The undergraduate reading was equal parts frustrating and fun. I was sitting there, impressed by many pieces and I heard and thought, “Why don’t these students submit to the magazine?” Perhaps the biggest problem is that they don’t know about us. How can we remedy that? I’m not sure Twitter and Facebook are reaching students because they use these tools primarily for entertainment, not “work.” By “work” I mean anything that might be academic or about their futures. I don’t think students think about being “published” the same way that professional poets and authors do. Maybe that is because not all students see writing as a livelihood; they just see it as a class or something they do for fun.
I know we have talked about this before, but perhaps it is worth bringing up again: Can we ask professors to offer extra credit for students who submit to Cura? Maybe the requisite of having to get published is too high, because the actual chances of them getting published is slim. But maybe that is why students aren’t submitting. Are we too competitive for them? Do we scare them away?
Even if students don’t submit to us, it is vital for our survival that they know who we are. This is a problem I keep coming back to, but it’s coming up again as we are looking for new staff members. Out of the time and energy we have, how much do we want to invest in getting the word out in the Fordham community (which might not hold many contributors, but we depend on for staffing) or the artistic community in New York/ around the country/ worldwide (which contains more opportunities for contributors and donors)? I think this problem of the allocation of our resources is going to keep coming up in the future and came up again for me at the undergraduate reading.