On February 1, a new online magazine called Her Campus Stony Brook (HCSB) joined the populous list of student-run publications at Stony Brook. The magazine, geared towards women, features news, blogs, photos and information on upcoming campus events, all written by Stony Brook students.
Founded by three female Harvard students and launched in September 2009, Her Campus is a national online magazine that includes content on style, beauty, love, life and careers written by female college journalists. Women can create branches for their own schools that feature content related to their institution. According to the magazine, more than one hundred schools have Her Campus branches.
“Her Campus is a magazine for smart, empowered and globally conscious college women,” said sophomore Rhoda Feng, HC SB’s creator and Campus Coordinator. “The purpose of the Stony Brook branch, and other college branches, is to supplement the national content with school-specific content.”
Feng, who heard about Her Campus from a friend at another school, thought that having a branch at Stony Brook would “provide an important outlet for women on campus to express themselves.”
As Campus Coordinator, Feng oversees the activities of the business team, edits the articles, updates the site at least once a week, communicates with the writers and solicits contributions. She also adds content of her own, she said. The business team includes Events Coordinator Stephanie McCourt; the Social Media Directors Lillian Hua and Julieana Magriz; and Publicity Director Alicia K. Ryan. Because the magazine is still new, Feng said it is working on building up an editorial team this semester and finding staff, feature and contributing writers.
The magazine welcomes all types of writers. “I strive for diversity,” Feng said. “Even those who have no journalism experience can contribute to HC SB … Essentially, I want to include as many different views as possible on the site.”
To get ready for the launch and to publicize the magazine, Ryan and the rest of the business team used flyers, mass emails and a fan page on Facebook. “We’ve had so much positive feedback, and [I’ve] even had people pull me aside at school to tell me how much they love the site,” said Ryan. “I am contacting clubs and organizations to collaborate, and networking with fraternities and sororities to bring in an even bigger constituency. We really want our readers to be involved, and [we] plan to hold contests and other fun interactive programs.”
Besides establishing a strong fan base, the magazine hopes to inspire readers with its articles and content. “We really just hope to allow college students to progressively become motivated through informative articles, which will ultimately lead to a more successful lifestyle and dedication to hard work,” Ryan said.
In addition to its regular content, HCSB also features two categories called “Campus Cuties” and “Campus Celebrities” where readers can nominate someone they feel “personifies” Stony Brook, or they think is a “great catch,” to be featured on the site. Right now they are being picked by Ryan.
“I have a pretty big network on campus, so I know a lot of the student leaders and can interview them easily,” said Ryan. “We hope once the site gets more popular that readers will start nominating their own choices.” She and Feng predict that these will be the magazine’s most popular features.
Ryan added that although the magazine is targeted towards women, men can find it interesting too.
“This magazine, though marketed to women, isn’t just for women,” she said. “There are also great features for men to enjoy, like our upcoming events tab. It’s always valuable to know what’s going on around campus.”
Feng and Ryan are both confident that HC SB will be very successful and gain many readers throughout the semester.
“I think HC SB will be a great success on campus because it’s totally unique,” Ryan said. “It’s like reading Cosmo, but with stories that relate personally to our students. How can it get any better than that? It can’t!”
For anyone who is interested in contributing to Her Campus Stony Brook, Feng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.