last year by placing a spotlight on student experiences and voices.”
She said she also looks forward to broadening the reach of the video desk through engaging visual content and new video projects.
Horowitz said he is also looking forward to expanding upon the previous work of the video desk.
"I’m excited to work with the video team and continue to expand our multimedia content which will include new videos and more podcast episodes,” he said.
The copy desk will be led by Nicole Falcone, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. She said she was eager to get involved in journalism and views the position as the best opportunity to do so.
“I'm really excited to continue to uphold the quality of the Targum as well as work alongside the other desks to make the content engaging and reliable,” she said.
Joining her is associate copy editor Chloe Tai, a School of Arts and Sciences senior. Tai began her position midway through last semester as a member of the 152nd editorial board and is continuing as part of board 153 until she graduates.
Tai said her experience at the Targum has helped her connect with the University, despite spending her final year remotely.
“Working with the Targum has been such a big part of my college life, and I am looking forward to bringing in more people and more passion to it,” she said. “An article or two can change your life, a little cheesy, I know, but it has been the truth for me.”