For our off campus and alumni readers (and those of you who haven’t kept your eyes open), the Collegian has launched a new magazine (read it here) devoted to long form journalism (the first ever Kenyon magazine, not counting the failed attempt by the Collegian to become a magazine).
The magazine is the project of Collegian Co-Associate Managing Editor Henri Gendreau and Co-Chief Copy Editor Gabe Brison-Trezise, both of the class of 2016. Each had the idea of a campus magazine independently and were paired up by Collegian management last spring to begin working on this project. Brison-Trezise said that he and Gendreau have developed the magazine mostly independently from the Collegian, though he characterized current management as “very supportive.”
Brison-Trezise and Gendreau were both on campus over the summer, giving them a good opportunity to begin planning the first edition and to raise money. Brison-Trezise explained that he and Gendreau “spent a lot of time canvassing for ads in Mount Vernon” over the summer. As the fall semester got under way, the two contacted Will Ahrens ’15 to help them with the necessary design work. Ahrens currently holds the position of Art Director; Brison-Trezise was highly complimentary of Ahrens’ work, saying that “a lot of people have told me how impressed they are with the presentation…and that’s largely due to Will.”
Contacting and maintaining writers was the next task, and Brison-Trezise explained that it was a “constant challenge” to maintain staffing, as many writers had to bow out due to conflicts, but he said that “we ended up with a good core of people.” As for next semester, he is optimistic, as many of the writers would like to return and others have already contacted him and Gendreau looking to write for the magazine. Brison-Trezise also maintained that having one issue per semester made the job easier on writers as they have “more time to really thoroughly research their pieces and do them justice.”
The two drew inspiration from the Alumni Bulletin while creating this magazine. Brison-Trezise said that “we love the alumni bulletin…and drew a lot of inspiration from it.” However, he acknowledged that that the bulletin is the work of the public affairs office and thus will always “portray the college in a flattering light.” He explained that the “driving principle” behind the magazine is “to report seriously on college matters without fear or favor.”
It is unclear at the moment what relationship the Collegian magazine will maintain with the weekly edition, though Gendreau believes that the magazine will maintain a separate editorial staff. Brison-Trezise expressed his belief that the two productions will always draw a similar set of students interested in journalism, and expects cross-over between staff. Gendreau also explained his belief that a strong connection is important to prevent content overlap.
One concern going forward is money. After all a full-color, glossy magazine is expensive. The inaugural issue was primarily funded through ad sales, though the magazine was able to secure funding from the Business and Finance Committee (BFC) to make up the difference. Going forward, however, the magazine will likely need to be self-sufficient, according to Brison-Trezise.
As for the future, both are optimistic. It is unsure whether or not the magazine will stay at one issue a semester, but Gendreau believes that it is important to produce a quality product and for now, that means one issue per semester.