When the Internationalist, a magazine at the University of Puget Sound, was founded last January, it joined the ranks of intercollegiate publications, soliciting content and writers from beyond the borders of its Tacoma, Wash. campus.
A year after its conception, the Internationalist has arrived on Yale’s campus this winter. In crossing college boundaries, the Internationalist is a new addition to a growing number of student publications that are written and distributed on a nationwide scale and that have a presence at Yale, including Our Education and Current. A magazine on global affairs, the Internationalist is currently distributed to 42 schools and penned by students and professors across the country, including Yalies.
Though Haley Edwards ’05, the East Coast regional editor of the Internationalist, said intercollegiate publications face logistical hurdles, their expansion affords Yale readers and writers an opportunity to exchange ideas outside the range of conventional on-campus journals.
“What the Internationalist is trying to do is make little bridges between these bubbles and link them in common discussion,” Nick Edwards, the founder of the Internationalist, said.
Nick Edwards founded the Internationalist last year as a senior at the University of Puget Sound. As a graduate, he now operates the magazine independently out of Seattle, Wash. Haley Edwards, his sister, is a scene columnist for the Yale Daily News.
Haley Edwards said that the diverse readership of intercollegiate magazines such as the Internationalist affects the general content of the magazine.
“When you write for a national publication, you keep in mind that you’re writing for people in blue states and red states who share many different political opinions,” she said.
Another intercollegiate magazine, Our Education, is the product of Students for Teachers, a nonprofit organization focused on national high school reform that was founded at Yale in spring 2002. The magazine was founded in 2003. About 6,500 copies of the magazine are distributed quarterly to 14 colleges and universities, the magazine’s former editor in chief Paul Levin ’05 said. Seven of those schools have established their own chapter of Students for Teachers.
“We want our magazine to represent students across the country, not just Yale, not just the Ivy League, but everyone,” Levin said. “The broader our pool of writers is, the better we’ll be able to advocate for better public education in America.”
Though the editorial board of Our Education is comprised of Yalies, and three-quarters of the articles are written at Yale, Levin said the magazine’s readership prevents discussion of local topics.
“We try not to refer to things going on at Yale as much because we don’t want to isolate our audience,” he said. “We want to create a feeling of unity.”
Both magazines expect to expand by next year, but their editors said that a main challenge is reaching out to other schools. Levin said that Our Education is constrained by the time and money necessary to make contacts. He said he hopes to become president of Our Education when he graduates in order to work full-time on the project.
Similarly, by April, the Internationalist expects to distribute 75,000 magazines up from the current 16,000 and to begin charging universities 75 cents per copy, though it must first secure subscription pledges.
The editors said attracting and working with students outside of Yale is also a challenge due to the distances involved.
Hanna Chung ’05, who wrote an article about poker for Current, a student-run magazine about college life, said that she enjoyed the “low-key” experience of freelancing for an intercollegiate publication that asks for no permanent commitment. She also said that though the articles in the Current are “a bit dated,” she enjoys seeing how trends at Yale are reflected in other schools.
“When you see an intercollegiate magazine interested in poker, it shows that poker isn’t just a local interest,” she said. “It’s something that’s a national trend. That’s kind of neat to see.”
But Christopher Sinay ’06, the editor in chief of the Globalist, a Yale international affairs publication, said that intercollegiate magazines such as the “Internationalist” largely exist because their producers want “the glory of putting a national publication on their resume.” Though Sinay believes that the editors of the Internationalist have a right to distribute wherever they want, he said that the publication seizes readership for similar local publications, crowding out local writers.
“If people wanted to read the most professional magazine on global affairs, they would read Time magazine or the Economist,” he said. “The purpose of college publications is to give college students a chance to write and be heard. With intercollegiate publications, you’re cutting down on the number of people who can do that.”