Farewell From Serin Sarsour, Vanguard’s Editor-In-Chief

Courtesy of Tony Lipka

By Serin Sarsour


   When I think about my time at The Vanguard, I don’t think about the sleepless nights (although, believe me, there were many). I think about how rewarding it felt to pick up a copy of the issue of the week. I knew that what I was holding in my hands was the physical representation of the hard work of an amazing team doing their due diligence to keep their community informed while representing the student body. And that made up for all of the sleepless nights.

   As a proud Muslim Palestinian woman who was born and raised in America, witnessing the unjust reportage of my people has been a driving force in my desire to be a voice for the voiceless and prevent the spread of misinformation. I’m so grateful that I was able to get my start as an aspiring journalist at The Vanguard.

   To my parents, Samer and Shahnaz Sarsour. Thank you for believing in me and trusting me to follow my passion instead of going down a more traditional path. I think about every one of your sacrifices every day; I have not and will never take them for granted. You both are the reason why I am the person I am today, and I cannot express the love and appreciation that I have for you enough. (My dad always wanted to see his name in a newspaper, so here you go, baba!)

   To Mera and Alina, my not-so-little sisters. Thank you for providing me with the emotional support and laughs I needed to get me through those long, stressful days. I love you both very much, and I look forward to giving you another one of my unsolicited hugs again soon (you know you love them)!

   To Kate Dempsey, my partner-in-crime and Managing Editor. I can’t thank you enough for all of your support. You always know what I’m thinking before I even say anything and it blows my mind every time. What can I say, I guess this partnership was just meant to be. You are not only an incredibly talented writer, but you are also an incredibly genuine person and friend, which is hard to come by these days. I am so excited to see what the future holds for The Vanguard when you take over as Editor-in-Chief next semester. I know you’re going to do amazing things because, well, you’re Kate Dempsey!

   To Gabriela Flores and Michela Arlia, the O.G. vangirlies. Thank you for having faith in me and doing everything in your power to ensure that I was prepared to take on such a hefty responsibility this semester. I’ve always admired the time, care, and effort you have both put into this paper, and I hope I did you two justice because following your leadership was definitely not an easy task.

   To Samia Afsar, my Capstone companion. I miss you endlessly. Even though you’re now about 7,246 miles away (yes, I looked it up), I will never forget all of the laughs, secrets, and inside jokes we shared last semester. I only wish that we are reunited very soon, my love. Thank you for getting me out of my shell and being my other half for the time I was blessed to have gotten to spend with you. You truly are one of a kind. Those 7,246 miles have nothing on our special bond!

   To the outstanding team I had the absolute privilege of working with this semester, including Shlomie Katash, Paulina Gajewski, Jason Lin, Oscar Docavo, Tony Lipka, Francesca Saladino, Rami Mansi, Shea Stevenson, Emmad Kashmiri, Reima Choute, Avi Wizwer, Nidhi Mahadevan, and Nitu Farhin. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to this paper. Going to our weekly budget meetings and getting to speak with you all and hear your great story ideas was the highlight of my Thursdays. I wish you all the very best.

   To the astounding staff I had the honor of working alongside while I was Features Editor for my first two years at The Vanguard, including John Schilling, Owen Russell, Radwan Farraj, Kaylin Guzman, and Brie Underwood. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and supporting me in any way you could. I especially want to thank Matt Hirsch because he was the one who sent me Gaby’s way in the first place when I told him I wanted to join the school paper but had no idea where to even start. You rock!

   To the professors who have assisted me in completing my JAMS and TREM education at Brooklyn College, including Michelle Lipkin, Maisie McAdoo, Brian Dunphy, Victoria Manna, Irene Sosa, Helen Pfeffer, Annie Byrnes, Turner Cowles, and Jason Moore. Thank you for pushing me to gain the skills necessary to be ready to face the intimidating field that is journalism. I especially want to express my gratitude to The Vanguard’s faculty advisor and mentor, Dr. MJ Robinson. I cannot thank you enough for the guidance and knowledge you have bestowed upon me during my time at BC.

   To my friends over at WBCR, including Alexandria Woolfe, Miad Abdelgadir, T.S. Richards, Josh Narisma, Diana Bautista, Damien Ovalle, Luis Flecha, and Jessica Lowery. I applaud you all for the amazing content you continue to push out. Thank you for always showing your support for both me and The Vanguard.

   To the key people who have helped The Vanguard stay afloat, including Jessica Bradley and Mia Vialva at Central Depository, our printer Linco and the kind people who drop off the issues every week, and the leaders of BC’s Undergraduate Student Government. Thank you for all of your assistance.

   To all of the friends I have made at Brooklyn College (you know who you are). Thank you for making those four and a half hour-long classes pass by a little bit faster. I’m so grateful that I got to spend my years at BC with you, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us! 

   Last but certainly not least, to our readers. Thank you so much for taking the time to read our issues (I hope you got something out of it). Without you, The Vanguard would not have the privilege of continuing on with its legacy.

   I remember having this conversation with my best friend in my freshman year at BC where I was talking about “climbing the ladder” at my school’s paper and eventually becoming the editor-in-chief. Little did I know that was exactly what was going to happen. Shoutout to you, Melissa Romano! Even at the height of a pandemic where nothing was certain, one thing was for sure: you’ve always believed in me.

   If you made it this far (kudos to you, you’re awesome!), I just want to advise you that taking risks and joining clubs pays off. If I didn’t send that email two and a half years ago and joined The Vanguard, I would not be the writer or person I am today.

   I am so blessed to have had The Vanguard be a large part of my college experience. Not only have I gained knowledge and willpower, but I’ve also gained a community and memories that I will cherish forever.

   With much love and gratitude, this is Serin Sarsour signing off for the last time. Stay tuned because it’s only going to get better from here!