The Badger Herald Editorial Board is composed of seven members of our staff and represent the voice of our editorial department. Our mission remains the same — to speak up and take a stance on the most relevant issues concerning the University of Wisconsin campus community, city of Madison and state of Wisconsin. In addition, we welcome one or two students from the campus community who are not Herald staff to serve as our campus liaisons, to ensure this Board continues to challenge itself with new perspectives as well as represent voices outside our own staff.

If you have suggestions for topics we should cover, or have a response to anything we write, feel free to send us an email at [email protected]

Meet the spring of 2018 Editorial Board:

Lucas Johnson, Editorial Board Chair/Opinion Editor

Dear person reading this: hey, I’m Lucas, but you can call me Lucas. I’ll be the opinion editor this semester which means I edit the opinion section. If you’d like to argue about Disney movies, the NBA or you’re just looking to chat about the world, I dabble.

I’m a sophomore majoring in journalism, so I’m young, optimistic about the world of full-time employment, but ready to make a small salary. I also report on the football team, so I’d like to say thank you to all who make the press box shake during jump around. If you’re still reading at this point, congrats, here’s more information about me, myself and I.

I’ve lived in the Twin Cities my entire life and cannot think of a better place on the planet. Basically, if you like tremendous people, a baller atmosphere and an overwhelming feeling of pride in your community, swing on by, we’re happy to have you. If you disagree, let’s write a point counterpoint together – I rarely get an opportunity to put my love for Minnesota in written words.

If you’ve got strong opinions, that’s great news. I wanna hear about them. In my experience, there’s no better way to flesh out your own thoughts all while sharing their impact with others than through opinion content. Email me at [email protected] if you’d like your voice to be heard, have tickets to a Minnesota Timberwolves game you can’t make or wanna talk about how unbelievable a Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean collab album would be.

Alice Vagun, Editor-in-Chief

Hello, internet.

The name is Alice, the status is senior and the major is Biology. This is my sixth semester at The Herald and my second semester on the Editorial Board.

Excuse the “who, what, when, where, why” style of writing, but as a survivor of the city desk and general world of news, I am not quite sure how an opinion piece is supposed to look like.

As mentioned previously, I spent most of my time covering news, the majority of which included reporting on local government and the aftermath of the 2016 election. This year, I am excited and humbled continuing my work as Editor-in-Chief for The Badger Herald.

The current political climate is a tense one, and for many — especially for journalists — it can be difficult to navigate. But as we enter a new semester, I am excited to bring to light the challenges our community faces, and some of the ways we can go about addressing them together.

So, let’s talk.

Whether you want to discuss free speech on campus, talk about your favorite subreddit (here’s mine) or send me a picture of that dog on campus that walks itself with its leash in its mouth — feel free to send me a message at [email protected] or slide in my DMs at @a_vagoon.

Yusra Murad, Managing Editor

My name is Yusra and I will be very kind unless I hear you disrespect Rihanna or wonder aloud about “hey, what about black-on-black crime.”

I’m not a student of journalism, but I stumbled into this field and have never looked back. Journalism is truth-telling. And during an exceptionally volatile time in America, it is extremely important to me that people of color are deeply involved in sharing their truths.

As much as I wish I could eat cold pizza at the Herald office forever, eventually I’ll change out of these seven dollar Old Navy jeans and beg for a job working in public health, somewhere far from the Midwest where I can take the train everywhere. But for now, here I am, firmly planted in Madison, complaining to you about white boys (why can’t you dance?).

After spending 2016-17 as the Opinion Editor, I’ve got a decent grasp on what this campus would die for, and what really pisses you off. Hopefully, you’ll learn the same about Ed board. It’s @yusra_____ or [email protected], unless I owe you money in which case, the service is cutting out, g2g.

Abby Steinberg, Opinion Editor

What up, I’m Abby, I’m 19 and I never learned how to read, but since my a capella career never took off, I chose The Badger Herald to share my obviously important opinions with the world. I’m a freshman (sorry), majoring in political science and intending to major in journalism, which basically means, yes, I am as cocksure and obnoxious as I sound. By the way, cocksure is a word, google it. This is my second semester with The Herald, and my first as opinion editor.

As juvenile as it sounds, even if I never find a job in my field (I had to say it before the STEM majors could), I know I want to spend my life helping people. I hope that my work at The Herald, both past and present, portrays the truth and lets even the smallest of voices be heard. As long as we have First Amendment rights, I’m going to use them, even when my mom tells me to shut up.

When I’m not writing about my frustration with the current political climate, I’m probably eating dairy products despite my lactose intolerance and crying about Dr. Spencer Reid. What can I say? I suffer for my art. But I don’t want you to suffer too, dear reader. If you have opinions that must be heard, shoot me an email at [email protected], because we always love having new faces around the office. If this scrappy freshman can finagle her way onto the Editorial Board, there’s no telling the limits you can soar to. Even if you don’t want to write for us, ya girl is single and ready to mingle, and I check my email regularly. Peace and blessings, my dudes.

Eric Hilkert, Associate Opinion Editor

Hey ya’ll,

I’m Eric Hilkert. I’m a junior here at UW studying finance. I’m from New Jersey originally (and no I’ve never met Snooki), but Madison already feels like home to me.

This will be my fourth semester writing for The Herald. I have spent my whole time here writing for the opinion section, and I was recently promoted to associate editor. Some of my favorite topics to cover have been Trump and the devolution of the Republican Party. I was somewhat conservative growing up, but as I have seen more of the world and watched the Republican Party move farther right, I have definitely pivoted to a liberal stance.

That said, I strive for fairness in my opinion articles, and to treat everyone with the respect they deserve. One of my goals for this semester would be to become more involved with local and campus issues, and write more about those topics. I am really excited to take on more responsibility and continue the tradition of excellence here at The Badger Herald.

Cait Gibbons, Opinion Columnist

Hey there! My name is Cait and I like coffee, chacos and controversial topics. I’m a sophomore studying math, statistics and Chinese, and my go-to at Shortstack is the sweet potato pancakes. This is my second semester with The Herald and my first semester on the Editorial Board.

I have grown to love the Dairy State, but my loyalties will always lie with the great of state of Minnesota, where I was born and raised. When I’m not writing for the opinion section of The Herald, I am an avid puzzler, intrepid triathlete and huge fan of The Bachelor.

To me, the most important parts about political and social issues is maintaining an open and honest discussion. When I write articles, I want my articles to be the start of a conversation, not an answer to a question. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t think I ever will, so I love just throwing my thoughts out there and listening to what people think.

And by the way, it’s duck, duck, gray duck. [someone delete this nonsense]

Aidan McClain, Social Media Coordinator

Hey there, I’m Aidan McClain and I’m at junior here at the UW. Originally from Chicago — not the suburbs — I came to UW because of its great journalism program. Fun fact: I went to the same high school as Chance the Rapper and walked past him on the streets, so be careful when you meet people — you never know who you can end up being friends with. I obviously didn’t take advantage of that opportunity because here I am suffering in school and not hanging out with the now rich and famous.

This is my fifth semester at The Badger Herald but my first time on the editorial board. In the past, I was one of the ArtsEtc. editors and this semester I’m one of the social media coordinators. Although I’ve never written about opinion topics for the paper, I’m excited to expand my knowledge about the issues that affect our campus, city and state.