Get ready NYC! SCJ is on the way


Elyse Pollock, Contributing Writer

Six of Buena Vista’s students, who are all members of the Society of Collegiate Journalists (SCJ), will have the opportunity to attend the College Media Association conference in New York City this spring, along with faculty leader Dr. Andrea Frantz, Associate Professor of Digital Media and President of SCJ. The students attending are: Allyssa Ertz, Alyssa Donnelly, Olivia Weiseler, Emily Kenny, Madeleine McCormick, and Cooper Maahs. 

“They really do all represent different aspects of the BVU media team; we’ve got people from The Tack, we’ve got people from UCN (University Cable Network), we’ve got people from KBVU and so, it’s a nice blend.” Frantz said. 

According to Frantz, every year, The College Media Association (CMA) hosts the largest student media conference in the United states, with about 2,000 students from around the nation attending. CMA hosts two conferences a year. The spring conference always takes place in New York City, while the fall conference moves around the nation every year. 

The conference brings advisors and teachers who are experts in the areas of media and journalism to lead sessions that students will have the opportunity to sign up and partake in. Some sessions will also be led by practitioners. For example, Sports Illustrated writers or photographers, and ABC or NBC broadcasters will guide sessions. Students will have the opportunity to choose from at least seven to eight sessions, each ranging at least an hour to two.

Each student will also work alongside other young journalists. This year, BVU students will be taking part in a new feature that CMA is offering called The Iron Reporter Competition, where students will be mentored by two different journalists about how to find and tell a great story in New York City. The students have the chance to find that 1 in 8 million story and put it together in whatever way they choose. 

These media students will go out into the city, find their story, put it together, turn it in, and will be judged for their stories. The assumption is, there are 8 million people living in New York City, so there are 8 million stories to be found, which is what these students will be in search of.  

“We always hear about the people that are most powerful and who has the most status. But there’s also so many people who make the world go around, like bus boys, taxi drivers, Broadway artists or performers who are just trying to make it. So, they want us to go out try and tell those stories, so that’ll be really cool.” said SCJ secretary senior Madeleine McCormick. 

As this trip happens to be quite expensive, Dr. Frantz helped to organize fundraising opportunities for the trip. SCJ utilized the SCJ budget along with bussing tables at Pizza Ranch to help raise money for the trip. SCJ was extremely fortunate to apply for a value-added group grant which helps to pay for the majority of that trip while students will still have to pay a little bit for themselves as well as personal expenses. 

“This kind of experience for students is so incredibly educational for students because what they learn from their classrooms and co-curriculars, like The Tack and KBVU, really comes to life while in New York City and meeting with professionals, and students then realize, ‘Oh, I really can do this.’ And that’s what I find so exciting, taking students to this conference,” Frantz said. “Students could really be seeing this as a, ‘We are really doing things differently, or we are really ahead of the curve on some of this’ and it’s a really big eye opener so that’s what’s most exciting.” 

“I’m most excited to be in New York City,” Said McCormick. “I’m excited to be at the conference and be surrounded by journalists from all over the country and I’m excited to learn from them and learn with them.” 

Students will be leaving Tuesday, March 6th and will be return Saturday, March 10th with creative new stories and fantastic experiences to share.