STUDENT responds to students

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “STUDENT mag misses the mark”
March 4, 2009

To the editor:
I want to explain and clarify STUDENT magazine for your readers. First and foremost, STUDENT is absolutely in no way shape or form affiliated with the university. It was not handed out by members of the University Students’ Council and it is not exclusive to Western.

STUDENT was started on the premise of providing students at schools all across Ontario with an outlet to get published. As a media theory and production student myself, I know how difficult it is to get experience and how impossible it is to get a job in the industry with no experience. This statement is true across the board for journalists, artists, models and business majors, among many others.

STUDENT plans to expand its readership to universities across Ontario. We started with Western because we go to Western. The magazine and its content is not supposed to fill any stereotype of a “Western student” and the content will remain the same at any other university. We want to provide Canadian students with an opportunity to get their foot in the door " all students, not just Western students.

With reference to the “Summer Dream in a Sub-zero Scene” photo spread, the photos had many purposes, none of which was to objectify women in any way. If STUDENT readers were to take the time to read through the magazine before making judgments, they would see that the swimwear was provided by a local London store located close to campus. The shoot was a collaboration with the store in order to advertise its merchandise to the influential student market.

Secondly, the shoot provides a number of people with fabulous portfolio pieces. For the models, especially, it is so difficult to have a portfolio that stands out. These girls are up-and-coming models; they aspire to walk runways of high-end designers (who often have models in sheer clothing, exposing much more than we did. This is art).

This brings me to my final point " the artistic and creative side to the shoot: swimwear in the snow. An interesting concept, I thought " not exclusive to males or females. The shoot is a piece of art and a unique piece of art at that. We only had women’s clothing and female models at our disposal for this issue. We are obviously not opposed to male models and are interested in recruiting for future issues. This issue just so happens to feature girls and the next may include guys. We are interested in providing opportunities for all students " any gender, race, ethnicity, school, etc.

I call on any readers who are not pleased with the content of this issue of STUDENT to step up and contribute. The magazine was created by a small group of students and we’d love to expand that group. We really do want to publish what’s on the minds of students and if readers have something else on their minds, we’d love to hear about it.

With all that being said, STUDENT is not afraid to say what’s on our minds. We print what people are thinking but are too afraid to say. We are obsessed with being politically correct and STUDENT wants to put a stop to that. We strive to be an edgy, unique and interesting magazine. We want to inspire agency and provide students with an outlet to be heard. Other publications have done the very same thing, but never exclusively to students. We are an interesting and often overlooked market and it’s about time that we are heard.
" Bailey Spagat
Creative Director, STUDENT magazine

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