Gabriela Szymanowska

When I stepped into the role of Editor-in-Chief back in December, I could never have imagined what this semester would bring with it.

Of course, I’m sure no one could have imagined the situation we are all in now as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow in the U.S. and across the globe.

Each day, we find ourselves faced with new challenges and hardships. Around the country, many are still grieving their loss of normality — seniors who have worked so hard for years won’t be able to walk at graduation, those laid off from work don’t know how they will make ends meet, doctors and nurses struggle daily to help their patients and the list goes on.

And while there is a lot of negative to focus on during this time, I also see hope and inspiration.

I am inspired daily by the doctors, nurses and other health care workers who tirelessly work to help patients. I am inspired by other student journalists across the country who are learning how to balance online classes and reporting while finding a new normal in their lives. I am inspired by the small victories that come with each new day.

I am also inspired daily by my own staff at the Daily Beacon. Right before spring break, we made the decision to move completely online, forgoing our print edition of the paper. And over the break, as updates were coming out about the coronavirus, editors and staff writers stepped up to write about what was going on to keep the UT community informed.

This last week and a half have had many challenges. We’ve had content cut down in all sections. We are all learning to work remotely. We are all learning better ways at communicating digitally. But, we are — and will continue — to update the Volunteer community with information and content daily on the Beacon’s website and through our social media platforms.

In addition, we will continue with our plan to make this month's content a little more special than usual.

On Wednesday, April 22, we will be digitally releasing our last special issue for this semester: Climate Change and Crisis. Leading up to this special issue starting today, we will have content coming out weekly that pertains to the issue.

This past year, climate change has been a forefront in discussions across the globe with many international climate change protests bringing people together. From climate activist Greta Thunberg leading the younger generation in raising their voices, to celebrities like Jane Fonda being arrested during a climate change protest in California, to Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders rising to the top of the polls because of his stance on the topic, it is time that we focus on the growing crisis.

Over the next month, we will have stories about how the environment is impacted by COVID-19, features on environmental organizations, combatting fast fashion, Earth Day and so much more.

While there is still so much uncertainty that lies in front of us in the upcoming months as the world deals and hopefully eventually heals from the impact of the coronavirus, the Daily Beacon will remain a constant bringing the news to light.

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