Collegian Nominated for Collegiate Journalism Award

 

For what is believed to be the first time ever, a piece published in the Collegian last school year has been nominated for an ACP Story of the Year award. The ACP is the Associated Collegiate Press, an organization of collegiate journalists. Many publications, including newspapers, magazines, and yearbooks, all run by colleges, are members of the ACP. Membership entitles associated publications to attend conferences, access educational resources for aspiring journalists, and enter an annual collegiate journalism contest.

This year a piece written by current Co-Editor in Chief of the Collegian, Sarah Lehr, ’15, has been nominated under the category of diversity. The piece is available here.The Story of the Year awards are presented in multiple categories, including Features and Editorial, a full list of categories and nominees for this year can be found here.

Lehr is nominated for a story entitled “Athletes Stand up for Equality” about the relatively new group on campus Kenyon College Athletes for Equality (KCAE). As I’m sure many of us now know, KCAE is a group for student athletes who identify as LGBTQ or support those who do. Lehr’s article goes in depth into the founding of KCAE, and includes extensive commentary from the founders of the program, Avery Anderson and Emilia Louy (both class of ’15) and the Kenyon Athletic Director, Peter Smith. All expressed how important it was that athletes who identify as LGBTQ feel accepted, and that even at a place as accepting as Kenyon, many students still feel uncomfortable openly discussing their sexuality. Lehr noted that the athletic department has been traditionally somewhat more hostile to LGBTQ students, pointing out that one of her sources, who remains anonymous in the article, talked about one of his coaches continually using gay slurs. Though KCAE’s adviser and the Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Suzanne Helfant, is quoted as saying, in reference to acceptance of those who identify as LGBTQ, “At Kenyon I’ve seen a dramatic change,m but I think it’s parallel to a societal change.”

In an interview with the Thrill, Lehr expressed gratitude towards all her sources saying that “what made the piece really great was how forthcoming my sources were.” Lehr is excited to be nominated impressed with her competition. Speaking as to whether she believed it was her best piece she said “I was very proud of it…it was a lot of work” but quickly turned the focus off of her, thanking her sources and former Collegian executive editors David McCabe and Lauren Toole, both class of ’14.

This is the first year the Collegian has held a dues paying membership with the ACP, according to Collegian associate managing editor Henri Gendreau, ’16. Writing in an e-mail to the Thrill, Gendreau said that Lehr and her co-executive editor Madeleine Thompson, ’15, will be traveling to the annual ACP convention held in Philadelphia this November. Managing editor Julie France, ’15, will also be in attendance, and Gendreau may as well.

Gendreau explained that part of his role as associate managing editor is the “get the Collegian name out there in the world of student journalism” a sentiment echoed by Lehr who said Gendreau’s role was in part “expanding the Collegian’s brand outside the hill.” According to Lehr, Gendreau was responsible for submitting several pieces for consideration last year with limited help from herself and Thompson; additionally Gendreau was responsible for organizing Collegian presence at the upcoming ACP conference. Lehr went on to mention that the Collegian will continue to submit pieces to the ACP awards and that the Collegian is taking steps to make the paper more well known, including revamping the website and making steps to get alumni involved, including hosting a conference for former and current Collegian staff last spring.

Winners will be announced at the conference in November, Lehr’s article is up against nine others from around the country, including a piece on Asian tourists at Ivy League schools, published by the Yale Daily News and a piece on disability access at Boston College, published in The Heights.

 

 

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