Letter from the Editors

When you look back on your college years, you probably think of all the long nights, the stressful group projects and the friends you made in unexpected places. For NYU kids, making 2 a.m. runs to Joe’s Pizza and dodging skateboarders in Washington Square Park probably come to mind too. And for the Washington Square News staff, those Sunday productions, special issue nights and chaotic Slack channels are inseparable from the rest.

This year’s While You Were Here issue is particularly special to Under the Arch — we’re saying goodbye and happy graduation to two of our staff, as well as several members of the larger WSN family. To honor them, we have a page documenting where they started, where they are and where they’re planning to go.

College can make you grow a lot in four years. Throw in a pandemic and continuous sociopolitical conflict, and you may find that who you are now is a completely different person. In this issue, our seniors read their own NYU admissions essays and decided whether or not they held up — cliche Sinatra lyrics and all.

Graduation is a time of endings, but also new beginnings. One story in this issue is about graduating NYU athletes, some of whom are continuing to play while others leave sports to their college years — written by Portraits Editor Kiersten Dugan. The other, by staff writer Nikkala Kovacevic, is about seniors who aren’t going into the field they studied. People often evade change, but we hope that these stories prove that it can also be something worth embracing.

Thank you to our hardworking staff — Sunny Sequeira, Kiersten Dugan, Ivy Zhu and Julian Hammond Santander, as well as Aleksandra Goldberg, one of the senior members of staff we are saying goodbye to. You have brought so much to UTA in the time you were here, Aleksandra. Not only your incredible writing and natural creativity, but the light you bring just by entering a room. You’ve taken everything this magazine has thrown at you in stride, always doing spectacular work with a smile on your face. We will miss you, but we are so excited to see where life takes you.

It’s been a privilege to work with our amazing web and design teams, who came together to pull off our most ambitious special issue yet. Also a huge thank you to Jules Roscoe, who continues to come in clutch for us even though they are technically with the opinion desk.

From Caitlin: It’s fitting that While You Were Here 2021 was my first special issue as UTA Publishing Editor, and While You Were Here 2022 is my last. It’s the perfect way to bookend my career at WSN. I’ve already written about my time here, which you’ll see at the end of this issue, so I’ll just thank everyone who has helped me along the way: my UTA predecessors, my editors and everyone on our amazing staff. Special shoutout to members of UTA, past and present — I’m gonna miss bossing you around. 

Finally, to my co-manager, Sydney: Thank you for being by my side through this wild ride. I know UTA will thrive in your hands.

From Sydney: I am so beyond proud of this issue, though it feels bittersweet knowing this is our last one together.

Caitlin, you have been a joy to work with since day one. It always confuses me when you say you’re not a natural leader — could’ve fooled me. Your patience and kindness have made you everything a mentor should be and more. I’m going to miss seeing what new funky earrings you have on each day and even the delirium of late nights running special issues. 

I hope you leave this paper feeling so proud of your work and the effect you’ve had on our staff. UTA will not be the same without you, but I hope we continue to make you proud. We’ll keep striving to tell the big stories.

Portrait of Caitlin Hsu and Sydney Barragan in front of the Washington Square Arch in a sunny light.
(Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)
Design by Susan Behrends Valenzuela and Charitssa Stone
Developed for web by Jane He, Sho Matsuyama and Ryan Kawahara