Almost every college has its magazine. It serves to focus attention on the corporate life of the college and to provide students with a medium for self-expression. It is a necessary aid to the fostering of an extra-academic life in the college. There is also another reason. It is being realized more and more these days that the students of today it the citizen of the morrow. His education should not be confined only to books, but he should be encouraged to take a wider view of things. A college magazine is a necessity because it encourages students to think for them, to organize information into knowledge, and to take an active interest in all that is going on around them.
A college magazine must be carefully distinguished from a popular or learned journal. There is too often a tendency and an ambition to make it a juvenile edition of a popular magazine, containing poems, stories, essays, discussions and what not. This is not right; for an ambitious production of this nature is too costly, the magazine may become an annual affair reduced to a single issue.
Necessarily this defeats one of the primary objects of such magazines, – which is to reflect the life of a community having the same opportunities and problems. A second objection is that the literary productions of students, being immature for the most part, often do not engage the attention their fellow-students, and are mostly left unread. A realization of this handicap induces some colleges to fall back upon contributions from their teachers, which is equally bad. What is needed, therefore, is that the magazine should be published once every term. It should contain reports of the various aspects of academic life. it should discuss ways and means of improving the academic life of the college and only a few short articles of a superior quality written by students should find a place in it. Such a magazine will be read with interest by all concerned and will create healthy esprit de corps among the students of a college.
We have already said that a college magazine should be managed entirely by students. It should be a valuable training ground for students in business management. The production of a magazine is a complex affair. Securing articles, selecting and editing them, getting together the reports of the various sections of academic life, preparing designs and blacks for illustration, seeing the magazine through the press ensuring timely publication, organizing distribution among students keeping accounts, passing bills-all these are highly technical jobs and demand real business acumen., This educational value of all this is really very great. At the same time, the editorial staff must cultivate editorial incompetence is very often responsible for the worthlessness of a college magazine.
As we have already said, contributors to a college magazine should be predominantly students. A teacher may now and then contribute something, but the main object must be to bring out the literary talents of students. It goes without saying that articles must be short, and preference should always be given to articles based on one’s personal knowledge and experience rather than on painstaking compilation or unintelligent rehash. The object of a college magazine must be to make students observant and thoughtful.
Nowadays, many colleges have wallpapers. Much labor and thought are spent over these. This is good. It may not be a bad idea to pick out the choicest bits from these and give them prominence in the printed pages of the magazine. The magazine committee may hold periodical competitions in poetry, short stories and essays, and select the best of these for publication. Every effort must be made to induce the largest number of students to take part in the production and improvement of a college magazine. It must never be allowed to become the mouthpiece of a small coterie.