Holden Velasco has been a part of The Knight News since 2020. He served as webmaster, sports editor, and editor-in-chief.

Farewell Column: My Love Letter to The Knight News

13 mins read

I don’t know what to write.

I’ve spent weeks debating with myself over the best way to start this. There’s so much I want to say, but there’s not enough time. There’s so much more I want to do, but there’s not enough time. There’s so many more stories I want to tell, but there’s not enough time.

Which, in itself, is a funny concept. Time. 

Like many others in the graduating Class of 2024, I really have only been at Queens College for two years. The other two being spent in virtual classrooms after coming off of the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic during my senior year of high school.

Just like other then freshly-graduated high school seniors during quarantine, my freshman year of college didn’t feel like I was in college. Zoom was fine and everything, but it wasn’t the same. The world in general was surreal within the moment — and with four years of hindsight.

I was lonely. I was depressed. I was still feeling the death of my mother. I felt like I had no real direction in life. Life was just life, then.

Everything changed when I cold-emailed the then secretary for The Knight News. Sure, I had written for my high school newspaper, but that was just to keep me occupied. Oh, and I got ninth period off every other day.

Still, I didn’t really see journalism as something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

That changed when I met you, Queens College.

The warmth of The Knight News’ staff during such a dark period in mine (and many others) life comforted me and satisfied that social itch I had so sorely needed. Sure, I was pretty much only writing about professional sports then, but the sense of community grabbed my attention right away.

That only tripled when I finally got to campus two long years later.

Finally meeting faces I had only ever seen on Zoom was absolutely surreal to me (I’m looking at you, Sammy and Jayla), as The Knight News was only really a concept to me at the time — I had never had the full experience for real.

Instantly, I fell in love.

Making connections with faculty, staff, and students for articles and just generally being around the Student Union was — and still is — one of my favorite things about working here. After two years of being forced to look at my school (my life, really) from a distance, seeing the buzz on the Quad and cogs turning in the system was poetic to me, honestly.

Everything and everyone moves and goes on about their day to create a single feeling on campus, like one, large organism. To this day, I cannot describe what seeing this for the first time after quarantine was like to me.

That feeling when I first walked into our newsroom?

Honestly, disappointment. The room, like many others I walked by, had not been maintained over quarantine. Of course this makes sense, but it still upset me to see. This is what The Knight News is? 

We can be better. 

My roommate Edwin and I spent a week clearing, spraying, wiping and just generally cleaning the newsroom. I spent weeks afterwards going through old paperwork and organizing it, as well as fixing our physical archives in perfect order. 

When my predecessor chose me to takeover the editor-in-chief role midway through that first Fall semester, I went home to my dorm room and cried. It was probably for like three minutes straight too, if I’m being truthful (I cried for longer and harder when the emergency election concluded).

You see, there’s something I haven’t told you yet.

Not only is my father a (two-time) graduate of Queens College, but he worked for the QC Quad, an older student-run newspaper, that was eventually dissolved into The Knight News. So, more or less, I’m a legacy at both the university and The Knight News.

My first day as editor-in-chief, I paced around the newsroom ferociously, mind-racing, trying to figure out what our next step was. How do we elevate ourselves? Like usual, I turned to my best friend — my father — by sitting in my office.

We share the same office, decades apart.

Yet, I feel his presence. I feel your presence.

It has been my absolute honor to work for you, Queens College, over these past four years. 

You made me realize what I was put on this planet to do — storytell. Whether it was the latest news on campus, updates on our athletics team, or a feature piece, finally meeting you was something I’ll never forget.

Journalism is community service, in my opinion. Especially local journalism like we do here at The Knight News. Therefore, I call on the powers that be to start seriously considering adding journalism back as a fully-recognized academic department on campus.

Spending four years bouncing between the English and Media Studies departments was not ideal. I shouldn’t have to transfer to another CUNY school just because I want to study journalism — which I heavily considered on multiple occasions. 

We can be better.

For the final time, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything. The Knight News saved me — and because of that, you saved me. Thank you.

Peace and love,

Holden Velasco

Former Editor-in-Chief

The Knight News


Thank you to my Mom, I love you and I miss you everyday. I’m the man I am because of you.

Thank you to my Dad for being my best friend, biggest supporter, and critic. I love you.

Thank you to the rest of my family for their constant love and support.

Thank you to every person who worked at The Knight News with me over the years. Both the organization and I would not be where it is today without you.

Thank you to all of my sources for your time and trusting me with your story.

Thank you to every editor I ever had while I was a writer for setting my foundation.

Thank you to every writer I had the pleasure of working with as their editor — my favorite part of the job.

Thank you to anyone who has ever read one of my articles. I hope I did right by you.

Thank you to Sidd for believing in me from the very beginning, without you, my entire path at The Knight News would not have been possible.

Thank you to Jason for being the best faculty advisor I could’ve asked for. I wouldn’t be here without you. You will be family forever.

Thank you to Amy for your continuous support of my career. I will never forget the impact you made on me.

Thank you to Jayla for trusting me with the editor-in-chief role, I hope I kept our promise.

Thank you to Abeer and Charlie for bringing both of your uplifting presences to the newsroom and trusting me with the formation of your departments.

Thank you to Adriana for being my golden retriever and wrestling every layout together with me.

Thank you to Aida for making me happy like nobody else can. I can’t wait until the next time.

Thank you to Edwin for being the brother I never had and supporting me day-to-day like we were blood.

Thank you to Sammy for standing side-by-side with me through the gutter unlike anyone else. 

Thank you to Sergio and Walter for constantly reminding me that I’m still human and putting a smile on my face.

Thank you to William for being my ace of spades, you’ll make me proud as editor-in-chief.

Thank you to Daniel L. for editing my sports articles during quarantine, you truly formed how I operate as a writer and editor.

Thank you to Johnny for entrusting me into the main circle, I will never forget it.

Thank you to Olivia and Jeenia for being the big sisters I never knew I needed.

Thank you to Professors Brandkamp, Jamie Cohen, Joseph Cohen, Cornetta, Daly, Gangji, Hopper, Laterman, Mendelson, Parris Jr., Stewart, Tumposky, and Watson for your overwhelming support over the years.

Thank you to Maria, Jay, and everyone else in Media Relations that helped me piece together the puzzle.

Thank you to Craig, Jennifer, and Sean for your constant respect and understanding of my vision for The Knight News.

Thank you to Nav for helping us give well-earned recognition to our student athletes.

Thank you to the entire Student Life staff for your hard work making this and every club possible.

Thank you to my good friends at NYPIRG for being awesome neighbors!

Thank you to Coach Matt and Cesar for entrusting me into your family.

Thank you to Coach Reardon for your humanity.

Thank you to The Writing Minor Awards Committee for your constant belief in me.

Thank you to Cesar Bustamante Jr., Randal Archibold, Terry Parris Jr., and Derek Kravitz for you time as part of our Visiting Journalist series.

Thank you to Randy for your advice in my times of need.

Thank you to Katina for you unwavering support of The Knight News and CUNY student journalism.

Thank you to our next board, William, Aida, Rachel, and Michael for carrying the torch. Keep building without me.

Thank you to everybody else who I couldn’t get to that has made an impact on my life in the past four years. You know who you are.


Holden Velasco

Editor-in-Chief at The Knight News. Queens. Sports. Writing. CUNY Product. NetsDaily at SB Nation. New York Times Corps member. Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Formerly SLAM.

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