News reporter says final goodbye


Zachary Strain

Mustafa Saifuddin joined The Daily Texan in Fall 2009 as a page designer. He has served as a senior designer, Double Coverage  design editor and associate news editor.

Mustafa Saifuddin

Editor's note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line.

This semester, our news team was constantly connected by text.

I imagine my phone buzzing late at night some 10 years from now with a barrage of group texts. Something entirely random will trigger a memory — maybe someone will light a candle and recall a fancy pitch meeting amid stacks of old newspapers, or perhaps one of us will be folding laundry and remember a clothes dryer catching fire in West Campus.

I hope it will be from Shabab, telling us what he’s finished on the most recent best day of his life, or maybe it will be from Jordan making a jelly bean run on her way to meet Sarah at the Supreme Court.

Maybe Bobby will perk up and fix his bowtie after the buzz wakes him from the quick nap he takes after publishing his 9 millionth story.

Elyana will be reminding us to listen for her broccoli pun on the next episode of “SNL,” or maybe Hannah Jane DeCiutiis will have finally booked that interview with Bill Gates.

Maybe it will be a stray text from Allie highlighting her feelings at the moment, or perhaps it will be Christine assuring us she has escaped the menaces of gnarly staircases, gluten and undipped chips. 

Maybe it will be an alert from Albert as he emerges from the archive room of another prestigious newspaper, or maybe Fechter will just be telling us to shut up in that loving way of his.

Whatever the message says, I hope it comes.

In my four-year on-again, off-again relationship with The Daily Texan, I’ve said farewell to the basement multiple times, but this time, I won’t have the option of drifting back.

I fell in love with the dedication and meticulousness of the staff on my first night of design when Thu handed me edits covered in red ink — proving she cared enough to pore over my work, circle every misaligned stroke and catch every dangling orphan.

The next semester, after a frazzled and late first night as a senior designer, I was nearly too embarrassed to return to work. That was only until Olivia reassured a flustered freshman to let his mistakes be swept away by the current of the next day’s paper.

While I stared perplexedly at football helmets for Double Coverage, Veronica and Martina inspired some of my best graphics and introduced me to my favorite fonts. Somehow, we were always on the same page.

There are so many more people, piñatas, boxes of popcorn tofu, mold spores and sketchy couches I will miss. I wish I could name them all.

That being said, I hope the mushiness of this 30 column does not invalidate four years of sass, which is, after all, the cornerstone of this organization.