Day in the life: The Orion

By Nick Bragg

Taking on the role as editor-in-chief of a student-managed newspaper requires a tenacious attitude, a relentless work ethic and sheer determination. To say that Jenice Tupolo’s life as editor-in-chief for The Orion is busy, would be an understatement.

Tupolo first got involved with The Orion two years ago when the enterprise editor at the time, Joe Silva, asked Tupolo to join. Since then, she has taken on multiple different roles and now serves as the news organization's top editor. On a typical day, when Jenice isn’t in class, she can be found bustling around The Orion office.

“My life is mostly The Orion with a little bit of school sprinkled on top,” Tupolo said. “You need to really care for the paper in order to do this job.”

Tupolo’s ability to bounce from individual meetings with editors to a professional appointment with the faculty adviser, Mark Plenke, shows her commitment toward the paper.

Jenice Tupolo with faculty adviser Mark Plenke

Every Wednesday thousands of print copies are distributed throughout campus and select Chico locations by Orion staff. If a staffer misses their day to distribute, they must sign up for an additional two days to make up for it.

On days where Tupolo doesn’t have time to make breakfast, you’ll be able to catch her at Brooklyn Bridge Bagel shop in downtown Chico, getting her morning grub on.

Can’t forget to grab the Yerba Mate. Tupolo recently switched to drinking these highly caffeinated teas because the coffee on campus just doesn’t cut it.

Early mornings and late nights are spent entering and exiting Plumas Hall, where The Orion office is tucked away in its basement.

Though sometimes busy, the gentle decline down the stairs eases staffers into The Orion headquarters.

Stairs to The Orion

During the final stretch to the news organization’s basement offices, Tupolo is faced with a wall featuring previous cover pages of Orion editiions. Talk about motivation!

Once in the office, Tupolo never seems to rest. The majority of her time is spent lending a helping hand to whomever may need it.

“A lot of my job is mostly helping people to make their work the best it can be,” Tupolo said.

Being editor-in-chief requires attending lots of meetings. Tupolo meets with faculty adviser Plenke each Wednesday to discuss the news and business sides of things at The Orion.

Shelves upon shelves of past Orion archives line the walls of Tupolo’s office.

If Tupolo can’t be found in the office on Wednesdays, she will be helping her staff pass out papers on campus. The Orion table usually sets up in front of Plumas Hall, but sometimes they can be found near Glenn Hall.

Tupolo sees The Orion as a place for students to express their journalistic talents.

“I think The Orion has a lot of opportunities for people to create the stories that they want to create,” Tupolo said.

Tupolo depends on her team and her team depends on her.

“I’m very appreciative for this place and everything it’s done for me and so I felt the only way to properly leave Chico would be to hopefully leave this place in a better situation the what I got as,” Tupolo said.

Jenice Tupolo discusses pitches with a reporter in her office