The Great Debate

Copy Editors fight over who is better

Bridget Kelley

More stories from Bridget Kelley

More stories from Julia Van Allen

Seeking Solace
May 13, 2019


I knew this day was coming. Casting copy editor against copy editor in the showdown of the year, I only hope I can defend my points in an effective way.

Let me begin by discussing my opponent in this debate, The Spectator’s own Bridget Kelley.

Bridget Kelley is one of the sweetest and most caring person I know. When someone leaves the office, whether it is for five minutes or five hours, Bridget Kelley will tell them to make good choices. This saying, one that my mother loved to employ while I was in middle and high school, is a pillar of Bridget’s ability to care about others. She wants them to make the choices that will be best for them at that moment in time, she isn’t trying to impose her beliefs on what is the best for others, rather she’s reminding them that they have the ability to choose what their next move will be.

Not only is Bridget Kelley a delightful human being, she is also a talented writer and phenomenal journalist. Don’t believe me? Look at any story she has written for The Spectator this semester, each one of them is a polished masterpiece with her unique voice ringing true. This gal’s got moxie.

Bridget Kelley is a phenomenal writer and editor. She puts her heart and soul into every piece she works on and it really shows. Bridget fights for the stories she wants, often against me because we typically want to write the same editorials, and doesn’t quit. I can’t even count how many times we played really aggressive games of rock-paper-scissors over a story and left the meeting comparing the redness on our hands.

Bridget, I now speak directly to you.

Bring your A game next semester. If you thought our showdowns over coveted stories were intense this semester, just wait. Also, what if I don’t want to make good choices?!

I tease, but seriously though. Bridget Kelley is by far the superior copy editor at The Spectator. She has the experience working for other newspapers in the past, a tenacity to dig deeper for every story she writes and the drive to go for what she wants.

There is no other person on staff here at The Spectator that I’d rather fight over a story with. Bridget is truly a worthy competitor and I look forward to continuing this war of attrition in the future. Additionally, I’d like to think that we’re going to win the iconic duo nomination for the end-of-the-year awards. This, as well as so many other reasons, is why Bridget Kelley is the best copy editor ever.

Julia Van Allen

Julia Van Allen? More like Julia Van Awesome, am I right? Bad jokes aside, JVA is clearly the superior copy editor in this situation.

For one, she’s always full of sunshine, even on her bad days. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Julia in anything other than a positive attitude. She always comes into the office and greets everyone with a smile and kind words. And if anyone is having a rough day, Julia swoops in with a photo of her family’s dog, Kevin, and a story to accompany it. My favorite is the photo of Kevin taking a nap in the laundry basket. Adorable.

Julia is like a big sister. She gives you advice like a friend but watches over you and cares like a mom. You have the best of both worlds when it comes to Julia.

JVA is also a wonderful journalist. Her column this semester debunking weird laws in the U.S. was both informative and funny. She has a way of writing like she’s talking to you; she explains things in a way that your best friend would. Her words are kind and funny and helpful, which translate into her personality very well.

Julia also puts a lot of heart into everything she does. Not only are all her articles wonderfully thought out and eloquent, she puts that same amount of effort into editing others’ work. Every one of her critiques is kind and thoughtful and helpful — everything you want from constructive criticism. She always has a way of telling you what you’re doing wrong without making you feel bad about it, and that is one of the many things I love about her.

Despite being kind, Julia is one of the most ruthless people I know when it comes to something she’s passionate about. I’m using the word “ruthless” in this case without its negative connotation. Julia is willing to fight for whatever it is she wants —  whether that be a story or an element in a group project that she knows will work better. Her willingness to fight for what she wants is what made me want to befriend her in the first place. You see, I’m also extremely competitive, and I also want many of the stories that Julia does. It is not a rare sight for she and I to be fighting over a story that’s been budgeted. By fighting, I don’t mean actual, physical fighting — though we do have intense rock, paper, scissors matches (which should definitely get us the iconic duo award this semester).

Overall, I believe that JVA one of the greatest things to ever happen to the Spectator. Her bubbly self has graced all of us here with endless positivity and Oxford comma removal. What more could you want in a copy editor, really? She’s got it all.

Bridget Kelley