By Nani Lawrence
New Mexico State University started its own chapter of Her Campus in fall 2015, thanks to the efforts of two journalism students and best friends who decided to start the chapter after perceiving a lack of opportunity for writers at NMSU.
Her Campus is an online journalistic public targeted at female audiences. It was started in 2009 and allows universities around the world to organize their own chapter, provided they have the signatures of 100 students to ensure interest and a verified team of at least five writers.
“I think the first time I came across Her Campus was when I realized that a lot of the college advice and career-type content I was pinning (on Pinterest) came from their website,” former NMSU chapter co-editor-in-chief Ada Ciucă says. “I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a chapter since my sophomore year, but I was always too scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice.”
The online magazine was founded by Windsor Hanger-Western, Annie Wang, and Stephanie Kaplan Lewis during their undergraduate education at Harvard. With over 290 chapters across seven countries, Her Campus is described on its website as “the #1 global community for college women.”
The process to establish the chapter began in mid- to- late- August, which also included submitting writing samples to headquarters in Boston.
It officially launched on the NMSU campus on October 13.
“Ada really pushes herself to do excellent work,” says NMSU journalism associate professor Mary Lamonica. “(She) has always been the type of journalism student that every faculty member wants.”
Her decision to finally take the plunge this semester wasn’t entirely Ciucă’s own. Before graduating in the fall, Ciucă’s dream was either to come to fruition now or never.
“We work so well together, so the idea of bringing an online magazine to campus, especially such a renowned one, seemed wonderful!” says the publication’s other editor-in-chief, Fernanda Teixeira.
Like Ciucă, Teixeira had heard about the online magazine previously.
Someone Teixeira followed on Tumblr shared a story they’d written for their campus’ chapter, but she didn’t think about it again until Ciucă mentioned establishing one.
The graduating senior expressed a desire to give back to the NMSU community.
“I’ve always felt that the journalism department had a lot of potential, but not enough opportunities,” Ciucă says. “Being able to create a new media outlet for students has been an amazing experience.”
Before she thinks too much about passing the torch, though, Ciucă said she still has a few goals she would like to accomplish for Her Campus – NMSU.
As with many new things, getting the word out is near the top of that list. Another of her wishes is to have the chapter officially recognized as a student organization by the university.
Not only can writing for Her Campus provide its writers with real-life reporting experience, but it can also act as an internship, if one wishes to be a campus correspondent and agrees to publish a certain amount of articles per week.
“I think it’s (Her Campus) extremely important,” says Teixeira, who will still be editor-in-chief of the publication next semester. “The Round Up (Oncore) represents the whole student voice, but Her Campus is a medium that focuses on the female collegiate population.”
When she does look to the future of this project, Ciucă just wants her successor to be as passionate as she, because she really wants this NMSU chapter to thrive.
“I think the more student media we have on campus, the better,” says Teixeira.
Her Campus NMSU is strictly web-based, and can be found through the main Her Campus website and through several forms of social media.
Individuals interested in writing for Her Campus should contact Teixeira at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com for more information.