Student Publications

FYI: I will not give the name of the university or the publication. I do not want these people harrassed because I stated an opinion.

There is a publication at a local university that publishes the "artwork" or students. This "artwork" is poetry, short stories, sketches, paintings, and drawings. The mission statement of this publication is:

[Publication] publishes original work by students of the [University]. The editorial board and committee value work that demonstrates imagination, mastery of form and styles, or fresh use of language. The resulting publication represents and speaks to the diversity of the [University] community."

Fresh use of language? The most recent publication had a poem about someone sitting on the toilet. The one before had a poem about Wal-Mart. Those are just two examples of the fail that the publication allows (not all works are terrible, but most are). This is not art, not thought provoking, not worth publishing. These are terrible. These do not demonstrate fresh use of language, nor do they show mastery of form and style.

On the main website of this university, there was an announcement for students t submit their work to this publication. The only restrictions are that it had to be a poem, short story, or visual art.

"Great, I can submit something and get it in a publication. I should submit something when they allow submissions," I thought. Turns out, that is not the case. On the main page of this university's website, there was an announcement about submitting work to this publication. I submitted my work before the deadline, and it got rejected. "Ok, maybe there were a lot of students submitting work," I thought.

When the publication came out, I discovered that several works were submitted by the same few students. Some students had one work, but many of the works were submitted by the same five students. The next time this publication was published (I did not submit anything because I never saw an annoucement for it), I noticed the same thing.

This is quite hypocritical. This goes against the mission statement of the publication. If they focus on the art students, then that needs to be made known, otherwise, it makes the publication look bad.

One of the posts on the FaceBook page of this publication:

...There are no restrictions on what can be submitted, except that it be a short story, poem or visual art; also, the person submitting it must be a [University] student.

One thing I do not understand, and what they fail to define, is; Visual Art. I submitted a digital art piece and it got rejected. I do not know why they rejected it, nor do I care to know. Why should digital art not be in the publication? It is the same as a painting or sketch, only it was done on a computer and not with pigments/pencils and paper/canvas.

Before anyone says, "but you don't understand....blah, blah, blah." Yes, I do understand. I understand that for art to be good, it should be either: 1) entertaining (tasteful, which is up for debate, and no, I will not debate you on it), or 2) though provoking (includes art that makes a statement, again, this is debatable and no, I will not debate you on it). It is one thing when someone draws Mohammed to support free speech, it is another to write about taking a dump in a toilet. Art should have some level of class. Art isn't art just because someone likes it. Art is an expression of ones' self. If you are going to express yourself, do it will some level of class; show you have some level of higher brain funciton; that you have matured past three years old.

My suggestion is this:
1) Digital Art: Have a maximum and minimum size, 300 dpi, and CMYK mode
2) Submissions: All students can submit one work in each of the main categories. Students can submit only one work, or multiple (as long as it's one work per category). Submissions will be open most of the Spring semester.
3) Voting: During the Fall semester, on the main university page, post a link that can be found easily to a voting page.

On this page, works will be displayed. A link to the work will be provided, however, the artist's/author's name and title of work will not be displayed.
Students will be able to vote for one work in each of the main categories.
Each week, the top half (simple majority) will be moved to the next round of voting (which would take place the next week).
The voting would go on until the last two weeks of the semester. Only the highly voted works will be published the next Spring.

4) If a student submits multiple works and those are highly voted, then students will be able to vote on one work. If that fails, the artist will recieve an e-mail stating only one work can be published and that the artist needs to choose one (the most highly voted works of theirs would be mentioned).

Sounds like a lot of work? Well, no, it isn't. If you think my suggestion is a lot of work, then you are lazy. The fact that the people who work on this publication are biased and hypocrites says much. Not only does it speak ill of the students working on the publication, it speaks ill of the faculty advisor for allowing this, it also speaks ill of the university.

If you want to show the diversity of the student body by showcasing artwork, then you need to accept works from ALL students, not just the art students. Fortunately, this publication is free.

If you are wondering, this was my submission (without the watermark).

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