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Dr. Bruce Murphy and Spencer Valdespino pictured at 2016 Spring Commencement.

Dr. Bruce Murphy and Spencer Valdespino pictured at 2016 Spring Commencement.

Photo by: Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University

Photo by: Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University

Dr. Bruce Murphy and Spencer Valdespino pictured at 2016 Spring Commencement.

Nicholls soccer alumna gives opinion on yearbook situation

March 21, 2017

Nicholls State University soccer alumna Spencer Valdespino believes student publications plays a crucial role for athletic teams on campus.

Before she graduated in the spring of 2016, Valdespino was involved in both the study of journalism and the game of soccer. Valdespino set the Nicholls women’s soccer team single season record for points, points per game and goals per game her sophomore year. She was awarded Southland Conference Player of the Year, Louisiana Sports Writer Association Player of the Year and was named Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week multiple times while on the team.

In reflection, Valdespino said student publications helped get her name out around campus as she grew into Nicholls soccer’s most decorated athlete in history.

“Without the up-to-date information from the student media, I don’t think my accomplishments and the team would have been fully recognized,” Valdespino said. “Along with that, the student publications had a good following when I was there, and the word that they would print did in fact find many people’s hands. Because of that, the team’s success became known around campus and our fan attendance would increase throughout the year.”

Valdespino was featured in the 2016 edition of the La Pirogue yearbook where her personal accomplishments and her contributions to the Nicholls soccer program were captured throughout her four-year campaign.

“Having a feature [story] in a university campus is something most people do not get to say. In a school filled with thousands of students who accomplish so much, I was chosen to have a spread,” Valdespino said. “I worked so hard my four years at Nicholls and having it all recognized in the yearbook made it feel like the cherry on top.”

On the administration’s decision to discontinue the $10 yearbook fee, Valdespino said even though the reality of the situation is that not every single person wants a yearbook, she was still upset to hear the news.

“The students are the reason that there even is a yearbook. I don’t know anyone else who should have more of a say than the student body when it comes to continuing the yearbook,” Valdespino said. “It truly sickens me to see the lack of respect going towards La Pirogue, especially being a former athlete but also a mass communications major.”

Valdespino saw the importance of student media during her time as a student-athlete at Nicholls, but she said it will remain important to her for many years to come.

“I truly believe the student media was a useful tool that helped me be recognized as an individual, but more importantly, it got the success of the team out to the campus,” Valdespino said. “I have a love for printed journalism and it will be a great feeling to see something in my hands in about 20 years that I can pull out and show to people.”

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