Two in 2000: Megan Bantle ’14 and Nicole Smith ’14

CHRISTIAN RUHL/PHOTO EDITOR
Christian Ruhl/ Photo Editor

Last week, in accordance with Record tradition, I sat down with my predecessors, former Editors-in-chief Megan Bantle ’14 [MB] and Nicole Smith ’14 [NS] to talk about their relationship with each other, the newspaper and The Bachelor.

 

NS: Do you want to ask us how we met? I feel like [this is] kind of our love interview.

 

Alright, so you had a bit of a friend crush thing for Meg, right?

 

NS: When we first started on Record, I was trying really hard to be the social chair of the Record and be the popular section editor. [Laughs.]

 

MB: That’s never really stopped.

 

NS: It also has failed miserably over four years. I’m not the cool one. But Meg had this weird, detached, too-cool-for-school arts editor attitude that I just found incredibly compelling and sexy and I wanted to be her friend. So I would find ways to walk past the arts desk and be like “Meg, how’s it going?” and try and be Meg’s favorite on the board and she didn’t notice me forever. We didn’t really become good friends until two years later, which is sort of tragic. But yeah, I had a pretty active, sort of stalkery friend-crush on Meg just because she has this aura about her that’s going to be hard to describe in print.

 

MB: Yeah, I don’t know, first semester on RecordRecord kind of hits you like a bus when you first start. So I was like, “Oh my God I don’t know if this actually a thing I want to invest in.” And then here we are, three-and-a-half years later, an investment has been made. I feel like that first semester I really didn’t get into it – I guess we weren’t close – but coming back to Record that fall… Wasn’t that the fall where we ate ice cream out of a tub together? That was good. [Laughs.]

 

NS: That’s a famous photo we could recreate.

 

MB: Record times are often desperate times, and bonding happens in desperate times.

 

NS: There’s something magical – and I think it would be magical even if I weren’t super stressed out – about someone delivering you a giant tub of ice cream saying, “Go at it.” [Laughs.] It’s sort of my life dream.

 

MB: No bowls.

 

NS: Yeah no bowls. Never any bowls. I’m surprised we had spoons.

MB: Yeah, we just brought our faces really close to the tub.

 

I’ll need you to describe this moment a little more closely.

 

MB: So there was a department function.

 

NS: They’re trying to get new majors, so they offer you pizza, in this case ice cream.

 

MB: Tyler Holden [’13] brought us back a 10-gallon.

 

NS: It was the kind of thing they scoop out of in a scoop shop.

 

MB: Yeah, it was full of mud pie ice cream and she put it on the floor of the Record office and said, “It is melting. Eat it now.”

NS: The best thing is that you and I were the only ones who went for it. Everyone else kind of looked at it.

 

MB: When you say “went for it” we’re talking squatted next to it, on the floor, with spoons and went from there.

 

NS: The Record has this tradition of Tuesday photos. The thing is you don’t come to Record looking cute. Normally you’re quasi-showered, haggard… It’s just a terrible photo of the two of us sweaty, no make up, leaning over this ice cream tub.

 

What are some of the most memorable moments you have shared as editors of the Record

 

NS: We got streaked one time!

MB: Getting streaked was really great. So we were writing an article about the spring streakers…

 

NS: We had scheduled a photo time with them and then had to cancel it and they were pissed.

 

MB: So then, it’s a Tuesday and a dozen very naked men come running through the Record office. I would say our computer chairs are about [waist]-level.

 

NS: They didn’t leave for a while. There was also jumping on desks, which was a jarring and scarring memory that I’ll never really forget.

 

What kind of Record tragedies have their been over your time as editors-in-chief?

 

MB: We printed an article after Macklemore canceled, and it was a very factual, accurate article. And then 8 o’clock at night, Wednesday, after the paper came out, and I was receiving phone calls and texts from [Assistant Director for Student Involvement-Student Organizations] Ben Lamb and the concerts committee from ACE [All Campus Entertainment]. Eventually it comes out that Macklemore had demanded that the Record take down the article about him canceling their show because it was bad publicity and it was totally within their rights to cancel and they were going to reschedule and the concerts committee was like, “Please take down the article,” and I had to stand up for journalistic integrity. I always felt that Macklemore had a little beef with me. I also touched him when he stage dove so I feel like we bonded there.

 

NS: It all works out in the end because some of my closest friends have come from the Record and there’s something you get out of being contained in a space for 18 hours every Tuesday and sort of hating and loving life. I’ve never been able to explain to someone how I can hate something so much and love something so much. I’ve tried to quit Record at least 5 times and somehow was manipulated and loved into getting back into it.

MB: Thank god.

 

NS: It’s a struggle every editor has. “Why do I do this? People on campus hate me. I’m not sure anyone’s read an article that I’ve written. I don’t have a life outside of the newspaper.” But you keep coming back. You can’t justify it to anyone until you’ve really lived it. I think a lot of people don’t understand how much care and time is actually put into it. It doesn’t magically show up on Wednesdays. I think I spent 30-something hours a week on it every week until I was kicked off last November. We care. We’re not some robots who sit in the office and spew out nonsense all the time.

 

I heard you also bonded over your love for the television show The Bachelor.

 

NS: Meg worked her way into my entry’s heart by being the “Bachelor Aunt.”

 

MB: No!

 

NS: She would come over and we would watch [then-Bachelor] Sean Lowe in his quest for love.

 

MB: I think we should qualify this by saying that my relationship with The Bachelor is up and down. I think both of us were pretty disillusioned last season.

 

NS: Juan Pablo… I just wish I could erase it.

 

MB: It was mostly about the drink making, or the drink scrounging.

 

NS: We had this issue where The Bachelor is from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday evenings and there is a Record editorial meeting on Mondays at 10 p.m., which the editor-in-chief needs to run. [One time] we bought a bigger bottle of wine than we usually did. We used to play this Bachelor drinking game and Meg came drunk, and I was pretty tipsy, and we were trying to run this meeting and we would be like, “So, let’s talk about housing [giggles],” and we kept breaking out in giggles, and the entire [editorial] board was like, “What is happening here? Who is in charge of the newspaper?” But no regrets.

 

Meg, tell me about your latest mode of transportation.

 

MB: I recently started driving my grandfather’s very large GMC white pick-up truck. It’s got some swag, I would say.

 

NS: No, you can’t have the word ‘swag’ in this! You can edit that out.

 

MB: Let’s start that over. It’s pretty badass.

 

NS: That’s the thing. We’re never going to stop editing.