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UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Long-time squatter moves out of Spinnaker

When I joined Spinnaker in January 2021, I hardly read the news, much less wrote an article. 

I’d just started college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Typical. This was back when the COVID-19 lockdown was in full swing. Looking for that “college experience” I’d heard so much about, I opted to live in the dorms once campus opened back up.

My parents were the ones who somehow found Spinnaker. Don’t ask me how; I have no idea. I applied for the news editor position and, in all honesty, had no clue what that really meant. 

The interview was on Zoom, and I wore a semi-ironed pink polo. One of the questions was, “Can you pitch me an article?” An English major at the time, I pitched an idea for a fiction story I was thinking about writing. Safe to say, I didn’t get that job. But, I was offered a place as the Student Government reporter. 

Accepting was, and always will be, the single best decision of my life. 

(Collin Frye/Spinnaker)

Now, almost exactly three years later, I live and breathe the news. If I could, I’d probably eat it too. The bulk of that time—two years and five months, to be exact—have been as editor-in-chief. (Fun fact: I recently found out that’s the longest term for a Spinnaker editor-in-chief since 1986, we think! Save that one for Jeopardy.)

It’s no overstatement to say I’ve basically lived at Spinnaker. There was a time I may or may not have slept over while working on articles, according to unconfirmed reports. Either way, Spinnaker’s come a long way these last three years (shameless plug: our online coverage was recently recognized as one of the best in the nation). None of it’s been done alone. 

There’s never a right way to say thank you. Maybe I should’ve done this last month, but to each of my coworkers and mentors; professors, sources and readers; every single person I’ve interviewed, shaken hands with, written about and edited an article for; or anyone who’s made me a matcha green tea latte or chai on the first floor of the Student Union every day for the last two and a half years, thank you!

That all being said, I have one more semester left before crossing that stage, so you may see my name on unfspinnaker.com every so often. Regardless, I’ve crammed a ton of work and accomplishments into this time with Spinnaker. I’ve told the stories of those who want to be heard, those who don’t know their stories are worth telling and those who don’t want their stories being told. 

What’s the moral of this story? Two things. First, listen to your parents. They can be right sometimes. Second, join Spinnaker. They’re a badass team.

___

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Carter Mudgett, Reporter
Carter Mudgett is a University of North Florida student majoring in multimedia journalism. He was Spinnaker's editor-in-chief from August 2021 to December 2023. Carter led Spinnaker to be awarded a 2023 Online Pacemaker Award, and most recently placed second in the Society of Professional Journalists's Sunshine State Awards for "Best Coverage of LGBT Issues" in the college category. Backed by a passion for creative storytelling and accurate reporting, Carter typically covers education, gender and race issues.

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