Sandra Petri is Making Waves at The Triangle

There are many changes coming to The Triangle, Drexel’s independent student newspaper, and Editor-in-Chief Sandra Petri is behind them. As a pre-junior and only 20 years old, Petri just finished her first term at the helm of the newspaper and is gearing up for her second this winter.

On her very first day at Drexel, Petri found herself at the first Triangle meeting of the year. Since then, she has worked her way up through the news department, beginning as a writer and soon moving to assistant editor and then editor of the section. As of this fall term, Petri has been responsible for the entire paper, including content, staff, planning, development, and more. She leads the editorial board, which is the decision-making body of The Triangle, and reads and edits every article published by the paper. “I also get to make the final decision about a lot of things--some big, some small--which is simultaneously exciting and terrifying,” Petri said.

Come winter term, the 87-year-old newspaper will be re-launched as a multimedia outlet. In addition to the weekly print edition of the paper, The Triangle’s online publication, TheTriangle.org, will see additional content throughout the week and a complete redesign, and an app for iOS and Android phones will be available for download. As the promotional tagline for the re-launch states, The Triangle will now be “24/7.”

Of the decision to pump up The Triangle’s multimedia presence, Petri said, “I really just wanted to keep us moving forward; I think becoming stagnant and comfortable is the same as moving backwards in an organization like this, and publishing more often than once a week just makes sense. We exist to keep the student population informed about what's going on at Drexel, and if we can do that faster, we're doing our job better.”

Running a student newspaper is hard work, and thankfully Petri is not alone. “I have an awesome, motivated staff that constantly surprises and challenges me,” Petri said. The staff may be her favorite part about working with The Triangle, but it may also be the hardest part. Managing different personalities among the large, diverse staff can mean making tough decisions and disappointing staff members, Petri said.

Another difficulty an editor-in-chief must face is the financial side of the organization. As an independent publication, The Triangle receives no funds from Drexel or the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee. Figuring out how to keep the paper running through advertisements and careful spending is all up to the staff. Without a safety net to fall back on, Petri said, “If we mess something up, no one's going to catch us. It's just on us.”

There are benefits to any student leader position, of course. Petri said she has learned prioritization and time management skills, and is always up to date on what’s going on at Drexel, from sports to administration news, thanks to her editing responsibilities. “It's cheesy, I know, but it's made me really love Drexel,” Petri said.

Despite how much time she spends at the student newspaper, Petri’s experiences have not overly influenced her career path. As an International Business student with a minor in International Area Studies, Petri has not shifted her focus from business in favor of being a writer or editor. In other words, post-graduation, Petri probably will not be found working at a local newspaper.

For now, in her free time Petri can be found running along the Schuylkill (which she loves for its scenery and lack of red lights) or voraciously reading fiction. She also plays in a recreational softball league in the spring and helps coach a little league softball team in Fairmount. A few of her other favorite things are slam poetry, ice cream, and the Phillies!

While Petri might not know where she’s headed after Drexel, she does know it will include travel, books, and owning dog! Until then you can find her on the third floor of Macalister, steadily editing The Triangle.