By KATIE MEYER
The Fordham Political Review’s release party last week may have seemed like a routine gathering of average (albeit very political) college kids, but, for a few of the students there, the party marked the end of a very long road to the magazine’s first print edition.
The Political Review dates back to 2010, when it was started by a small group of politically minded Fordham students. It was registered with OSLCD that year, and has been receiving funding since. Until now, however, the group was never able to finance a print edition. For almost four years it remained exclusively online, garnering a faithful but limited readership among students.
In the spring 2013 semester, however, the staff began pushing for the introduction of a print edition. There were several hurdles involved, including funding, printing costs, and, perhaps most important, the age of the staff. The 2013 group was almost completely comprised of graduating seniors, and in order for the Review to continue, it needed to find some new blood.
Ben Shull, FCRH ’16, was one of the first underclassmen who stepped up. He wrote his first article during the first semester of his freshman year, after seeing a Facebook post asking for submissions, and then followed that up with several more.
Shull says that the group appreciated his dedication, and asked him to become the club’s treasurer. He officially began his duties at the end of the spring 2013 semester. The current Editor-in-Chief, Steven Rice, FCRH ’14, joined him in fall, and the two of them were primarily responsible for the coordination and creation of the first printed Political Review. Rice did the editing and layout work, while Shull dealt with the finances. Both of them worked to find a printing company, and also vetted and edited article submissions with the assistance of two copy editors. The six best submissions from the fall semester made it into the printed Political Review, as well as internally generated material and relevant pieces from last year, for a total of nine articles. Their topics range from domestic politics and international affairs to business and economics.
The issues were finally printed on Feb. 12, and Rice arranged for them to be delivered to his own house. From there, he and Shull hauled the boxes of issues to campus and distributed them alongside The Fordham Ram and the paper.
They were happy to report that the Political Review’s first issue was well received by students.
“I think they were all gone in about an hour or two,” Rice said.
Shull noted that with the distribution of the first issue, the club had become much more visible on campus. “It’s impressive the rate at which people are joining, and getting involved in any way,” he said. “Whether they’re writing their own submissions, whether they’re editing, whether they’re involved in marketing…it’s grown a lot, we have a lot of people involved in it in some way.”
Not content with this accomplishment, however, the group is hoping to capitalize even more on the popularity of the first issue. For the next issue (which they hope will be released at the end of this semester) they are looking to expand in virtually every way: they want more pages, more writers and copy editors and, most important, an even bigger presence on campus.
For the moment, though, they are focused on establishing a stable staff for the coming issues. Rice will be graduating this spring, so the reins are going to be handed over to Shull and Aaron DeVera, FCRH ’16, who was served as international editor for Issue 1. Shull will keep his position as treasurer, and DeVera will be assuming the positions of operations manager and web editor.
Rice, Shull, and DeVera all emphasized, however, that, although they technically have official positions, the club duties (and there are many to be divided among so few people) are more fluid.
“We don’t have a formal hierarchy,” Rice said. DeVera added, “[the Political Review] is unique in that people who stick around and put work in are those who are going to stay involved…we all trust each other.”
Katie Meyer is News Editor at The Fordham Ram.