Following the first contested election in five years, Nick Dürnhöfer has been selected as Daily Nexus editor in chief for the 2007-2008 school year.
Dürnhöfer, this year’s opinion editor, ran against this year’s county editor and third-year classics major Nikki Moore, winning the staff vote on May 10. The UCSB Press Council, a body charged with selecting the editor and approving the annual budget of the Nexus and La Cumbre yearbook, officially confirmed Dürnhöfer after hearing his presentation yesterday.
Like any skilled politician, Dürnhöfer managed to convey his plans for the upcoming year while still saying next to nothing.
“I plan to increase the level of expertise at the Nexus and I hope to expand our readership while maintaining efficiency,” Dürnhöfer said.
In spite of his previous obfuscation, Dürnhöfer subsequently committed to an actual plan of action with regards to improving the Daily Nexus’ online content.
“I would like to make our website much more interactive,” Dürnhöfer said. “I wish to implement comment boards, videos podcasts, blogs and student-submitted material.”
Dürnhöfer said he was looking forward to serving as leader of the campus daily, comparing his desire to excel in the position to the intense red hues of this year’s editor in chief Kaitlin Pike’s mane.
“I have a passion for news more fiery than Kaitlin’s red hair,” Dürnhöfer said.
Pike expressed her belief that the paper was in sound hands, though she cautioned Dürnhöfer to approach the job with humility.
“Nick will champion the highest journalistic standards, search out every angle, investigate every scandal and lead the newsroom to a new era of integrity, brilliance and muckraking,” Pike said. “That is, if he doesn’t fuck it up too much. All those umlauts might go to his head. Jesus, there’s so many.”
For Dürnhöfer, the path to the chiefship began when he joined the Nexus in the fall of 2004 as a freshman staff writer for the university desk, graduating to an assistant editorship his sophomore year. He spent the current school year serving as opinion editor.
According to Pike, who was Dürnhöfer’s direct supervisor while he worked at the university desk, the Nexus has transformed him from a boy into a man.
“Nick walked into this office a fresh-faced, puppy-like illiterate freshmen — a typical reporter,” Pike said. “But he will leave a seasoned reporter, editor and drinker.”
The Nexus had turbulent times this year, which saw troubles with Associated Students and some student groups following the Nexus’ controversial printing of an advertisement for Conquest Student Housing.
Dürnhöfer, who worked to address the issues as opinion editor, said he would work to prevent such conflicts in the upcoming year by inviting students with problems to speak up.
“I will never condone censorship, but I will always have an open ear to dissent and the various opinions on campus,” Dürnhöfer said. “I encourage any individual or group who has a complaint with the Nexus to visit us in our office under Storke Tower. I am always open to engaging in dialogue over a hot cup of joe.”
Along with tackling the concerns of the campus community, the editor in chief must often spend days, nights and even have sleepovers at the office to ensure the highest quality product. In light of this, runner-up Moore said she wished Dürnhöfer well.
“I had a different vision for the Nexus, but I’m confident that Nick will do fine and I wish him the best. I will enjoy my sleep next year, unlike Nick. LOL!”
According to Dürnhöfer, he appreciated participating in a tough race with sharp competition.
“Having a competitor makes the process more honorable and I’m glad that I had such a worthy opponent to compete with,” Dürnhöfer said.
Publications Director Jerry Roberts was present at the selection committee’s meeting. He concurred that Dürnhöfer is well qualified for the trials that await him.
“I think he’s done a great job as opinion editor,” Roberts said. “He seems to be very professional, very fair-minded and a very strong writer. I have great confidence that he’ll do a splendid job.”
County Editor David Ferry said he felt the next year would be a good one for the Nexus, and that Dürnhöfer would rise to the challenges he faced.
“On a scale of one to 10, representing how I rate his ability to edit a story, he scores the same number as dots over the ‘u’ in his name,” Ferry said. “But in all seriousness, I’m happy to have Nick as my high chancellor.”
Artsweek editor Mollie Vandor said that Dürnhöfer will continue to uphold high standards at the paper owing to the fact that he is a front leader in a Pike-controlled puppet regime.
“With Kaitlin pulling the strings, Nick will do just fine,” Vandor said. “It’s nice to have an editor in chief I can look down on.”