V – vibrant, exciting, by students for students
‘I once had to accept a delivery of the entire print run of the magazine fresh off the press to my home. I then ended up with 2,000 magazines in what felt like 20 boxes in my room. The only thing which wasn’t covered was my bed,’ says Luisa, one of the editors in chief of V, the student magazine. The magazine is produced independently, by students for students. ‘Our editorial meetings are held in the rooms allocated to the students’ representatives, as we don’t have our own premises which can be staffed at all times,’ explains Eric, also one of the editors in chief of V. That can sometimes prove a little complicated, like the delivery described above. ‘We had expected the delivery to come on another date. It was just coincidence that I was at home when a lorry pulled up in front of my house,’ Luisa continues.
Luisa is studying for a Bachelor’s degree in theatre and media studies with sociology. She found out about the V magazine when it was introduced in one of her first lectures and has been involved since summer 2017. At that time, the magazine was looking for new editors in chief. ‘I went to no more than two meetings, then I was already part of the board. I already knew Eric and thought that it was sure to be fun with him,’ says Luisa. Eric, who is studying for a Master’s degree in sociology, has been writing for the magazine since 2016. He first found out about the magazine at the first-year students’ welcome event.
The student magazine V is created from start to finish by students. They think of topics, are responsible for editing, deciding on the layout and acquiring advertisements. They are also responsible for circulating the magazines at the university, and are rarely left with any of the 2,000 copies they print.
By students for students
As well as Luisa and Eric, between 10 and 25 other students work as editors. It is nearly impossible to quote an exact number, as new students keep joining, while others leave after finishing their degree. Some just want to write an article on a topic which is particularly important to them, but don’t stay on once it’s been published. The time invested by student editors varies greatly. ‘The advantage of student associations is that students have a lot of freedom. They can come along, join in and just try something out. If they don’t have any time any more, they can take a break for a semester,’ explains Eric.
The student editors have a lot of freedom not only with regard to time commitment, but also concerning the content covered by the magazine. They publish a magazine once a semester on a particular topic. For this, they hold an editorial meeting and brainstorming session once or twice a semester. ‘It often leads to a chain reaction: one person raises an idea, then someone else takes it and runs with it,’ says Luisa. The topics are always aimed at students. They cover subjects such as stress and procrastination, degree programmes, student associations or anything else going on at FAU.
One magazine – one topic
‘We always choose a relatively broad subject for the lead topic,’ says Eric. One issue, for example, focuses on boundaries, but this does not only refer to geographical borders. ‘We are currently editing articles about boundaries in nutrition, for example if someone is following a vegan diet, or mental boundaries, when stress brings students to their limits. I have also explored hypothetical boundaries, which I have depicted in images. For example I have drawn up a map showing in which regions of Germany the word ‘fei’ is used,’ explains Luisa. Whilst she likes to tell a story with pictures, Eric deals with society and politics in his texts. ‘You can always tell that Eric is a sociologist,’ laughs Luisa.
As well as the printed magazine, they also regularly publish articles on their blog, which unlike the magazine does not have a lead topic. ‘In our blog we often deal with up-to-the-minute topics, and that is not so easy with a magazine which is only published once every six months,’ says Eric.
If you would like to try your hand at journalistic writing, V magazine is just the thing for you, no matter what subject you’re studying. New members are always welcome. ‘We offer the perfect opportunity for anyone who enjoys writing and is looking for a way to make their voice heard,’ promises Luisa.
An online guide to starting at FAU
Congratulations! You’ve decided to study at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. That’s a great choice! Plus, you’ve just found the perfect companion to show you around: Our magazine frisch! an der FAU can tell you (nearly) everything you need to know about our university.
You can find more articles from the frisch! on this website.