When Disaster Strikes a College Community

Coping with disaster... Long Island University and Mercer County Community College. Background photo Brian Birke, Creative Commons.

Coping with disaster… Long Island University and Mercer County Community College. Background photo Brian Birke, Creative Commons.

Surviving Sandy, other storms and a flood–and getting the college paper out

By Carolyn Schurr Levin


One of the most important, albeit seemingly routine, tasks of a college newspaper staff is the physical act of getting the newspaper out.

MugLogo_LevinBut what happens when a crisis hits, as it did when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, only to be followed the following week by a nor’easter?

Among the college newspapers hit by Hurricane Sandy were the Pioneer, the weekly student newspaper at Long Island University Post in Brookville, N.Y., and the College Voice at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. The College Voice publishes every three weeks.

In anticipation of the forecasted strong winds and hurricane conditions, Long Island University Post cancelled all classes on Monday, Oct. 29. Administrators encouraged students who could to evacuate the dormitories and return home. Approximately 600 students remained in the dorms during the storm.

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Transitioning from the professional newsroom to the college newsroom

From professional reporters and editors to professional advisers: Veteran advisers share their stories

By Alexa Capeloto
John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY


Illustration by Colten Bradford, The UIS Journal

Illustration by Colten Bradford, The UIS Journal

Jake Lowary says he loves advising The All State student newspaper and Monocle yearbook at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. But he recalls “a definite learning curve” moving from professional newspaper reporter to college media adviser nearly two years ago.

The curve can feel steep when reporters and editors become advisers.

On one hand, working with college media can feel like a natural extension of a journalism career. You pass on all the things you learned as a journalist to future generations, and stay connected to news production via a student newspaper, online publication or broadcast station.

MugLogo_CapelotoOn the other hand, professional journalists may have far less experience developing budgets, helping students craft media bylaws and attending campus meetings as an adviser and/or faculty member rather than as a reporter covering the meetings.

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