Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Meet the Fall 2016 Badger Herald Editorial Board

Riley Steinbrenner

Another year, another Badger Herald Editorial Board for you students to get acquainted with. Our mission has not changed — we wish to be a voice of the student community, commenting on campus, local and state affairs.

If there is a topic that we should cover, or if you’d like to respond to anything we write, drop us an email at [email protected]. We’d be happy to meet with you.

Here is this year’s Editorial Board:


Briana Reilly, Editorial Board Chair

As now one of the longest-serving members of The Badger Herald, I’m losing relevance fast.

This is my seventh semester at the Herald and my sixth on this board. What initially drew me to the Herald first semester freshman year was the opinion section, so you could say that my position as perpetual fixture of the Badger Herald Editorial Board is helping me get back to my roots.

I’m a senior majoring in journalism, and that pretty much sums up who I am. I’m obsessed with all things news media-related, I love AP Style, I overuse words like “brand” and I procrastinate down to the last second something is due.

I also like ’90s grunge music, but I suppose that’s a personal defect (and, I assure you, not a characteristic of all reporters).

I’m interested in social justice issues, international affairs, especially concerning China, politics and the dynamics of local government. Chat with me about these things — or anything really — by reaching out at [email protected] or @briana_reilly on Twitter.

Hayley Sperling, Editor-in-Chief

I’ve never been in the Opinion section and I’m not quite sure how this all works, so let’s just roll with it.

Hi, I’m Hayley. I’m a senior majoring and journalism and though this is my fifth semester at the Herald, this my first on the Editorial Board. My time at the Herald has consisted of covering news, news and — you guessed it — more news. I’ve had the opportunity to report on everything from city Council Meetings to presidential debates. I’m incredibly honored and excited to lead the Herald this year as commander editor-in-chief.

In the few moments of the day I’m not at the Herald, you’ll find me working at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, scrambling to finish an assignment in Vilas, at home buying concert tickets or on the internet tweeting. Follow me if you feel like it @hksperl.

I’m interested in mental health, women’s rights, social justice and Russian politics. So if you’d like to chat about this, that or any other thing, send me a message at [email protected]

Riley Vetterkind, Managing Editor

Dear readers,

I’m Riley, and I’m back at it again for my fifth semester at the Herald as managing editor. I started out reporting on campus news, have dabbled in arts, and had a great time going deep on campus and city issues as a features editor.

When I’m not Heralding, I’m giving my best shot at classwork for my two majors: journalism and Russian language. The latter took me on a brief stint on the other side of the world in Kazakhstan last summer — a far cry from the unincorporated speck on the map of beautiful northern Wisconsin that I’m proud to call home.

Working as a student journalist for nearly two years has bred within me a sense of restraint on even the issues I care most about — let’s let facts speak for our opinions and never rush to judgement.

I’m most interested in following the volatile politics and international relations of the U.S., socioeconomic inequality, education and the state of the media.

Hit me up at [email protected] if you care to chat. I guarantee you our conversation will probably lead us to the docks of Lake Mendota.

Aaron Reilly, Opinion Editor

I am Aaron Reilly, writing this bio for a second straight semester. Just like last semester, I do the opinions, support the Milwaukee Bucks.

Hailing from Chilton, Wisconsin, I went back to my roots this summer and found myself a new favorite cheese flavor: buffalo wing jack. It summarizes my opinion philosophy well — smooth but with an unexpected kick.

When I’m not writing very important opinions on the most pressing issues in Wisconsin, you’ll find me trying my best to look like Ernest Hemingway, gazing over Lake Mendota, pretending to know how to do sports or getting tea at Sencha.

If any of you would like to contact me, shoot an email to [email protected].

Yusra Murad, Opinion Editor

It’s me, Yusra. No no, not Ursula — there’s no L. You literally just added that for fun. Y-U-S-R-A, it rhymes with the word “juice” — no, not juicera, it’s Yus. Never mind.

I write about things that make me smile hard and that make me cry hard, because I love that my life is an emotional rollercoaster. Actually I don’t, but I’m strapped in tight and having a hard time getting the seat belt off, so while I’m stuck up here I figure I may as well write something.

This is my third semester at the Herald, and first on Editorial Board. My first semester was spent as an on-and-off writer until I got lost in space, found my way to planet Banter and served as an editor until my co-editor said, “dude four months later you’re still not funny” and kicked me over to Opinion, which makes a ton of sense because I have a lot of things to yell about. My dad makes me send him my Facebook statuses before I post them to edit out abhorrent language and other things that would ensure no employer will ever hire me.

Speaking of my parents, they’re from Pakistan, which is awesome and a huge part of the reason I’ll be writing a lot about racial injustice, systematic oppression and life as a person of color in the great state of Wisconsin. But I would rather publish your thoughts on that than my own because your voice really matters and it’s devastating that we don’t hear more of it.

If you want to chat, write, get groceries or give me $1,000, [email protected] is a sure thing.

Phil Michaelson, Associate Opinion Editor

Oh Bio? Yeah, I took a biology course last semester. Why do you? … Oh, this thing again. Well, here we go.

This is now my fifth semester with the Herald. I spent my first three as a writer for the Opinion section, and now this is my second semester as a member of this Board.

I’m currently a junior majoring in biomedical engineering. I was born and raised in the land of dairy farms and country music: the little old town of Seymour, Wisconsin.

In my naïve and innocent youth, I used to stick to griping about various things I noticed at UW that just seemed a little off to me, but recently, I’ve cynically been divulging into the ever-intriguing short falls of Wisconsin state politics and policies.

All-in-all, I’m just a voracious napper with a constant hankering for Netflix who is pumped for the new Bon Iver album and also enjoys discussing the happenings of life around us.

So if anyone ever wants to chat about which movie is the greatest of all time or how silly our Legislature can be at times, slide into my email at [email protected] or find me on Twitter @phmichaelson.

Madeline Sweitzer, At-large Member

Are you there Herald readers? It’s me, Maddie.

This is my seventh semester at the Herald and fifth on Editorial Board. I began my illustrious Herald career with a year as an opinion contributor before spending two sleep-deprived semesters as an Opinion section editor.

Now in my third semester as an at-large member, I get to have a semi-normal sleep schedule, while still getting to turn up at Herald parties.

I’m a Wisconsin native majoring in political science, history and journalism. When I’m not at the Herald you can find me leaving angry voicemails for institutions I feel have inadequate protocol for dealing with sexual assault … you know, the usual.

I’m fresh off a summer studying and interning abroad in London. My time across the pond broadened my interest in minority issues as I was there for exactly a week before Brexit happened and everything went to xenophobic shit.

If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be graduating in May … so that’s terrifyingly exciting!

Tell me what to do with my life by emailing [email protected] or tweeting @mcsweitzer.


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