By Victoria Lawson | Echo
If you haven't seen him, you've at least heard him: Taylor's beloved "Friday Guy," junior Justin Chapman, was appointed to be editor in chief of The Echo for the 2019-2020 year.
Chapman originally had no intentions of becoming editor in chief because he did not know what his senior year was going to look like. However, Faculty Advisor for The Echo and Associate Professor of Journalism Alan Blanchard approached him and encouraged him to apply, giving Chapman a week to think about it.
The position of editor in chief is a time-consuming position with a wide variety of responsibilities, including final edits of the whole paper before it is released, leading budget meetings to plan out the stories for each section, overseeing correspondence on behalf of The Echo and leading all the other section editors. Once Chapman knew he had room in his schedule to take on the responsibility, he accepted the position.
While Chapman is personally looking forward to gaining more writing and leadership experience through this position, he is also delighted to continue investing in The Echo for what it means to the campus communally.
"I think The Echo is unique because we go to such a small school and it's not something where it's all journalists and communications majors who are pouring into it," Chapman said. "Because I'm sure at a bigger school it'd be mostly those majors, but it's really fun to get to know different people from different areas. There are a lot of people that I've met through it that I wouldn't have met otherwise. It's just a cool thing to make a great newspaper that's highly respected and one that people appreciate a lot."
As for Chapman's vision for The Echo, he hopes to continue including fun beats such as junior Drew Shriner's "Croc Thoughts" while making room for new column ideas. One idea he hopes to bring to life is an idea suggested to him by a staff writer: a column for students studying abroad to share their experiences and write as contributors in the midst of their time overseas. This way, students back home can get a firsthand glimpse into that trip or country while that student is there instead of in hindsight.
Chapman's crucial incoming role in rallying The Echo staffers has an undeniable, completely obvious and direct correlation to his other crucial role as the iconic Friday Guy.
After being chosen his freshman year to bear the honor of the shirt, the title and the rallying cry, "'Cause it's Friday!" from previous Friday Guy Robbie Brandkamp ('17), Chapman believes the skills he has acquired could transfer well into his new position as editor-in-chief.
Brandkamp chose Justin as next Friday Guy because of his good chapel attendance, his ability to verbally relay information effectively and with a high volume and his confidence that the prestigious role would not go to Chapman's head.
That humility and responsibility in the wake of great power is why many believe Chapman is well-suited for the job. Current Co-Editor in chief senior Chrysa Keenon is one of these believers.
"It's super bittersweet to leave The Echo, but I have full confidence that Justin is going to be able to handle whatever campus throws at him next year," Keenon said. "He has wonderful leadership skills and I can't wait to see all the wonderful things he will accomplish during his time as Editor in Chief."