AUSTIN, Texas—The West Mall area of The University of Texas at Austin will be lively at noon Wednesday (March 22) with jugglers and students alike tossing around thousands of oranges to celebrate the launch of ORANGE, a new University student magazine.
The orange-tossing celebrates several years of work for magazine journalism students who believed something was missing from the nation’s largest university — an independent, student-run magazine. Copies of the magazine will be distributed along with the oranges.
The four-color, glossy magazine is loaded with stories about surviving and prospering at UT Austin, including: Coolest Classes on Campus; Do Musicians Agree Austin is The Live Music Capitol?; How to Avoid Credit Woes and Internet Dating Rules.
Dave Garlock, magazine program head at UT Austin and faculty advisor for ORANGE, described the prototype issue as “a breathtaking 52-page marvel of student initiative and ingenuity.”
He said the students who first became involved in the magazine idea were not discouraged when their sponsoring professor told them the endeavor would require two or three years of preparation. They had to develop a business plan, write and design the magazine and also sell advertising to the tune of $15,000 to $20,000 to finance the publication.
“This is the prototype and future issues will be determined by student interest and the ability to raise funding for production and publication,” Garlock said.
The advisor said he is amazed at how the students, under the leadership of student editor Penny Pehl, were able to “roll up their sleeves” and pull it all together in one class.
“Not only did they have to write and edit all the stories in four months,” he said, “but they then had to negotiate for a printer, raise money and sell ads.
“I’ve seen such projects in graduate programs at universities that have received funding from major publishers, but never undergraduates on their own. Garlock said he and two other faculty advisors — Dennis Darling in photography and Shawn McKinney in design — only provided loose guidance. “The joke became, ‘who’s he?’ when I came into the classroom,” Garlock laughed.
After Hearst magazine editor and UT Austin College of Communication Advisory Council member John Mack Carter visited Austin in November of 1999, and spent three hours critiquing ORANGE in development and gave it a thumbs-up, the students found the final impetus to finish ORANGE.
Ellen Wartella, dean of the College of Communication, helped the project immeasurably by committing $4,000, Garlock said.
Although the students raised only enough money to produce the prototype issue, Pehl said she is hopeful this is only the beginning. “We wouldn’t have gone to all this effort if we didn’t think it has a future,” she said. “We know we can keep it going now that we have a Web name for the magazine (orangemag.com). UT Austin has had a great history of magazines over the years. We want this to be the natural evolution.”
For additional information, contact Garlock at (512) 471-1757 or Pehl at (512) 834-1353.