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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Her Campus Brandeis an online art source, despite controversy

Published: October 25, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

While Her Campus may promote how to do Halloween makeup right and which campus cutie you should actually be crushing on, Her Campus has become both its own art form and a business. Launched in 2009 by three Harvard University undergraduates, the online magazine targets college females interested in style, health, tips on their love lives and future careers. Her Campus collaborates with other businesses trying to market to the undergrad female, and nationwide, the firm reports over 100,000 hits on its sites daily. Her Campus may be made into satire and mocked for its extensive advice on what to wear to parties, but on one level, Her Campus is a type of artistic expression and a chance for college students to write about what other students want to read about.
“Due to HC being based entirely on the web, this makes sharing of the articles very easy. I love being able to post on Facebook and watch my article travel through the blogosphere,” said Ryan Molloy ’16, a writer for Her Campus Brandeis.
The Her Campus Brandeis boasts a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter, and writers contribute on a volunteer basis. Articles focus on everything from what Brandeis students can do to get away from campus to how females can maneuver the weight room at Gosman.
Rachel Gomes-Casseres ’15, co-president of Her Campus Brandeis, said that the website actually inspired her to attend Brandeis. “I’ve been involved [in Her Campus] since freshman year. When I was researching colleges, I came across the Her Campus Brandeis page. The site gave me a new perspective on Brandeis and actually influenced my decision to come here,” she said in an interview this week.
Gomes-Casseres said that Her Campus Brandeis posts both stories and events on topics college women may find helpful. “Her Campus tries to be light, easy to read and fun. Although we do post some news stories, we focus mainly on stories about what it’s like to be a college woman.”
According to Molloy, Her Campus Brandeis may have a more serious message hidden behind many of its more shallow topics.
“I think Her Campus offers a great platform for feminist voices, something I find is both necessary and lacking at Brandeis,” Molloy stated. “It requires [being attentive] to pop culture and campus life, but it also takes an ability to view these through the feminist lens.”
Gomes-Casseres stated that the site “offer[s] a different perspective from a straight up news publication.”
But some at Brandeis are not sure that Her Campus even hits its target audience. “I find their articles unnecessary,” said Gabby Drillich ’15, a female right in the demographic the site is aiming to enthrall. “It is a shallow way to look at the Brandeis male population and gives the Brandeis female population a bad rep.” Drillich referred to the “Campus Cutie” postings, where Her Campus staff pick a male on campus and ask him questions about his major, favorite album, favorite food and most romantic ideal date.
While Her Campus’ legitimacy as an art form may still be up for debate, it is clear that it gives students the opportunity to write on topics they may be interested in and already invested in. “Participating in Her Campus brings women together who wouldn’t normally interact…[To write, you need] just interest, enthusiasm and the ability to relate to others through writing,” Gomes-Casseres said.