The Justice unanimously elected Gilda Geist ’22 editor in chief for the 2020-2021 academic year on a Zoom call on Aug. 16. Geist presented her vision for the paper’s future, reflected on the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic and answered questions from Justice editors and staff before being voted EIC.

Geist, an English and Politics double major with a minor in Journalism, joined the Justice at the beginning of her first year at Brandeis. She immediately distinguished herself as a skilled and thoughtful News writer, and at the beginning of her second semester, began training to become News editor. After serving as co-News editor, she became Deputy editor in early spring 2020, a position that allowed her to join the executive board and train to serve as editor in chief. Although her planned training was disrupted when campus closed in March, she guided the paper through the summer, gaining considerable experience managing a digital production process before being voted EIC last month.

Luke Liu ’21 joins Geist as the second-in-command of the Justice’s 2020-2021 leadership, serving as managing editor. Liu, an International and Global Studies and Economics double major, joined the paper’s Arts & Culture section at the beginning of his sophomore year. Like Geist, he quickly made a name for himself writing insightful and entertaining film reviews, and he took over Arts & Culture as editor in Spring 2019. In Spring 2020, Liu began preparing to become managing editor, and he was voted into the position in March before campus closed.

In a Sept. 5 interview with the Justice, Geist and Liu both highlighted the challenges and opportunities presented by leading a newspaper during this unprecedented time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Justice will not print issues this semester and will instead post weekly content entirely online.

Geist looks forward to “taking this as an opportunity to transform our online presence.” She and Liu plan to launch a Justice email newsletter and to strengthen its social media platform.

“I think as disrupting [as] it is with everything going on, I think we also have a unique opportunity to present a different form of newspaper,” Liu said, adding, “I hope that we can do things that turn more people to us, as a way to receive information and… a platform to express themselves.”

Both editors also stressed their desire to help people balance being a part of the Justice with the obligations and stressors of living through a pandemic. “A lot of people have a lot of things going on, and I just want to make sure [being on the Justice is] something fun they want to do,” Liu said.

Geist also shared her hope that more artists and science writers will join the paper, to help expand and improve those aspects of the Justice’s reporting.

Looking to the year to come, Geist said that although she was initially disappointed that this would be such an unorthodox semester, she is now excited for what’s to come. “I realized, it’s going to be kind of cool to be on the team of people that is doing student journalism at Brandeis during a really historic time,” she said. Embarking into the unknown this semester, Geist finds comfort in knowing all the “creative and dedicated” people on the Justice are alongside her.