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'Anything that can endure, should endure': Student publications persevere off campus


(From left) Emma Spears, copyediting director; Carly Christensen, health editor; and Chloe Williams, features co-editor for Coulture pose in the Coulture office on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.

How does an on-campus publication continue when the people behind the scenes are no longer on campus?

This is the question facing student-led organizations such as Coulture Magazine, Carolina Quarterly and Cellar Door. 

Senior Caroline Farrell is the editor-in-chief of Coulture Magazine and has worked with the publication since her first year on campus.

Coulture Magazine, an entirely student-run fashion and lifestyle publication, distributes a new print issue across campus at the end of each semester and regularly posts online content throughout the school year. Farrell said the magazine is still being edited by the Coulture team, just not in-person. 

“The distribution will be different,” Farrell said. “We’re looking into potentially being able to have the magazine mailed to people.”

Farrell said that in past years where they faced obstacles preventing print at the end of the semester, they moved the magazine's release to the start of the next semester. That is their backup option this semester, Farrell said, although a digital version of the magazine will be published on the Coulture website. 

“Luckily, we finished the photoshoots before spring break, so those are done,” Farrell said. “We won't have to cut one or try to make something up.”

Farrell said most of the articles and graphics are finished as well. Any further editing will likely be done through Google Hangouts.

“They’ve done all the work already and it would be such a bummer and so disappointing for it not to manifest in some form,” Farrell said. “Especially since we can do a digital version of it, and we’re already pretty much almost at the end of making it.”

Coulture’s has a team of roughly 200 members who have been working on this semester's issue, Farrell said. 

“I think it’s important to honor their work and celebrate them,” Farrell said. “Also, students do really like to read our magazine and that would be a good thing to provide students during this time, to read the work of their peers.”

Graduate student Kylan Rice is the editor-in-chief of Carolina Quarterly, a literary journal that publishes contemporary literature in the forms of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and book reviews. 

“This may be a more important time than ever to form communities through media as opposed to through face-to-face commerce,” Rice said. “I think that a publication can do that, especially one that is routed in the humanities. It’s so important during a time of crisis.” 

The journal publishes four seasonal issues per year online and in print and is put together by a team that consists of a mix of graduate and undergraduate students. 

“A lot of the basic duties for the Quarterly can be done remotely,” Rice said. “It’s really only my administrative team that it’s affected because we deal with the technology on campus.”

Carolina Quarterly was established in 1948 and has a reputation far beyond UNC's campus. 

“We are servicing a non-university audience and we have that reputation to uphold,” Rice said. 

Cellar Door is UNC’s oldest undergraduate literary journal. The magazine has been publishing the work of student artists and authors since 1973. 

UNC sophomore Savannah Bradley is the editor-in-chief of Cellar Door and has been working with the publication since her first year. Bradley said Cellar Door publishes a spring and fall issue each year. 

“That includes some of the best undergraduate work in regards to fiction, poetry and art," Bradley said.

Bradley said Cellar Door hasn't missed an issue since the 1970s. 

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“Obviously we should be quarantined, obviously we should be social distancing, it’s really important that we take the necessary precautions in order to limit the spread of the virus,” Bradley said. “Also by that same notion, I think it’s important that anything that can endure, should endure.”

The publication's biggest change will be the cancellation of its regular spring reading, where the people who work to produce Cellar Door invite the authors to read their work in front of an audience.

“That, I think is the biggest detriment because I think that is such a wonderful time of the year to be able to read everybody's work and everyone is able to have a voice,” Bradley said.

Bradley said they currently plan to still print a smaller amount of copies, which will continue to be available for students over the summer and into the fall semester.

“We’re really excited to be able to continue publishing and I’m hoping that other publications, if they are able to do so, will do the same,” Bradley said. “UNC is such a vibrant community and we have such a lush artistic life, that I think it’s really important that we are able to continue celebrating and working with student artists."