Yesterday, for the first time in seven years, the UCSB press council elected a woman as next year’s Daily Nexus editor in chief.

The council selected third-year political science major and university news editor Kaitlin Pike, who ran unopposed for the position. Pike was appointed yesterday by the council after she won the Nexus staff’s recommendation on May 8. She has worked at the Daily Nexus for over two years.

Nexus and La Cumbre yearbook Publications Director Tybie Kirtman said she is excited to have Pike as next year’s editor in chief.

“I think Kaitlin will be a marvelous editor,” Kirtman said. “She’s intelligent, thoughtful and she’s not intimidating, which is one of her most outstanding qualities.”

Kirtman also said Pike had a very successful interview at yesterday’s press council meeting.

“She answered questions about content beautifully,” she said.

Pike will be replacing senior biological sciences Matt Dozier as editor in chief. In her new position, Pike will be responsible for the editorial content of the paper and for handling managerial and personnel matters.

Dozier said he is proud to hand the reins of the Nexus over to someone as qualified as Pike.

“Kaitlin is one of the most competent and dedicated people I’ve ever worked with, and I have no doubts that she will be an excellent leader next year,” Dozier said. “But more importantly, I just feel confident knowing that the Nexus will be in the hands of someone whose hair is as red as mine.”

Pike said she has thoroughly enjoyed her time at the Nexus.

“I didn’t start working here until my third quarter of my freshman year,” Pike said. “After that, I was hooked. It’s become a real home to me, as well as a den of good times. I regret nothing.”

After becoming a reporter in spring quarter 2004, Pike moved on to the position of staff writer and then of assistant university editor in fall 2004. In these positions she covered Associated Students news, UC Regent news, campus development, science and a slew of other areas. She became the university editor, which is responsible for all campus and UC news, in fall 2005.

Among her list of goals for next year, Pike said she would like to hire more staff members.

“Turnover problems at the Nexus are even more predictable than death and taxes,” she said. “We are really going to up our recruitment efforts next year, as well as retainment of writers. There’s a lot of good talent at UCSB – we just need to drag them into the office.”

She also said she would like to increase the level of organization at the news desks.

“I’m doing a few structural changes, including further institutionalizing of our news beat reporters,” Pike said. “Included in that would be the UC Regents meetings, which I will continue to send reporters to. I think it’s one of the most important beats we do, as it affects student fees as well as every other aspect of student life at the university.”

Regarding opposition from the community to the Nexus’s content, Pike said she will remain open-minded when listening to complaints.

“Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and that’s why we have an opinion page,” Pike said. “I will not be cowed by threats from people who are offended by our content, such as the Wednesday Hump. The opinion page will always be open to dissenters, as will my office door.”

Daily Nexus county news editor and second-year film studies and law & society major Mollie Vandor said Pike is an extremely competent editor and highly qualified for the editor in chief position.

“Kaitlin Pike is very demanding as an editor, but really, that kind of perfectionism is what makes the Nexus – and Kaitlin’s gorgeous mane of flowing red locks – shine,” she said.

Second-year zoology major and press council student representative Zach Phillips said he felt the council made the right choice.

“I am a zoology major,” Phillips said. “I study animals, and humans are animals. I observed Kaitlin and I concluded that she would make a good editor.”

Pike said she looked forward to the next school year.

“The Nexus is going to continue kicking ass, taking names and majors and a few quotes,” she said.