President’s Post: SCJ taking a bite of the Big Apple

Students from across the country will again converge on the media capital of the world, New York City, March 11-14 to participate in the College Media Association convention.

In addition to all of the traditional perks of attending CMA in New York (i.e., the best media tours on the planet; the New York CMA Photo Shoot Out; and, of course, Nuts 4 Nuts on nearly every street corner), we hope that all of our SCJ members will participate in several SCJ-sponsored events.

First, SCJ’s national office will be sponsoring the advisers’ lounge and doing a meet and greet on Thursday, March 12. We’ll announce our location via a flyer in everyone’s registration bag, and hope you’ll consider dropping in, partaking of some refreshments and meeting some of the Executive Council members.

We’re also excited that SCJ will offer several fun, interactive sessions at the conference. Student Press Law Center’s Executive Director, Frank LoMonte, and the Newseum Institute’s Chief Operating Officer, Gene Policinski will team up in a rapid-fire session that explores the top 10 First Amendment challenges facing student media today. This session will be followed by a fast and furious First Amendment Trivia showdown led by myself and joined by the aforementioned First Amendment dynamic duo. This is a session you won’t want to miss because there will be some fun 1A swag to be won.

Ever wonder why judges for media contests make the decisions they do? SCJ Vice President Lindsey Wotanis will lead a session #Winning: Why Contests Matter that addresses that question and more. Previous and current SCJ national contest and Pacemaker judges will take on the challenge of judging student work in the moment during this session to offer students some insights into the qualities that make an entry rise to the top.

Be looking for these opportunities and more to enhance your CMA New York experience in March. See you in the Big Apple!


1499499_714671640617_1379616982_nAndrea Frantz, Ph.D. is associate professor of digital media at Buena Vista University, Iowa. She was installed as SCJ President at the 2014 Biennial. She’s an advocate of student journalists and the First Amendment. She’ll be blogging periodically about SCJ and other news.

President’s Post: SCJ and CMA form partnership for future conferences

Look for some exciting changes in the coming months for SCJ.

Following the 2014 SCJ Biennial conference held at Bethany College in Bethany, WV, Executive Council members responded to delegates’ challenge to boost national profile and participation in our every other year gathering.

We needed to look no further than Lori Brooks, Associate Executive Director of College Media Association (CMA). CMA offers arguably the nation’s most active gatherings for student media leaders twice yearly in cities known for vibrant, active media. Let’s face it; is there a media mecca more exciting than New York City?

College Media Association’s conventions have long set the standard for how to put together thought-provoking speaker line-ups; engaging hands-on workshops; and valuable educational coaching through critique and mentoring services. In short, colleges and universities want to go to CMA at least once a year, and in this day and age of shrinking travel budgets many of us had to make the painful decision to cut out other travel in order to do so.

As a result, SCJ Executive Council members proposed to strengthen an already good partnership with CMA, which Brooks and President Rachele Kanigel immediately welcomed.

What does this mean for SCJ chapters?

  • Beginning in fall 2016, SCJ will host its biennial meeting in conjunction with CMA’s fall convention in Atlanta, GA. Chapters will be encouraged to arrive a half day early and participate in SCJ’s workshops and then stay and enjoy all of the excitement of CMA’s convention offerings.
  • SCJ will now look to announce its major awards (including the Sheridan Barker Award for Adviser of the Year and the Arthur H. Barlow Student Journalist of the Year) at the CMA fall conventions in the special session dedicated to advising awards.
  • At both the fall and spring CMA conventions, SCJ will propose and sponsor sessions designed specifically for SCJ chapters that address key student media issues. We’ve already scheduled some exciting sessions for New York 2015 that address First Amendment questions and also the value of entering student work in national contests.
  • Each spring, SCJ will host a day at the CMA Adviser’s Lounge, where chapter advisers and those interested in learning more about SCJ can relax and meet each other and Executive Council members.

And this is just the beginning…We hope that these changes will excite even more chapters to engage and contribute to our growing ranks.

We’re excited to see you in New York!


1499499_714671640617_1379616982_nAndrea Frantz, Ph.D. is associate professor of digital media at Buena Vista University, Iowa. She was installed as SCJ President at the 2014 Biennial. She’s an advocate of student journalists and the First Amendment. She’ll be blogging periodically about SCJ and other news.