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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Multimedia, news contributor, sports reporter, columnist and editor departs from The Star

Texas+State+journalism+senior+Dillon+Strine+poses+with+The+University+Star+table+at+a+recruiting+event%2C+Monday%2C+Aug.+29%2C+2022%2C+at+the+LBJ+Ballroom.

Texas State journalism senior Dillon Strine poses with The University Star table at a recruiting event, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, at the LBJ Ballroom.

As a nontraditional student, graduating high school in upstate New York, going to community college in northeast San Antonio, commuting my first academic year and making my way to Texas State was isolated. Forming bonds at a large state university further from home than most has a lot of different routes.
Texas State journalism senior Dillon Strine poses with The University Star table at a recruiting event, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, at the LBJ Ballroom.
But as a journalism student, I picked up a student newspaper, The University Star, as I was curious to see its content. After flipping through stellar stories, I found an application ad and was encouraged by my mother not to wait for the opportunity to pass.
After applying for the sports and opinions sections and going through an interview with former Editor-in-Chief Briana Benitez and opinions editor Hannah Thompson, they both thankfully offered positions in both sections while acknowledging all that’s possible at the publication. Likely setting myself up for lofty goals that I could not reach, I formed accomplishments I would have never imagined.
Eager for the opportunity, I covered the 2021 Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball champion Texas State Bobcats season opener on one of my first days, traveling to San Antonio to cover it in person. My recap of their victory was the first thing I got to see of my own in print. The following week I wrote a column about the university offering more hybrid classes, which also made it into the paper.
Professional experience in student media is what I was ecstatic about getting to experience at the beginning of my time at the Star, but forming relationships with colleagues and subjects is what came unexpectedly. After being a contributor and columnist, I got thrust into the role of editor for the opinions section.
Again, not weary but rather eager, I made my first few hires via Zoom over Christmas break while with my first family in Rochester, New York. One of those hires was my first assistant editor, Tiara Allen, who I could depend on like no one else. Leading weekly section meetings felt less like a meeting and more like catching up with friends while sprinkling in notes from common editing mistakes I would see and talking through content ideas.
The opinions section in meetings always brought lively conversations after icebreakers like Halloween candy tier lists and playing GeoGuessr; we even built gingerbread houses. Then, after encouraging the section to get out of their comfort zone and write about unfamiliar topics, we reined in. We talked about local issues, hoping to bring light to topics unfamiliar to the public and inspire change.
What I enjoyed even more at the Star than the brief good times I had in the Trinity building conference room once a week for the opinions section was the newsroom. The editorial board was made up of characters all different from one another and created a culture unlike any other, especially on production days and on a long election night.
With the paper coming out every Tuesday, with some exceptions, the desks were lined with student editors all day prior, some, unfortunately, longer than usual. Creating banter between colleagues turned friends that, for me, included throwing around a squishy replica Aaron Judge ball to mostly pass the time with former Editor-in-Chief Arthur Fairchild, former sports editor and current Editor-in-Chief Carson Weaver along within anyone else with their attention in our vicinity.
I have too many shared experiences with the editorial board to share, but being in a safe space like the Star, creating memories while also producing a newspaper, and manufacturing new challenges that I am better prepared for is all thanks to them.
Sharing stories about the Texas State Fencing Club’s big tournament victory, columns about campus issues, taking pictures at softball, baseball and basketball games and even covering an appearance by Vermont senator Bernie Saunders at Sewell Park are just a few of the times I got to do something I would have never done.
More consistently reporting on college athletics and sharing my thoughts in the opinions section for a community newspaper, I will forever be grateful to the Star for the freedom and space to do so.
But not only could I do that, but I could create unique friendships. After another round of hires beginning last semester, I found the subsequent opinions editor, Rhian Davis. Along with the new editorial board taking over, I am happy with our times and excited to continue reading the paper and see what the next wave puts out next.
Thank you to the entire staff, the illustrators that brought opinions columns to life, our director Laura Krantz and my family for the support during my time as a journalist at Texas State, along with anyone who ever gave me their time to speak with them for an interview and everyone who ever picked up a paper or went on our website to read.

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