Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches – “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story – to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.
As a photojournalism major, the Hatchet seemed like the obvious choice in a student org to invest my time and learn more about the world of journalism. I joined as a sophomore, shyly coming to photo meetings in the townhouse basement. I quickly became comfortable with the editors and other photographs, and quickly felt more empowered as a photographer working with the Hatchet. Every week taking photo assignments, I felt more in the loop with campus happenings, more connected to the student body and more appreciative of the vibrant GWU and greater D.C. community.
Working with culture and features, I really got to break out from the Foggy Bottom bubble. As a staff photographer, I loved taking weekend outlook assignments, then bringing my friends and making a day of it. As culture photo editor my junior year, I was thrilled to be in the budgeting meetings and learn about all the hottest places in D.C. that I hadn’t hit yet. As features editor this year, I love finding hidden gems in the city and sending other photographers to cover them for snapshots so they get to have that same experience I did.
Departing the Hatchet, I am very proud of the work the photo team did these last two years. We adapted to covering D.C. events from living rooms all over the country during the pandemic, we faced so many awkward Zoom hotseats, and we were able to come back to campus and readjust to in-person days and nights in the townhouse. We all pushed ourselves to come up with creative solutions for stories, and came back to D.C. stronger photographers and editors than ever.
I feel so lucky to have been under the leadership of such inspirational women editors the whole time I was on staff, and to be part of such a girl boss photo team for two years in a row. My peers both on the Hatchet and in my photojournalism cohort have given me so much hope for the currently male-dominated journalism industry. I’m looking forward to watching us move into the world to bring more diverse voices and perspectives on global issues.
Sydney: I am so glad we both chose the tiniest, most niche little major when we were eighteen!! It’s been so much fun growing as visual storytellers together in Smith Hall, Corcoran, Eddie Adams and the townhouse.
Grace: This year with you at the helm was amazing. Thanks so much for keeping us all in line, calm and on time. It’s been so much fun seeing your photos get stronger and stronger over the past three years and watching you come into this position of leadership so naturally and with such ~grace.~
Auden: I’m so glad you got to hop on the photo team mid-year! You’ve become such a great editor in such a small amount of time, and I know you’ll be such a great senior photo editor next year!!
Danielle: You did such a great job this year on news! You had such a heavy workload and you did the damn thing!! I know you’re going to do such big things with features next year, and I can’t wait to see it!
I am so thankful for all the opportunities the Hatchet gave me to photograph, learn and grow. A few of my favorites (of course including Josh Peck <3) are below.
This article appeared in the April 7, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.