“You can’t stop me, you can only hope to contain me.” Quoting Dan Patrick, those were Miguel Rodriguez’s (’96) last words to the Campus Times when he said goodbye as a senior. This month, Miguel — Miggy, to his colleagues — passed away due to complications from COVID-19.

Miguel’s legacy is obvious. He served for all four of his undergraduate years with the Campus Times, acting as a Staff Writer his first year, Sports Editor his sophomore year, Syndications Editor his junior year, and Senior Staff his senior year. After graduation, he continued to be a lifelong journalist. Along with CT, Miguel played as a goalkeeper for UR Hockey and majored in English. After graduating, he went on to work for the University Sports information department at the Democrat and Chronicle from 1997-1998, the Greater Niagara Newspapers from 1998-2003, and finally ended up with The Buffalo News from 2003, covering the high school sports beat until his death. Miguel’s death made headlines not only at his home publication of The Buffalo News, but also made national news at the Washington Post.

Photo by Allegra Boverman. Campus Times staff photo. From front to back, the sports desk at Campus Times: Miguel Rodriguez, Brian Liss, Erik Thingvoll and Jeff Tran.

Miguel’s story is a testament to the Campus Times as an organization. On Tuesday, we received a letter to the editor from David Leavitt ’98 regarding Miguel’s passing, including how Miguel had a big heart, and was a dedicated editor who helped him grow into the Editor-in-Chief he became years later during his first year in the CT. Following that, the Campus Times reached out to David about doing a long-form article about Miguel, in which we immediately received an email with four former editors CC’d, who then CC’d two other editors, all telling touching stories about Miguel and the CT.

Through this I was able to find out that the Campus Times staff used to go on weekly Friday night outings to ice skate at the Genesee Valley Sports Complex, where Miguel, one of the two hockey players in the group, would skate laps around his fellow editors. Along with the email came pictures from former Photo Editors Allegra Boverman and Rachel Coker, all displaying Miguel and the rest of the staff at GVP during writers’ retreats and at a Campus Times wedding post-graduation between two former editors. Back then, CT was composed of people working to churn out weekly print editions of the news on bricks of computers. In all of these photos, Miguel is front and center, cheering everyone on. Through Miguel, I had gotten to witness a group of colleagues who hadn’t spoken in years reunite around their beloved coworker and friend. 

Miguel’s death inspired an immediate reaction from those that cared about him. Everything I have read about Miguel, from the articles and emails written about him to his pieces here, say the same thing about his character: Miguel was big-hearted, dry-witted, and loved by those he worked with. When Miguel wrote the words, “You can’t stop me, you can only hope to contain me,” the Campus Times was still telling its readers to “visit us on the World Wide Web.” Who knows if Miguel would have guessed at that time how hard it would be to contain such a presence 30 years later. Through his writing, these people, and the publications that he touched, his legacy will live on. Even now, we can’t stop him, we can only hope to contain him.

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