Asbah Ahmad and Cassidy McMackon were elected Editors in Chief of Volume 151 of The Journal on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
Ahmad is the current Senior News Editor of Volume 150 and was an Assistant News Editor in Volume 149. Graduate student McMackon was the Opinions Editor in Volume 149 and an Assistant News Editor in Volume 148.
36 out of 41 eligible voters—an 87.8 per cent turnout—unanimously cast their votes in favour of the pair, with zero votes to abstain.
“I think we’re so lucky that people believed in us enough to vote for us,” Ahmad said in an interview with The Journal. “We got phone calls and messages telling us that we won, which was very exciting. I don’t think it will sink in fully until the first issue hits the stands.”
Upon hearing the results, McMackon said there was a huge weight lifted off her shoulders.
“While we ran uncontested, it’s really nice to see that all the work we did has paid off,” she said in an interview with The Journal. “I’m really excited to continue The Journal as the journalism school at Queens.”
“I look forward to seeing many of our staff having awesome bylines and major publications, and really taking the opportunity to ensure that we’re able to use the paper as a good platform for education.”
Ahmad and McMackon expressed their enthusiasm to work with one another, both saying “there’s no one else” with whom they’d rather do it.
Speaking to the pair’s platform, putting out good stories and allocating larger budgets are among Ahmad’s top goals. He added The Journal is more than a job; it’s about making connections and finding a place on campus where you can feel welcomed and belong.
Ahmad and McMackon commended past Journal leadership. McMackon said Raechel Huizinga and Matt Scace of Volume 148 “took a chance” on her.
“I’m so grateful they did. They really encouraged me to write for every single section.”
Ahmad mentioned the struggles the COVID-19 pandemic posed to Volumes 148 and 149, which the Editors made it through.
“Every year, there’s going to be different challenges. I think we’ll have challenges too […] the goal is to lay the foundation for the next Editors in Chief.”
The duo advocated why students should apply for positions on the Volume 151 masthead—hiring is open through March. McMackon said you can get “so much” out of working at The Journal.
“There’s nothing like seeing your name in print for the first time or seeing your name on the front page. I don’t think anything can beat that,” Ahmad added.
Volume 150 Editor in Chief Ben Wrixon is confident in the pair’s abilities.
“Talk about two slam-dunk candidates to be taking over as the next Editors in Chief at The Journal,” Wrixon said. “The Journal is in really good hands, and I think the fact that they got 100 per cent of the vote exemplifies that.”
Wrixon said their platform was very detailed and ambitious and they’re hard workers who really care about others. He looks forward to seeing what they accomplish.
“I think they both really deserve this […] What’s most important is who they are as people. You won’t find two better advocates for all groups at Queen’s and for student journalism.”
Volume 150 Managing Editor Julia Harmsworth said she’s “incredibly excited and happy” for Ahmad, McMackon, and Volume 151.
“I had the pleasure of working with Cassidy on the news team in Volume 148 which was an amazing experience, so I’m really happy to see that family continuing on at The Journal,” she said.
“Asbah has been such an amazing person to have on the team this year in Volume 15 […] Truly, no one knows more about The Journal than he does.”
Editor in Chief, Election, The Journal
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