The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

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Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

TPN sends off graduating opinions columnists

Pitt+graduates+after+their+2021+graduation+at+Heinz+Field.+
TPN File Photo
Pitt graduates after their 2021 graduation at Heinz Field.

The opinions desk is sad to see six of our most beloved writers graduate in a week. We have had a lot of laughs and a lot of rough conversations, lots of debates and faced lots of backlash together. We hope The Pitt News is a college memory you look back on fondly and remember the good times in the office recalling our favorite TikToks of the week and debating the effects of late-stage capitalism. We are going to miss each of you and are so grateful for the time we had together being your editors!

Abigail Dobry, Senior Staff Columnist // Thomas Riley, Opinions Editor

Abby joined as a senior, so we tragically only had her write for us for one year. I knew after her first pitch — that Shakespeare is fantastic and schools do a god-awful job teaching it — that I was going to love reading her work. She didn’t waste any time writing as much as she could in her short time here, covering everything from literature to the digital age to eco-friendliness to even her own original poetry.

To put it simply, Abby has good opinions — and by that I mean that I often agree with them. Yes, I also love Shakespeare! Wow, I despise but also recognize the importance of cover letters, too! Hey, you think creative nonfiction is an underappreciated genre? Me too! The best part about Abby’s opinions is that she argues for them very well — I always find myself nodding at my computer screen while I edit her columns. She’s got a knack for taking what a lot of us are thinking and actually putting it into words.

Even though your time with us was short, you’ve made a lasting impact on the opinions desk. When you decide it’s time to write a play or a novel or a memoir, pretty please let me be a beta reader.

India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist // Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor

India just had a column go through production last week and I told our new editor-in-chief and managing editor that she is an anomaly of an opinions writer — her work rarely needs any major edits, and her style stands out amongst the others on the desk. She attacks and exposes the current political and social situations in Pittsburgh like no other writer and has consistently provided quality content whenever she had the time to contribute to The Pitt News.

India is so much more than just one of my writers — she is also a dear friend, one I am proud to have known throughout my college career. Not only is she an incredibly impassioned and powerful writer, but her contributions to the greater Pittsburgh community are unmatched. She is one of those people that, if you mention her name, everyone knows and loves her and the work that she does to further social justice in the city of Pittsburgh.

India — Thomas and I are both so excited to see the incredible things you are going to do, and we are constantly going to be on the lookout for your next column — wherever that may be. 

Anna Fischer, Senior Staff Columnist // Thomas Riley, Opinions Editor

I’m not sure if it’s the legacy she wants, but Anna is the sole reason I am now fairly appreciative of ASMR as a medium. She pitched a column expressing her love for the soft, tingly whispers into a microphone that I once considered, quite frankly, a little weird, but her column managed to break down my preconceptions. Now when an ASMR creator shows up on my TikTok, sometimes I give it a listen.

Anna is also living proof that reading will improve your writing. She reads around 70-90 books every year — a task I once considered impossible but have now accepted as merely Herculean — and it clearly reflects in her columns. Anna has an incredibly strong voice, and she does an amazing job keeping her prose both articulate and conversational. As for her poetry, I have never been so blown away by the sheer breadth of vocabulary in a single poem. The next time you forget a word, email Anna, and she’ll probably have five terms it could be, three of which you have never heard of.

Anna, there is no doubt in our minds you are going to be incredibly successful after college, and please keep writing to give the next generation’s perfervid book lovers something good to read. Fun fact — I learned the word “perfervid” from Anna’s poetry.

Kelly Xiong, Senior Staff Columnist // Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor

It was Kelly’s pitches that caused the most conversation and debate — both off-topic and on — during our weekly meetings. From shit-talking depop sellers during her pitch on vintage clothing to the effects capitalism has had on our consumer culture, I knew that whenever she pitched, the opinions desk would get rowdy. It was Kelly’s columns that really brought the opinions desk together even during our most empty of meetings. 

And sure, maybe I questioned every single grammar rule because editing a copy editor was practically debilitating (all jokes), but Kelly consistently produced not only interesting conversations, but also incredible work that covered a variety of topics that had to do with clothing, lifestyle and even reviews of our campus’s beloved boba places and of course the infamous PileZ.

I recall at the beginning of the year Kelly mentioning she wanted to be a fashion and lifestyle writer and just knowing that any publication would be lucky to have her! Her multifaceted skills, range of topics and overall talent as a writer makes her an incredibly tough candidate to beat out. We are going to miss your contributions here at The Pitt News, but know that you are going to move on and do incredible things. 

Ashanti McLaurin, Staff Columnist // Thomas Riley, Opinions Editor

Sometimes I skip a week or two or three from writing a column because I’m very busy with other clubs or classes, but then I remember that Ashanti regularly contributes columns despite her full schedule as a Pitt cheerleader. Even though she couldn’t make it to pitch meetings, she would still stay active on her phone during cheer practice to watch for edits on production nights. She is an inspiration to everyone, myself included, who occasionally gets a little too comfortable pulling the “Maybe next week” card.

Many of Ashanti’s columns have taken a more reflective angle this year — on her age, on her dating experience, on her family. Reading her columns, her voice encourages you to look inside yourself and examine your own life as she does in her writing. Her columns on navigating your 20s and earning your degree have given me comfort as someone terrified to start their last year in college, and I hope her writing finds its way to anyone insecure about their social or academic standing.

Even though we didn’t get to see you much, Livia and I will miss you lots. You have the diligence and the talent to excel in anything you put your mind to.

Sofia Uriagereka-Herburger, Senior Staff Columnist // Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor

I worked a lot with Sofia during many of her columns on the violence in Gaza, and I have never before read work that channeled anger and passion as well as Sofia did during the last year on the opinions desk. I swear, I entered every production night telling the other editors that “this is her best work yet,” and she would continuously outdo herself the following week. 

Sofia would always come into our pitch meetings each week joking that she is there to bring the vibe down. And while sure, her pitches stood out from our regular cohort each week, not a single person on our desk was brought down. Instead, we continuously were moved and impassioned by her tenacity in the face of adversity. There are many people out there in the world who are willing to set aside their convictions and morals when faced with backlash, but Sofia is not one of them. And I know she will continue to be this way for the rest of her life — it is people like her who always rise above and make tangible change even when it feels like the whole world is pushing back.

No matter where you end up, I know that you are going to thrive and stay true to yourself and your convictions. Good luck, Sofia! It is because of you many of us continue to have faith that real change is possible.

About the Contributors
Thomas Riley
Thomas Riley, Opinions Editor
Thomas Riley is a junior double major in Politics and Philosophy and English Writing. They enjoy all things comedy and love to satirize current events and student life in their own writing. You can catch them procrastinating in Hillman, reading in Cathy or dreading a required economics course in Lawrence. Share your own opinions or sell them CDs by emailing
Livia LaMarca
Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor
Livia LaMarca is a junior political science and sociology student from outside of Chicago. You can often find her studying for the LSAT and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Her hobbies include singing, crocheting & knitting, Marvel movies, and hanging with her dog Leo (who she misses very much). She enjoys writing about American political discourse and U.S. pop culture with a particular passion for social justice and equitable social programs. Livia's email —  — is always open if you'd like to share your own opinions or respond to an opinion column of hers.