Thursday, October 30, 2014

#BeCauseY: The Green Observer Magazine

The Green Observer Magazine
By Olivia Harris
Editor-In-Chief of the Green Observer Magazine 

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus is teeming with environmental student groups and student- and faculty-lead sustainability projects. Anyone who wants to be connected to environmentalism on this campus should have their pick of the litter of ways to be involved. And yet, when I came in as a freshman, I struggled to find my options for engaging with environmental activism. 

I went to Quad Day, but in the cacophony of hundreds of booths all manned by students calling out to business majors, singers, tightrope enthusiasts, October-lovers, and ethnic musicians, it's not surprising I managed to miss the environmental folks. As I got wrapped up in my studies, I let my hopes of being an activist slide and didn't search any further.

The hopes resurfaced again the fall of my sophomore year during a conversation with one of my environmental professors. He knew I was a writer and that I was interested in environmental issues, so he recommended that I check out the Green Observer Magazine. I found the group on the Illinois student groups page and went to the next meeting at the University YMCA. 

The rest, you might say, is history. 
The Green Observer's mission is simple: deliver green-living tips and campus environmental news to students so that they do not get "lost" like I did trying to find ways to get involved. You cannot join a group until you know it exists, and not all of us have relationships with professors who can point us in right direction. Many groups are doing great work to make our campus and world more sustainable, and the Green Observer provides a front row seat on their progress.
Once a group newsletter of Y Student Program, Students for Environmental Concerns, today the Green Observer Magazine is the only environmental publication at the University of Illinois, and as such it serves a unique (yet popular!) niche of student interest. We are the one-stop-shop for information on green happenings on campus. We report a mix of "hard" news stories about campus events and issues and "soft" news stories advocating ways readers can lead more sustainable lives.

The Green Observer making recycled jewelry
to raise funds for printing the magazine
The Green Observer is an entirely student-run publication: meaning every aspect of the magazine - from story ideas to photography to layout - is completed by students. The magazine publishes four, 12-page issues each academic year (twice each semester).

Since its establishment, the Green Observer has doubled in both staff and readership, and we are not slowing down! Our dedicated student leaders are constantly working to increase our readership, diversify our content and add new value for our readers.

You can become part of the Green Observer's mission. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our E-Magazine to receive the Green Observer in your email inbox.

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