Collage Magazine Club Meeting

It is 11:20 a.m. in room 226 when, one by one, Brookdale students pile into the club room at the Center of Visual Arts where they will be continuing their work on completing the upcoming Spring 2019 literary magazine, Collage. One would imagine a room in the lower level of a brick building to be dark and stuffy with a few low-graded computers scattered around the room. This club room goes outside the traditional image of a college computer room.

Instead, the entire left wall is flooded with windows and a glass door, which lets an amazing amount of light and instantly opens up the room. The walls are painted bright red and tan. Decorations cover up the walls almost completely. Some are past art projects such as paintings and professional sketches. Others are novelty things like skateboards and band posters. Character oozes from this room.

The students take their seats turning on their polished and clearly high-quality Mac computers to check the club’s email for any new submissions. People who would like to see their work published in the magazine send their works through the club’s official email [email protected], which the members check daily. As they work, the atmosphere around the club room is relaxed and carefree. There are people cracking jokes from across the room gushing about the “Twilight Zone” reboot and what they did over the weekend.  

Leading the Tuesday club meeting is the 23-year-old, creative-director of the magazine, Mike Tucker. He starts off by welcoming any newcomers joining the magazine today. After talking with them about their interests, he offers them a spot on a creative team would be a best fit for them, such as photography, literary, or the digital design team.

A newcomer asks Tucker about hearing about the possible launch of an online version of Collage magazine.

“Yes, we’re working on developing an online website for the magazine” he said. “It’s a way to make our content easier for the Brookdale students to access than the printed book copy.”

“Also, we get a lot of submissions that don’t quite fit the theme of the current edition,” adds advisor Jennifer Kaminski “So, we put them aside for like the next one. So, this is a good way to publish everyone’s works on a bigger platform”

Tucker goes around the room to talk to the club members about the remaining work that needs to be done for the magazine’s publication. He calls to the left side of the room, which is being taken up by the literary team. The two literary editors, Izzy Beach and Tiffany Goodman, both 20-year-old English majors, say that they are currently working on reviewing and organizing the writing submissions.

“We usually get a good handful of submissions each day like short stories, poems, and short essays,” Beach said “We start by looking at the club’s official email for new submissions from Brookdale students. Then, we look them over and email the submitters thanking and/or asking them to make some adjustments to be able to put it in the magazine”

Beach looks over the stories and essays. For Goodman, her job is reviewing the poems. Goodman’s love for writing is what pulled her toward the magazine in the first place.

“I love the community it makes. I’ve even submitted a few poems before. There’s something both scary and thrilling about putting your stuff out there for others to see,” she said.

Kaminski asks the literary team to reach out to the creative writing club, English classmates and friends to see if anyone would like to submit anything to the magazine before the deadline Feb, 10 deadline. The agenda for the literary team is to search for more writing submissions.  

“We’re a little light on written submissions, so get on that if you’d please! And even if you have something that you would like to submit yourself! That would help, too!” Kaminski said.

Tucker notices that Marissa Barbieri, the head-of-photography didn’t make it today. So, Kaminski, acting as the secretary writes on the agenda a reminder to get a status update from her later. They move on to see what the graphic team is currently working on.  

On the right side of the row is the graphic design team with their eyes glued to the screens as they look over scans of the recent graphic submissions. Among them is Justin Hentz, the Collage magazine’s head-of-design. He looks up from his computer and let’s Tucker know that he is working on the finishing touches for what will be the new cover.

As Tucker walks around the room talking with everyone and providing help when the club members need it, the scene appears to be very productive. This gathering may be a meeting. However, everyone has a clear task at hand. The main goal is to get the magazine closer to ready. The deadline is around the corner.  

“We’re making good progress. But you know there’s always one thing after another,” Tucker said.

This time it’s Kaminski telling him that there was an error with the company printing the copies of the magazine in March. They talk amongst themselves in the front while everyone else is working on their part.  

The meeting doesn’t have an end time. The club members just head out whenever it’s time for their next class. They say goodbye to everyone and that they will see them next week. Some choose to stay until the next class to occupy that room begins to arrive. Some take their work to continue at home and some leave it all on the computer. Tucker is the last one to leave after Kaminski knowing that everyone will be back again on Thursday to start it the process over again. Twice a week, every week.