Late nights, lasting friendships, hot stories bind Cigar staff
Managing editor from Cranston to graduate from URI in May
KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 17, 2002 -- Old newspapers, soda bottles, and even crumbs from hastily eaten suppers littered the conference table as editors of the URI student newspaper gathered for their weekly Thursday night meeting.
They were tired, but ready to plan another week of coverage.
"The first thing you do when you get to school is come to the Cigar, and the last thing you do at school is leave the Cigar," said Cranston resident Anne Kumar, one of the managing editors. "Were always here."
"We have to tell each other to go home," said Brian Quinlan of Old Bridge, N.J., the editor in chief. "We put the paper to bed anywhere between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., but the average is 12:30 a.m."
While putting in 30 to 40 hours a week at the paper all while trying to keep her grades up, Kumar would change little.
"Ive met so many different people both here on the staff and around campus because I worked on the paper," Kumar said. "Ive even learned how to argue over story ideas in our meetings."
When Kumar graduates from URI in May, shell also be completing her stint at the Cigar and can look back at successful journalism internships at the Providence Business News and The Newport Daily News.
News editor Katie Haughey of Newfield, N.J. said the Cigar has "more than anything else, made me far less timid. In four years, Ive learned not to back off."
As she looked across the table, Haughey added, "These are my best friends. Anne and I have been housemates for two years, and all of us call each other when were having a hard time, even if its 3 a.m."
Kumar said that during her freshman year, she used to write her stories at home and drop them off. "Then I would go home and cry because I didnt have any friends. Being heavily involved with the Cigar changed all that."
Haughey wondered if other students get the same rich experience out of URI.
"I look at kids who come to campus and leave at 1 p.m., and I ask myself, is that all youre getting out of being here?" Haughey said.
Quinlan said he believes Cigar staffers are better prepared for a journalism career. "We get the best of everything; the journalism professors not only criticize our classwork, but they criticize our stories in the paper, too. We also learn a great deal from each other. I cant understand why a journalism major wouldnt work at the paper or the campus radio station."
"And if you are going to mess up, what better place to do it than here," Kumar added.
For Information:Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116