Writers call shotgun
Student-produced magazine showcases influential women on campus. | Eliana Park/THE CHIMES
Senior business administration major Carissa Vera and senior journalism major Alex Bell will release a women’s magazine, titled “Shotgun,” on Wednesday, March 22 with the purpose of encouraging Biola women.
Empowerment via storytelling
Vera and Bell produced this magazine out of their own initiative over the past year as a way of inspiring women on campus. They hope to bring empowerment to female students and faculty on campus by coming alongside women in leadership positions on Biola’s campus and telling their stories.
“We saw so many amazing women on campus, and we just wanted to connect them. We just wanted to foster a community of solidarity and just of women to look up to,” Bell said. “Women in this campus need to believe in themselves.”
The name ‘Shotgun’ does not refer to a firearm, but eludes to the experience of calling ‘shotgun!’ for the front seat of a car. Vera and Bell wanted the name to reflect the writers of the magazine come along side the women they feature as they write their stories, similar to riding next to them in a car.
A lengthy process
They began working on the magazine last year and commenced staff meetings at the start of the fall semester. They split their team into groups, one for writing and one for design, working diligently to create this by spring 2017. Since printing the magazine would cost a significant amount of money, they realized they needed to request money from the Student Government Association.
“Printing a magazine costs a lot of money… When I was putting together the estimate of how much it was, I literally went to student government with the exact number I needed,” Vera said. “I didn’t have any thrills on it.”
They had already made significant process on the magazine when they proposed in student senate last fall for $3,500 to print 1,250 copies. However, they only received the partial amount of $1,500 from SGA, and feared they would have to call off the whole project. They began to notify the staff explaining the project could not feasibly continue.
“Those times were stressful when we thought, ‘This is something that we love, but it’s not going to happen because practically it can’t happen,’” said Shelby Baumgartner, senior political science major and writer and designer for the magazine.
Later that day, however, Vera heard provost and senior vice president Deborah Taylor planned to fund student projects, and the deadline for the application to get a project funded was that night. The money offered would exactly cover the cost needed to finish to the magazine. The next morning, Vera received an email saying Taylor loved their idea and would fully fund it.
“She said that our voices were valid, and we knew these voices and things we were passionate about were valid. But to have that supported and also validated by someone that’s very high up on this campus… was great,” Baumgartner said.
After they received the needed funding, they proceeded full force towards completing their publication, which they finished in January 2017. They will distribute the magazine for free at tables around campus on March 22.
“This is for the students, but it’s also a thank you and love letter to the faculty. There are so many amazing women that our staff has met through [the magazine],” Vera said.