Former Liberator editors and advisor reflect on past, future

Alex Watson, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The Liberator has provided LASA and LBJ with news for 45 years and has evolved with each editor and advisor.

Roxy Bonafont joined the Liberator as a sophomore and later became editor-in-chief in her senior year. She did not have any experience in journalism before her time on the Liberator, and she signed up for the class on a whim after encouragement from Kimberly Katopodis, the newspaper advisor at the time. However, she stayed for the remaining three years of her high school career, and it became her favorite thing about LASA.

“Once I started writing longer pieces about things that felt worth writing about, the exhausting, stressful, thankless project that is the Liberator completely took over my life, and I let it,” Bonafont said. “There were days when I spent more time in the newspaper room than in class. It was weird and obsessive, but I leaned into it because I think it’s special to find something that gives you tunnel vision like that.”

Bonafont is a sophomore at Stanford University, and she plans to pursue a career in journalism. She also writes for the campus magazine, Stanford Politics, which she said has helped her writing and creative abilities shine.

“I’ve learned so much about journalism and had the chance to write some really cool pieces,” Bonafont said. “A profile I co-wrote in the spring was recently cited in the Washington Post, which was pretty exciting and helped me realize that what I write actually matters and is part of a much larger discourse.”

Journalism is a significant part of Bonafont’s current life at Stanford and future life as she plans to pursue it outside of school. Without the Liberator, Bonafont says she wouldn’t have been introduced to it. She believes her newspaper experience allowed her to become the writer she is today.

“Writing is really hard; nobody in the history of journalism has ever figured out how to meet a deadline, and it’s frustrating and it’s worth it—more than anything else I’ve ever done,” Bonafont said. “I feel like I know what I should be doing, that I’ve found the work that matters to me, and I really do owe that to the Liberator.”

Similarly to Bonafont, Stanford junior Sesha McMinn joined the Liberator her freshman year to fill an elective spot. Despite her limited prior interest in writing, she ended up staying her entire time at LASA. She spent the three years as the news editor and won first place at UIL in the commentary category as a junior. Although she is not pursuing a career in journalism, her newspaper experience has proved useful since leaving LASA.

“Thanks to the Liberator, I know a lot about editing and writing in general,” McMinn said. “Every time I have to write an essay, I use the skills I learned on the Liberator. As a news editor, I got used to editing papers, even multiple times, and it’s really helped me with my own schoolwork.”