Upcoming Lariat editor in chief hopes for student input next year

By Chris Derrett
Sports editor

The entire process of applying and interviewing for next year’s Lariat, culminating in a “congratulations” email from Baylor’s student publications board, reminded me of a scene out of “Hitch.”

“She is already out with you,” said Will Smith’s character, whose smoothness I have yet to acquire. “That means she said yes when she could’ve said no. That means she made a plan, when she could’ve just blown you off. So that means it is no longer your job to try to make her like you. It is your job not to mess it up.”

I’m Chris Derrett, and I look forward to not messing up as editor in chief in 2011-12.

Of course producing more than 100 issues all up to our standard of quality requires much more work than a good date night, but there is no excuse not to seize opportunity in either situation.

My Lariat opportunity has come after spending a year as a sports writer and another as sports editor. I admit I still haven’t done much in the grand scheme of career plans — I have not yet secured a large-market internship, I don’t have haters, and my mom is still my biggest fan in terms of readership.

Despite giving up the free food before games, cross-country travel and a courtside or bird’s eye view of Baylor athletic events, I welcome a new challenge in overseeing the Lariat’s day-to-day operations. I’m excited to expand my horizon to all sections of the paper.

As much as I like sports, even the most diehard sports fan must admit there is much more to the world around us. When the buzzer ends or the whistle blows, there are people everywhere, both at Baylor and the city of Waco, working to make a difference. Sometimes it’s positive, other times negative, but it is our responsibility as a newsgathering organization to tell you about it either way.

We’d like to think we do a pretty good job of doing that, but that doesn’t mean diddly-squat. It’s you that decides how well or poorly we are performing.

Next year, I hope you tell us how we’re doing. If there’s something you think is newsworthy, call the newsroom or shoot us an email. If we can get better at something, let us know about that as well. If you think this column stinks, you can reach me at my first name-underscore-last name Baylor email address, and I’ll try to do better the next time. Heck, if you have a compliment for us, go ahead with that, too.

My point is that the Lariat is here to serve its readership, which includes, but isn’t limited, to Baylor students, faculty, staff, alumni and the city of Waco. I have been fortunate to have Nick Dean as this year’s editor in chief, and he set the bar high in terms of what we covered and how
we covered it.

I have no idea what to expect next year — on any given day and without warning, breaking news can happen like it has in Fort Hood and Austin in the last two years. We were there as events unfolded, our coverage undoubtedly helped by strong leadership from our editors in chief.

I have never been in a position of such leadership, and the way I see it, there are two options — step up and lead the team, or collapse like the Dallas Cowboys.

I’m not a Cowboys fan.

Chris Derrett is a junior journalism major from Katy. He is the sports editor for the Lariat.