College is a time of exploration and inspiration. But for many students inspiration can run smack into the wall of limited time, interest or expertise. The College House system helps students tear down that wall.
Such was the case with Rachel Feldman '09 and Aysu Suben'09, two students interested in writing when they landed at Franklin & Marshall.
Neither is a writing major-Feldman is a pre-healing arts major doing special studies in Judaic Studies, while Suben is double-majoring in economics and scientific and philosophical studies of mind.
Together, they had an idea for a magazine that would publish both faculty and student writing, something different from traditional college literary journals, something dedicated to nonfiction essays. Each edition centers on a particular theme, such as freedom, space/time or identity. Some essays are "informed opinion" pieces. Others are research articles.
It was an idea that could have been lost in the tangle of bureaucratic red tape that exists in many institutions. But the College House system, with its support system of faculty dons and prefects and budgeted money at the ready, allowed Feldman and Suben to move quickly from idea to reality.
The magazine they started, The Liberal Arts Review, is now in its third year. Funded by the House system, it also receives support from the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House, where it shares offices and publications software with four other student-edited publications.
"I was really inspired by the College House system," Feldman says. "My goal was to get students published with faculty."
Her partner in the process agrees. "The journal parallels the House system in that it strives to bring students and professors together," Suben says. "The House system made it possible to realize our idea by providing financial support and guidance."
While Feldman and Suben experienced the thrill of seeing their idea come to life, Suben points out that The Liberal Arts Review also has opened up a new outlet for academic and creative writing for students.