Editors-in-Chief Sarah Davis (22Ox, 24C) and Matthew Chupack (24C) retired from their role this month. (Aditi Mishra/Contributing Photographer)

After four years of writing and editing for The Emory Wheel, Matthew Chupack (24C) and Sarah Davis (22Ox, 24C) ended their term as co-editors-in-chief (EICs) on March 18.

Chupack, who was involved with his high school’s newspaper, knew he wanted to join the Wheel when he started his first year at Emory University in 2020. He began writing for the News and Emory Life sections after his resident advisor connected him with one of the Wheel’s editors. Chupack became an assistant news editor later that year and went on to serve as the section and executive editor.

Next fall, Chupack will attend University of Chicago Law School. He is graduating with a joint degree in religion and sociology and a minor in community building and social change. 

Like Chupack, Davis began her journalism career in high school and became an assistant news editor her freshman year, making her one of the only editors at Oxford College at the time. She took on the role of managing editor of Arts & Entertainment and Emory Life her sophomore year.

Davis is double majoring in philosophy, politics and law and English. She is currently an intern with CNN’s National Content Center and hopes to continue a career in journalism after graduation.

Chupack and Davis sat down with the Wheel to discuss their journeys at Emory and their time together as EICs.


This Q&A has been edited for clarity and length.


The Emory Wheel: When did each of you individually know that you were interested in running for EICs, and how did you ultimately decide to run together?

Matthew Chupack: It was October 2022, right after The Hub came out. I knew Sarah was going to be distributing The Hub that day around campus, so I volunteered to also distribute The Hub that day because I knew we would be in a car together. We were stopped on the side of Dickey  Drive, and I asked, “What are your plans for next year?” And then followed up like, “Do you want to run for EICs with me?”

I worked with Sarah as a news editor. Both of us coming from a similar news background and journalism training under the same editors at the Wheel was very, very beneficial. … It meant a lot to me that we had similar stances towards coverage, towards journalism and ethics.

Sarah Davis: I was cornered in a car when he asked me to run together, and it really threw me off because we had worked together as news editors and I was on the Oxford campus, he was on the Atlanta campus — naturally, there was a lot of communication disconnect through the nature of breaking news and running meetings and all the load that it takes to be a news editor.

That really took me by surprise, but we ended up having a lot of really good conversations about our training in news, our vision for the Wheel and what leadership looks like and found out that everything aligned. We worked our way back to each other as leaders through those conversations. … Running on a joint ticket allowed me to be abroad and have him in the office leading there while I did some more of the editing or behind-the-scenes work.

TEW: Do you feel like you’ve fulfilled these goals that you laid out for yourselves when you ran for EICs?

Davis: Recruitment was a big focus for me, and particularly Oxford recruitment. When I was at Oxford, there had only been, in recent years, one other person before me who’d become a section editor. I started holding news meetings on the Oxford campus, which was very exciting and pretty challenging at times to coordinate with the Atlanta campus folks. Those meetings are still going on, and now for a lot of other sections too. … We have five or six editors based on the Oxford campus now, and to me, that’s amazing because we’ve gotten so many more writers from that campus and really grown up our reporting there. … We get to do some really needed coverage of Oxford campus by growing our staff there, also some more positive news coming out of that campus that Atlanta students might not hear.

Chupack: One thing is we essentially revamped the [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)] task force. We took over when there were a lot of retention issues. There were only a couple of editors on the task force and all the non-editor members left. Everyone on the task force now is … newly hired. Being able to rebuild that task force was something I’m really proud of and I’m excited to see what the DEI task force members continue to do and how they continue to strengthen our organization.

We also, this year, had some more journalism resources or professional journalism opportunities for people to engage in. We had [the Asian American Journalists Association] come to our campus, and we hosted an event with professional journalists through that. 

TEW: What’s been your guys’ favorite aspect of working with each other?

Davis: That’s really hard to narrow down. We’ve had a remarkably smooth time working together. … We put in over 50 or 60 hours a week, and it’s a lot of time spent together. … We’ve just grown to be really good friends. Matthew is a wonderful leader and has a lot of patience, so we’ve been able to balance each other out in many ways.

Chupack: When Sarah and I decided to run for EICs together, I would not call us friends — we were just acquaintances. … The best part of this year has really been becoming friends with Sarah. … Sometimes we’d have to drop everything last minute for an emergency phone call or for an emergency Zoom. Having Sarah be there and working with her has made those stressful times so much more manageable and really enjoyable, even in the most nerve-racking aspects of the job.

TEW: What’s your favorite articles you’ve written in your four years at the Wheel?

Chupack: One that I really enjoyed working on was a profile on Tracy Scott, who’s a sociology professor. I talked about what it was like growing up as a child of an astronaut, and her dad’s one of the few people to have walked on the moon. … So that one was more of a fun one.

I also wrote a series of articles about Emory’s law school and a tense climate there, and most notably, the pedagogy surrounding the use of slurs in the classroom. Specifically, I looked into one professor’s use of a slur in fall 2021 and students’ reactions both in favor of that usage and against that usage and the University’s response.

One other bit I enjoyed doing was looking at … female Emory professors and their struggles in academia. I looked at Emory-specific data and found that female professors’ salaries on average are lower than their male counterparts.

Davis: I love election season. When I first came onto the Wheel, I was doing political coverage for special elections. I also covered the polls two years ago and a new generation of poll workers. After the COVID-19 pandemic, poll workers, which are typically older people who are retired, didn’t feel safe going back and getting that position. … There were some students who signed up to be poll workers and went through that process.

I also looked into some allegations of anti-LGBTQ discrimination at Glenn Memorial Church, which is on Emory’s Atlanta campus. There were a couple of current professors and a couple of former members who had raised some concerns about Glenn standing by the Methodist Book of Discipline, which at the time said that people who were openly LGBTQ+ were not able to become clergy members and be ordained. … A couple of days later, I was driving around in Emory Village, and I saw this huge pride flag hanging from the church. I’ll never know if that was a direct result of my reporting — I wouldn’t say that — but it was interesting to see that that was the church’s response during a time when they were getting openly criticized by members of the community.

Open expression on campus continues to be something we cover. … Over this past year, that goes back to the initial Stop Cop City protest in April, and I helped break the news, and that continues to unfold. I was glad that we were able to report on that quickly and continue that coverage, as free speech continues to be a very important conversation on college campuses across the United States.

TEW: What are some of your favorite memories at the Wheel?

Davis: The flashbulb one that’s always going to stick with me is my first production night. We stayed there until 3 a.m. We were new assistant news editors. Matthew and I were stumbling out of the office. It was us and the then-EIC, Maddie [Bober (20C)], and the rest of the news team at the time. Walton [Press], who handles all of our printing, called in to Maddie and said, “Some of your pages are missing and you need to correct them as soon as possible if you want the papers here in the morning.” Everyone was exhausted, it was raining, we were outside of the gym. It was Isaiah [Poritz (21C)], former EIC as well, who had an umbrella, and he went to cover Maddie so that she could get out her computer and file everything correctly. It was such a small moment, but I was like, “This is the kind of dedication that this publication has to cover your community and making sure that everything runs smoothly.” The act of holding the umbrella for your co-editor — it’s very kind and giving community.  That’s just been my experience all my time throughout the Wheel. It all goes back to that very small moment.

Chupack: Thinking back, there are two memories from freshman year that always will stick out to me. One was when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris came to campus, and it was spring 2021, so COVID-19 was still a huge concern. That was the first time I really saw the Emory campus community come together. … Me and Sarah were there live-tweeting and speaking to students who were coming to, hopefully, get a glimpse of Biden. Going there for the Wheel was really my first time in college when I was with a big group of people, so that will always stand out to me.

Also freshman year, me and another writer took a few different Uber rides throughout Atlanta to try to speak to the driver and see whether Emory students were going off campus and going to bars. So we took Uber rides to Jeni’s and Sweet Hut and different places, asking the Uber driver, “Do you pick up students from Emory’s campus ever? Where do they tend to go?” I was very shy as a freshman. Having to be in an Uber with a writer I never met before and talking to these drivers, in the moment, was very scary, but now I look back on it, it was fun getting to report while getting ice cream.

TEW: What have you learned from your time at the Wheel?

Davis: Don’t assume you know things. I thought I knew that Matthew and I didn’t work well together, and we ended up having one of the best co-leadership experiences that I’ve ever had. That goes in general with college. You come in with these set ideas of how the world works, and then you read really interesting philosophy, or you talk to someone from a very different background, and your worldview gets shifted. It’s the same thing with leading at the Wheel. Every new challenge and every new experience shifted my view of leadership and my view of journalism on campus.

Chupack: One thing it taught me is the importance of trust. That’s having trust in who you’re working with. … We wouldn’t have been able to get through probably one week, if we didn’t really trust each other. … Working on the Wheel has really taught me the importance of student journalism and campus journalism. 

TEW: What is your favorite emoji to react with on Slack?

Davis: I really like the tractor one. I started using that after we went down for an interest meeting at Oxford. … I was like, “You all think Oxford is just this super rural campus where nothing goes on.” We literally showed up, got off the shuttle, and there was a guy on a tractor going by the student center, and I thought it was the most hilarious thing.

Chupack: There are some editors who have their faces as custom Slack reactions. I like to use that when a Slack reminds me of them or when they send a Slack to show my solidarity with them.

TEW: Do you have anything else to say to the Wheel readers at home?

Davis: I have really enjoyed the past year leading the Wheel with Matthew. I’m thrilled about the fact that Madi [Olivier (25C)] and Sophia [Peyser (25C)] are going to be taking over to lead next. They’re going to be incredible.

Chupack: I’m leaving the organization with a lot of confidence that it’s going to continue to succeed in the coming year under Madi and Sophia. They both have a great mix of backgrounds. … The organization will flourish under them.

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Alexandra Kauffman (26C) is an English & Creative Writing major from Phoenix, Arizona. At the Wheel, she is an Emory Life section editor and Arts & Entertainment campus desk. Outside of the wheel, she is a member of Alloy Literary Magazine. She is also a science fiction enthusiast and enjoyer of the bizarre.