The Emory Wheel’s Executive Editor Matthew Chupack (24C) and Managing Editor Sarah Davis (22Ox, 24C) were elected as editors-in-chief on Feb. 24. Chupack, Davis and their new executive board will assume their new positions on March 1.
Chupack and Davis ran unopposed. Milan Parker (24N) declared candidacy but dropped out on Jan. 25. Out of 49 eligible voters, 75.5% of eligible voters cast ballots. Chupack and Davis received 36 votes, with one vote of “no confidence.”
“We are the source of journalism knowledge on this campus,” Davis said in an interview with the Wheel. “There are a couple journalism classes, but we are a running student publication and it is our duty to hold the University accountable and educate students on the value of journalism and ethics.”
Chupack and Davis have both harbored an interest in journalism for years. Both joined the Wheel during their first year at Emory University’s Atlanta and Oxford campuses, respectively, bringing experience from their time as writers for their high school newspapers.
This high school experience is what made Chupack interested in writing for the Wheel. After taking a photojournalism class in high school and being encouraged to write for the school newspaper by her teacher, Davis noted that she “loved” the experience and continued writing.
Chupack added that he met his “closest peers” as he continued with the publication.
“My best friends are on the Wheel, and that’s what makes me want to stay on the Wheel, because things are fun when you work with people you care about the most,” Chupack said.
Davis also has fond memories of her time joining the Wheel, noting that it was an exciting option for her at Oxford.
“In the past, it hadn’t been [an option] because of the physical disconnect on campus, but COVID really bridged that gap and I was able to join meetings through Zoom and contribute content and grow the content on the Oxford campus,” Davis said.
Chupack and Davis hope to expand upon the Wheel’s physical presence on campus, particularly at Oxford, a topic Davis feels particularly passionate about. The pair also seek to prioritize mental health for contributors and highlight diversity, equity and inclusion at the paper.
The incoming editors-in-chief have already proved their ability to highlight such topics in their recent writing as well as other subjects highly relevant to the Emory community. Last September, for example, Davis wrote a piece highlighting Glenn Memorial Church, a staple of Emory’s religious community and some former members’ refusal to accept the church’s stance as an LGBTQ+ ally. In April 2021, Chupack co-authored an article uncovering how Emory’s compost has filtered into landfill since 2020, despite the University’s pledge to sustainability and well-known green and blue compost and recycling bins surrounding the campus.
Outgoing Editor-in-Chief Brammhi Balarajan (23C), who has worked with both Chupack and Davis since they became editors at the end of her sophomore year, said that she has seen incredible growth and compassion in Chupack and Davis.
“[Chupack] is so incredibly dedicated and committed to the Wheel,” Balarajan said. “He wants to continue to grow and cares about people around him.”
She added that Davis’ willingness to get to know different sections of the Wheel has made her stronger as a leader.
“I’ve seen her work with so many different sections, being a News Editor and then going into managing Emory Life and Arts & Entertainment and I think her adaptability and her resilience and getting to know different sections have only have her stronger as a leader,” Balarajan said.
Emory Life Editor Xavier Stevens (23C), who began working closely with Davis last spring, echoed how her strong leadership skills have brought change to the Wheel.
“She’s really organized and I think she really wanted to push the [Emory Life] section to do good things” Stevens said, adding that Davis kept the section a “well-oiled machine.”
Arts & Entertainment Editor Eythen Anthony (23C) also praised Davis’ qualities as a managing editor, highlighting that her journalistic experience allowed him to become more knowledgeable as an editor himself.
“Sarah is definitely someone who cares about the writer,” Anthony said. “I’ve had moments where I’ve been very overwhelmed and stressed out and I have found Sarah to be someone who I can trust to give not only solid advice, but also to have a game plan, an agenda, to have a goal and to reach that goal.”
Arts & Entertainment Editor Oli Turner (25C) has worked closely with Davis for over a year and said that her “calming presence” was one of her most impressive traits.
“She knows what she’s doing,” Turner remarked.“She’s a friendly face in the office … and we’ve had a great time working together, teaching new writers about being a good citizen of the Wheel.”
Chupack brings both friendship and three years of journalistic expertise as a reporter, editor and managing editor from the publication’s news section to his new role, according to several of his peers at the Wheel.
Assistant News Editor Spencer Friedland (26C), who first met Chupack as his resident advisor in Dobbs Hall last semester, said that he is enthusiastic about the incoming editor-in-chief and his “hands-on approach” to working with others.
“He’s going to make sure [we work] as a group,” Friedland said. “He wants togetherness. I’m happy to continue on with him.”
News Editor Madi Olivier (25C) met Chupack during her first year when he was a news editor, and has worked together with him since. Olivier highlighted his teaching skills as valuable to new and old members of the Wheel.
“He has taught me so much, and I’ve seen him teach our writers and the other editors,” Olivier said. “He never hesitates to help us if we need help on anything. And anytime there is a mistake, or we do something wrong, I’ve never had to worry about going to him because he’s always been very helpful and educates us on what we did wrong and how to grow from it.”
Sports Editor Claire Fenton (24C), who joined the Wheel at the same time as Chupack, said that she is excited to see how Chupack takes on his new role.
“He’s great at making people feel involved and valued and integrating people across the different sections, or who come from different backgrounds and different abilities and integrating them together to create a final product,” Fenton said. “That’s really important in the context of a newspaper that needs everything to be so strong.
Update (2/28/23 at 5:05 p.m.): A previous version of this article stated that Managing Editor Sarah Davis (22Ox, 24C) took a photojournalism class at Emory and was encouraged to write for the Wheel by a professor. In fact, she took a photojournalism class in high school and was encouraged to write for her high school newspaper by a teacher.
Kaitlin Mottley (she/her) (23C) is from Memphis, Tennessee, majoring in English. Outside of the Wheel, Kaitlin has interned as a Content Designer at Meta and enjoys copyediting for other Emory organizations. She also enjoys reading, writing and watching classic films.