Posts Tagged ‘Washington & Lee University’


Gleanings from chapter reports (campus)

After reviewing this year’s SPJ chapter annual reports for Region 2, I’ve already summarized the latest with the pro chapters.

Now, some highlights from the campus chapters:

• Western Carolina University: One of its two programs in the past year was a Google training session.

• Washington & Lee University: The chapter had a down period a few years ago, but is coming back strong, roughly tripling in membership in the past year. Its program of the year was a keynote speech by alumna Alisha Laventure, a WFAA Dallas morning news anchor, who decided to respond on air to comments President Trump made about Haiti.

• Virginia Commonwealth University: The chapter co-hosted this year’s Region 2 conference. Its programs included a screening of the documentary “Obit,” a joint dodgeball tournament with the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Ad Club, and a resume workshop.

• University of Maryland: The chapter is solid every year. Its program of the year was called “Free Speech in the Age of Trump” and included multiple angles on free speech, including what limits are in place on campus. Other highlights: Creating a video on open government for Sunshine Week; raising $300 for the University of Puerto Rico School of Communication after it was damaged by Hurricane Maria; a nice variety of journalism and social events; and the sale of “Not the Enemy” T-shirts.

• Salisbury University: The chapter’s program of the year was “Fact or Fake? Media Literacy in Politics.” The Maryland Pro chapter and the Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement were cosponsors. There was a First Amendment podcast with Delmarva Public Radio. Other programs examined citizen journalism, the MeToo moment and “sensitive” journalism when reporting on crime.

• James Madison University: The chapter got its name out there with a successful sale of T-shirts (more than 200) on behalf of the Media Arts and Design major. There were two movie screenings (“The Post” and “Nightcrawler”), a social media seminar and a program with an ethics scenario.

• High Point University: The program of the year was “Is Time Really Up”? Female journalists shared stories and advice about working in journalism. The chapter held a First Amendment Free Food Festival, had a speaker from “People” magazine and showed the film “Christine.”

• George Mason University: In a busy year, the chapter hosted speakers from various media and news organizations and helped with a RealNews forum. There was a simulated press conference, a look at election coverage, a panel on creative careers and broadcast journalism training. The chapter went on tours of The Washington Post, the National Press Club and the Newseum; held a toy drive; wrote postcards to incarcerated journalists; and interviewed candidates for the school’s next director of journalism.

• Elon University: The program of the year was a panel discussion on fake news. Adviser Anthony Hatcher spoke to two large continuing education classes on the topic, as well. In a separate program, an alumnus spoke about filing FOIA requests.

• Appalachian State University: One program was about ethnicity in the newsroom. The chapter also attended a presentation by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Thanks to students and advisers for their good work for SPJ and journalism in the past year.

Annual report observations (students)

Some items of interest as I reviewed this year’s Region 2 annual reports for campus chapters:

Appalachian State University:

  • The chapter worked with the university’s student publication to host a conversation about First Amendment rights on and off campus.
  • It raised $137 by collecting a percentage of profits at a restaurant one evening.
  • It held a screening of “Spotlight.”

Elon University:

  • It was a transition year as the school’s broadcast and print entities merged into one, called Elon News Network. The SPJ chapter is getting a makeover, too.
  • What better way to re-emerge than by hosting the next Region 2 conference? It will be April 7 and 8, 2017, at Elon.

George Mason University:

  • The chapter had a lengthy list of programs, including visits to the Newseum and WTOP radio, numerous speakers, a career media panel and a résumé workshop.
  • It used a wide range of methods for communication, including a listserv, email, kiosks, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and word of mouth.
  • Its FOI program was a kiosk in which visitors answered a question: What does FOI mean to you? Prizes were given out.

High Point University:

  • It attracted a good crowd for a First Amendment Free Food Festival.
  • At a joint program with a local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, hosted a public relations person from Krispy Kreme. (yum)
  • Heard from a TV news producer (who has since become communications manager for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance)

James Madison University:

  • Held a screening of a professor’s documentary about cerebral palsy
  • An ethics program covered difficult reporting situations — approaching victims, consequences
  • Bylaws have clear, detailed descriptions of the responsibilities of the officers on the board

Salisbury University:

  • Sent its entire executive board to both EIJ 15 and this year’s Region 2 conference
  • Had a record year for fundraising at local establishments
  • Journalism service projects included a food drive and participating in a school recycling drive

University of Maryland:

  • Held three blood drives
  • A wide variety of programs included movie screenings, résumé and cover letter critiques, a look at comics journalism and newsroom tours.
  • Raised money by busing tabes, working the grill and tending bar at a cookout at the dean’s house for faculty. The dean donated $300 to the chapter for EIJ costs.

Virginia Commonwealth University:

  • Held diversity programs during Hispanic, Native American, Black and Women’s history months.
  • Planned programs at Region 2 conference; the chapter was a co-host.
  • Co-hosted a town hall on the Virginia Senate election

Virginia Tech:

  • The chapter, which held six programs during the annual report period, is looking at long-term growth: “Strategic focus has been to position ourselves for long-term growth: conserving resources, boosting recruitment, retaining current members and developing mutually beneficial relationships with other individuals, leaders and organizations.”

Washington & Lee University:

  • Went from one member to 18 members (!)
  • Supported two ethics institutes held by the journalism department
  • Held programs on portfolios and getting jobs after graduation

Western Carolina:

  • Its fundraisers were a T-shirt sale and a chili cookoff
  • Held programs on “New Tools in Communication” and “How to Freelance.”
  • Bylaws also have an openness clause: “All membership meetings and programs of the WCU SPJ shall be on the record and open to coverage by any or all communications media on an equal basis.”

 

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