Mallory Duncan and Ben Sieck | co-editors-in-chief
For the first time in years, a non-journalism major will be at the helm of The Butler Collegian. Julian Wyllie, a junior business major, will take the reins of the paper at the beginning of the spring semester.
The former opinion editor said he is excited for the new role and will continue to uphold the reputation of The Collegian the Butler community has come to expect.
“There are so many things we can talk about and show each Wednesday,” Wyllie said. “We need to grow the type of stories that we are doing.”
Although Wyllie has only been on the Collegian for two semesters, he was exposed to the publication for the first time as a high school student on a campus tour.
Once he arrived on campus, Wyllie said he noticed the publication, but did not pay it much mind.
However, one of his friends showed him the Collegian’s coverage of basketball player Chrishawn Hopkins’ dismissal.
His interest was piqued, and he said he immediately became a fan of the paper.
“I had to have the newspaper in my hands every week,” he said.
Wyllie remained a fan from a distance until the first semester of his sophomore year. He was browsing Facebook when he noticed an interview request from a Collegian reporter.
On a whim, Wyllie responded to the post and agreed to be interviewed for an opinion piece. Over the course of his interview, he shared that he started blogging nearly six months beforehand.
Hearing this, Wyllie said the reporter encouraged him to apply to the Collegian — something he did for the spring semester.
Wyllie became a weekly opinion columnist.
He said the transition to newswriting was a difficult one. He was used to the typical essay format taught in high school English.
“I had to learn a lot of new things,” he said. “I found it was an interesting way to present information. It is a lot more clear and a lot more effective.”
After one semester as a columnist, Wyllie showed enough promise to be selected as the opinion section editor for this semester.
He said it was a challenge to adapt to the different role. He was no longer focused on just his writing. He had to manage an entire section.
“You have so much more responsibility for the entire well-being of a section,” he said. “I have to coach the writers and show them different angles they can take. Not necessarily telling them what to write about, but showing them different options.”
As the semester wore on—and the prospect of becoming the spring semester editor-in-chief emerged—Wyllie said he found a desire to fulfill the role.
“I just had to sit down by myself and realize: With The Collegian, it is not just about one person,” he said.
Wyllie said The Collegian’s extensive history appealed to him. One night, while sifting through the paper’s archives, he realized he wanted to be a part of that history.
“Although we graduate and move off this campus, there are still the same stories that come up over and over,” he said. “I am interested in continuing that, revealing the things that need to be said.”
Now, as Wyllie is stepping into the role, he is not worried about his background as a business major. He is only looking forward toward the new position.
“At the end of the day, we are writers,” Wyllie said. “We try to paint pictures of life. I do not think business has anything to do with how you shoot a photo. I do not think business has anything to do with how you write a cool profile. I do not think it has anything to do with our majors. It is our talents.”