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Her Campus: a collegiate’s guide to life

By Alana Blum

Section: Features

March 19, 2010

Imagine a national magazine that is geared towards college students, one that doesn’t center on celebrity gossip and instead provides advice on dorm life and even has a section devoted just to Brandeis. Take a look at Her Campus, an online magazine written by college students for college students, and you’ll find just that.

Her Campus was created by three Harvard students, seniors Stephanie Kaplan and Windsor Hanger, and junior Annie Wang, who describe their magazine as “an online magazine for college women that will pave the way for the media industry to successfully make the transition online to keep up with today’s digital world.”

The main Her Campus page contains national content that could pertain to any college student across the country, but is nevertheless informative for Brandeisians in particular.

In the main style section, there’s even a guide on how to avoid having pictures taken of you that you’ll end up having to untag later on Facebook. Very useful indeed, as we’ve all surely had to encounter this unfortunate task at one time or another. There are also sections about health, love, career and the world.

In addition to Her Campus’ national Web site, there are also 25 campus chapters, each providing individual content pertaining to that college or university. Our campus section is personalized to fit the needs of students here at Brandeis. In fact, there are even polls on the Web site, asking questions such as “which dorm would you like to see renovated?”

The Brandeis section of Her Campus, run by Abi Katznelson ’11, offers Brandeis students an opportunity to read a magazine written just for them. It’s informal, it’s fun and it puts Brandeis’ name on the map. Although Brandeis’ Her Campus branch just launched in January and is still growing in popularity, Katznelson hopes to one day reach a larger audience and also desires that featured stories will have an impact on the community.

Katznelson says one of the best aspects of Her Campus is that it fills the void many college students might feel when picking up a magazine such as Seventeen or Cosmo Girl: “When you write about superficial things, after a while your articles all sound the same. Every Cosmo I read seems similar to the last. What we write about are the things we find matter most. Real people’s opinions are always new, always changing and always pertinent.”

Her Campus Brandeis’ stories are always varied and always about something college students can relate to and might find helpful. Whether it’s how to style a dorm to make it more comfortable and exciting, or how to deal with the stress of the housing lottery, Her Campus Brandeis has it covered.

In fact, transfer student Kayla Cronin ’11 discovered the magazine for the first time today and after reading Katznelson’s current article, “Surviving the Housing Lottery: Taking Some of the Risk Out of Your Best Bet,” said she wishes she’d known about the article a couple of weeks ago when she was trying to figure out her housing situation for next year.

“I found this particular article particularly informative being a junior transfer student and not being familiar with the Brandeis housing system. I’m glad Her Campus Brandeis provides such helpful articles,” she said.

For the contributors of Her Campus Brandeis, this is their creative outlet. They can, and are encouraged to write as if they are talking to their friends. After all, their goal is to grab and hold onto the attention of students as they circulate Brandeis and the rest of their busy lives.

Whether they write about how to take advantage of the rain by sporting cute umbrellas or put a spotlight on the latest Pachanga, the journalism experience they gain is fun and informal. There are many students at Brandeis who write for Her Campus Brandeis.

Some of them are student journalists already, and others are gaining the experience of writing for a national magazine in a fun and informal way. Their articles often pertain to fashion, Brandeis entertainment and dorm decorating. They even have a special section called “Campus Cutie.”

According to Katznelson, “We hope that the people who are passionate about Her Campus will be passionate about what we stand for and how many different perspectives we want to represent.”

To this end, Katznelson hopes to address issues facing both men and women. “Her Campus is so much more my attempt at getting the Brandeis name out on a national level than an attempt to exclude anyone,” she says. To bridge this gender gap, she hopes to soon have a male perspective, opening the Brandeis branch to everybody.

Now when incoming first-years, alumni or even prospective students wonder what campus life is like at Brandeis, all they have to do is type into their Web browser:

http://www.hercampus.com/school/brandeis

Then, they will come across a plethora of useful info on life at Brandeis. What better way to reach out to prospective students than to show them the inner workings of Brandeis?

So the next time you’re online and looking for something fun and informative to do, check out HerCampus.com. After all, it’s the collegiate’s guide to life.

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