Students attend Columbia University’s journalism camp


Angelina Chan and Garrison Sloan

Taking on leadership

   After a thirty-minute subway ride and an implausibly long Starbucks line (it’s New York City, after all), I found myself in the place that I would find myself for the next five days: Classroom [285] at Columbia University. 

   I’m not exactly sure what I expected in Editorial Leadership: a lot of scheduling and layout tips, maybe. And yes, that was part of the class- making a sample production calendar and looking at page composition. 

   What I didn’t expect, though, actually turned out to be some of the most interesting. I learned about law in student newspapers, and even attended a seminar discussing photojournalism. I also enjoyed the critique- where Garrison and I were given suggestions on how to refine page layouts and content- which was definitely useful in knowing what things we were already doing well as well as a few things we could tweak.

   By looking at numerous student publications- including those of the two teachers- I was inspired and definitely motivated to improve our own Spectator. In this next school year, I hope to do exactly that- polishing our paper, one step at a time.


-Angelina Chan



Getting in the thick of it

   Walking through the large iron gates onto the campus of Columbia University was a bit of a daunting experience for someone who had just finished their sophomore year of high school. When I landed in New York City a day earlier, I was not exactly enthusiastic about doing the Summer Journalism Workshop, but that feeling did not last long. 

   The program was one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had. My class was filled with people from across the country, from Florida to New Jersey, and taught me not only about student newspapers across the U.S., but to further my writing and interviewing skills as well. At the end of the program, each of us had finished writing 3 pieces: a feature, a profile, and a review. We also had our very own Spectator critiqued by a professional, who provided valuable advice as to what we could do better this coming year.

   Experiencing Columbia University and New York was amazing. We got to stay in the dorms on campus and explore the area of the city around us on our free time. One night, we went to see a show on Broadway and interview the cast at the end. I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, but it was a really interesting experience nonetheless. Overall, the entire experience was incredible. 


-Garrison Sloan