HerCampus, a network of bloggers and journalists, comes to UB
Victoria Benitez, a senior English major, found herself unable to express her blogger-type writing style through any of UB’s mediums.
She decided it was time for a change and to launch a chapter of HerCampus, an online magazine, at UB.
“I like how it’s focused on topics related to girls,” Benitez said. “So many other colleges have magazines and are able to create whatever content they want, which I’m jealous of.”
HerCampus acts as both a magazine and a forum in which bloggers can submit pieces and become part of a network of female student-journalists. Geared toward college-aged girls, the magazine offers an opportunity to start a chapter within a university, to provide students with their own section of the website.
Each chapter has six sections they can submit to: features, blogs, campus celebrities, campus cuties, snapshot and events. These sections together create a personalized magazine based upon writers’ content.
Aside from the online value, a HerCampus chapter provides a community of women who are interested in journalism, writing, event planning or public relations.
“I’ve been reading HerCampus for a few years now online, so getting to be a part of it would be really cool,” said Erynn Motak, a senior political science major. “I also really like writing, and this would be an opportunity to do that as part of something new at UB.”
To gain interest for her chapter, Benitez utilized her networking skills to advertise, posting in UB class Facebook groups, on her own page and across other social media outlets like Twitter.
She also relied on friends to support her cause, like Jackie Graber, a senior English and philosophy major, who graduated high school with Benitez. Graber had experience, and was interested in the publication.
“When she was interested in getting HerCampus started, she asked if I would be willing to write,” Graber said. “HerCampus deals with a lot of serious, modern feminist issues that affect women of all demographics, yet it’s still a fun and lighthearted publication. I think it’s incredibly important, because it creates a safe, comfortable space for young women – who are still trying to figure out who they are and what they care about – to grapple with issues that may seem daunting or embarrassing.”
Benitez’s networking gave her the startup she needed. Girls began messaging her, their interests piqued by the idea of a female-led magazine.
“I so far have about 10 girls interested and they come from different backgrounds,” Benitez said.
After receiving the necessary 100 signatures and completing the application, the next step is to make online accounts for all members and social media platforms, Benitez said.
The start of the semester will bring first meetings, events and members. Like any new organization, it will take time to build up the following she seeks, but by the end of September the chapter will be fully launched.
“It’s all about networking and social media,” Benitez said. “That’s what I plan to pursue as a career, so I’m not worried.”
Editor’s note: Victoria Benitez and Jackie Graber previously contributed to The Spectrum
Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org