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

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]

Following is this semester’s Editorial Board:

Lucas Johnson, Managing Editor/Editorial Board Chair

Hello! My name’s Lucas and I used to edit too many opinion columns at once. This year, as Managing Editor, Editorial Board Chair and Wisconsin Football Beat Writer, I will be high-strung and gradually shaving years off my life expectancy! But! Not without leaving behind work I’m proud to call my own.

2018 marks my junior year studying journalism and mass communication. I know I won’t be paid much later on, thanks for the reminder and nose crinkle.

Here are my favorite personal facts. I love Minnesota like I love my own heart. My future career as a journalist has the potential to be derailed by a midlife crisis in which I decide to open my own restaurant; string lights included. If you’ve got upscale cheese in your fridge, send me an address.

Our editorial board is not an exclusive, behind-closed-doors-only group. We want our collective voice to represent our paper and the community it reports on. As such, we need to hear from you. People unlike ourselves will help better inform our stance on the biggest headlines of the future. Please flood my inbox at [email protected] to join our paper and get your name inked above the work you’re proud to call your own.

Matt O’Connor, Editor-in-Chief


My name is Matt O’Connor and yes, you can touch my eyebrows. And yes, they’re real.

I’m the designated New Guy on the editorial board, but I’m also the editor-in-chief so you can forgive any embarrassing New Guy Moments that may transpire within these pages. The reason I’m new to ed board is because I cut my metaphorical teeth on the news desk, where I could always be found screaming at my computer. This is my third semester at the Herald, but our motto isn’t “‘“‘“bh4lyfe’”’”’” for nothing. So I guess I’ll be here for a few more semesters.

I’m a junior majoring in political science and journalism. It’s an interesting time to be studying those things, all things considered. I’ll leave it at that.

Throughout the year, this board will be writing its collective thoughts on the big news of the day as we try to make sense of the nonsensical. So as this year progresses, even if you disagree with the opinions of this board, I hope you’ll respect our right to hold them. And for those reading, dissenting opinions in the form of a letter to the editor go a whole lot further than Facebook comments and Tweets.

So as this board delivers its own opinions, I’d love to hear yours. And if you’re looking to get involved in this experiment in student media — as a writer, graphic designer, photographer, videographer, coder, etc. — shoot me an email at [email protected] or message me on Twitter at @moconnorBH

Aly Niehans, Print Features Editor

Hey there, I’m Aly Niehans and I’m this year’s print features editor, which basically makes me a huge deal. I have some pretty strong opinions about coffee, politics and the infamous oxford comma, as well as mashed potatoes.

I am a junior majoring in international studies and intending to major in journalism, which means that most STEM majors will tell me I won’t ever be able to find a job, but that’s okay.

I was born and raised in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, home to the single most disgusting music festival in the world: Country USA. I can sort of speak Danish because I got to live in Copenhagen for a year, which isn’t as cool as it sounds because the language makes even the most eloquent person sound like they’re choking on a potato.

If anyone ever wants to chat, recommend music and/or quality TV shows or fund my borderline addiction to online shopping feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected].

Haidee Chu, Print Features Editor

Hey! Haidee Chu here — one of the print feature editors at The Badger Herald.

I am a senior studying journalism, sociology, political science and studio art. But jokes on me. Turns out, the more I know, the more confused I become.

That brings me to journalism.

Ta-Nehesi Coates once wrote that journalism “is a powerful tool for seekers,” “another way for exploration.” That there, is my truth. Journalism has always been a way for me to fathom how my identity functions in translation as I make a life between my hometown of Hong Kong and — well, let’s just say Wisconsin for short. It has always been a way for me to see the world in all its color and nuances — beyond black-and-white textbook definitions of what the world is said to be. It is a way to be inspired and challenged by the most extraordinary of ordinary people. It is a way to be humbled.

That said, I want you, too, to inspire and challenge me. I want to hear from you as this board deliberates its opinions. Shoot me an email at [email protected] or message me on Twitter @haideechu. May journalism be your tool for exploration, too.

Abigail Steinberg, Opinion Editor

What up, I’m Abby, I’m finally 20 but I still don’t know how to fricken read. In the words of the great Bianca Del Rio, I’m an expert on nothing with an opinion on everything, and I’m so lucky to have found a place at The Badger Herald to share my unsolicited, yet important thoughts. I’m a sophomore majoring in political science and journalism. When I’m not at my second job of being The Badger Herald office rat, I’m probably trying to get Matthew Gray Gubler to follow me back on Twitter. Matthew, if you’re reading this, know that my passion for you is only seconded by my passion for this paper and the gentle clowns that work here.

This is my fourth semester with the Herald and my third as opinion editor. It’s been a hot minute, and I feel as if I have a good gauge as to what makes you people tick. But if I’m wrong (and I quite often am), I want to hear from you. Write for the Herald, submit a letter to the editor, email at [email protected], Tweet me @abbyrsteinberg or message me on JDate. That’d be a funny story.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall once said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” The pen, or the keyboard, in this case, is mightier than the sword. Let these words, and the words of the Editorial Board, be the weapon we choose to fight the good fight.

Cait Gibbons, Opinion Editor

Hello! My name is Cait and I like coffee, chacos and controversial topics. I’m a junior studying math, statistics and Chinese, and my go-to at Shortstack is the sweet potato pancakes. This is my fourth semester with the Herald and my third 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. In addition to writing for the opinion section of the Herald, I am also an avid puzzler, a mediocre cook and a 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.

Aidan McClain, Director of Public Relations

Hey there, I’m Aidan McClain and I’m a senior 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 seventh semester at The Badger Herald and my third time on the editorial board. In the past, I was one of the ArtsEtc. editors, a social media coordinator and this semester I’m the Director of Public Relations. 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.