The inside scoop on Outside Colby
Yana Mayayeva ’14, the assistant editor of Outside Colby and Ben Wexler-Waite ’14 the editor of the magazine, which published its first issue in March of 2011.
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At the end of January last year, Ben Wexler-Waite ’14 came up with the idea to increase political discourse on campus by starting Outside Colby, a student magazine focused specifically on topical political issues.
Wexler-Waite’s magazine, sponsored by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, released its third issue last week on Nov. 1. It was the first issue this year and contained contributions from several student writers and editors.
Wexler-Waite, a government major minoring in philosophy and Italian, said, “I thought that having a magazine with opinion pieces by members of the student body would be a great way to get people interested [in politics].” Wexler-Waite solicited the help of Yana Mayayeva ’14, a government and American studies double major, to help put his idea into action. Mayayeva helped him edit the first issue, which came out in March 2011. Mayayeva is now the assistant editor of the magazine.
Wexler-Waite turned to the Goldfarb Center for support for his magazine idea in January 2011 and gauged the interest of potential student writers at the club fair held in the beginning of February. Wexler-Waite compiled a solid base of strong candidates not only using the list of names from the club fair, in addition to soliciting people he knew from classes and existing student groups, who he perceived as informed and knowledgeable about political affairs.
Currently, Outside Colby is in the process of turning to SGA to get sustained, long-term funding. Wexler-Waite said, “We want to expand and work to the point where we are on the same level as the Echo in terms of audience size. We hope to increase readership and contribution, both at Colby and in the Waterville community, by distributing to places in town like Jorgensen’s and Selah Tea.” Mayayeva added, “We want to get to a point where everyone feels like they can reach out to us and contribute. We really want people to respond to what they read and have a greater understanding of certain issues.”
For this installment, the editors wanted to revamp the magazine’s structure, so they created four main sections: International, Domestic, 2012 Election and Maine Politics.
“We want to reach as diverse an audience as possible, Wexler-Waite said. “It’s really important that people are as informed and knowledgeable as possible when the country and the world are facing so many complex challenges.” The nine-person staff meets regularly. The section editors rely on staff writers. “A greater portion of the magazine relies on contributing writers,” Wexler-Waite said.
Mayayeva and Wexler-Waite stressed that all members of the College community should feel welcome to contribute to the magazine.