I did not know what to expect when I first joined the Writers Magazine editorial board as a freshman. For all I knew, the University of Portland’s literary magazine was populated by benign arbiters of literary wisdom doing stereotypically artsy things ¾ such as smoking expensive cigars and drinking imported scotch ¾ while puttering about their editorial duties. Needless to say, during the nearly three years since my freshman year, I have learned that Writers has far more depth than the mere capacity for literary elitism.
For one thing, Writers is first and foremost a creator of dialogue in the UP community. As a school with a large array of different majors and minors, it is difficult to have any kind of intellectual communication with members of different schools. For instance, as a dedicated English and Philosophy major, I generally utter a high-pitched screech of fear whenever I am faced with the possibility of discussing physics with Engineering majors. That said, being part of Writers has shown me that some of UP’s greatest artists are members of the School of Engineering, and thus there is no reason to believe that they are so different from me. In that case, one of Writers’ primary goals is to break down any barriers between the university’s different schools through artistic communication.
Therefore, I believe that Writers is the single most valuable feature of the University of Portland, as it facilitates a real, organic and completely authentic artistic discussion. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an English major dominated activity, but is open to everyone and anyone. Thus, Writers could not be more different from my originally pompous vision of the publication. Indeed, Writers’ sole goal for existing is to foster the artistic expression of diverse opinions and ideas.
Writers is available for free in the Pilot House and the Commons during lunch hours, and in PDF on the English website.