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Friday, September 18, 2020

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HerCampus media platform comes to campus

<p>Courtesy of HerCampus at University of Richmond.</p>

Courtesy of HerCampus at University of Richmond.

Looking for a news website with the latest on style, beauty, health, love, life, DIY, career, entertainment, news, LGBTQ+ and more that also empowers women? 

Look no further because on March 17, Jeanette Lam, WC ’19, launched the University of Richmond chapter of HerCampus.

HerCampus is a platform to give women a voice on college campuses and to help them network, Lam said. The Richmond chapter of HerCampus also features profiles about students on campus who have interesting endeavors or accomplishments.

Lauren Weingarten, WC ‘19, said she enjoys reading the articles on HerCampus because of its local focus on the University of Richmond campus and students.

“The profiles are inspiring, and the other stories are so relatable,” Weingarten said.

Recent story topics on HerCampus range from a female student entrepreneur profile to a story about dressing up for Pig Roast.

Although HerCampus is only about a month old, it has grown to 11 writers and has published more than 20 articles, Lam said. Writers for HerCampus choose what they write about and submit roughly one article per week. Then the editor, Bri Park, WC ’19, reviews the articles and publishes them.

Lam became interested in bringing HerCampus to UR after reading articles that her friend at George Mason University wrote. 

The application process to start HerCampus at UR was extensive, Lam said. It required several writing samples, a cover letter, a letter of recommendation and a resume. Lam also took an editing test and had a phone interview, answering questions about how she would react to different problems that could impede HerCampus’s success.

The final step in the application process was getting 100 signatures of support from UR students and faculty. Lam acquired all the necessary signatures in four days. She reached out to the journalism department, her sorority, the Bonner Scholars program and she also posted on Facebook.

“I honestly was surprised at how quick I got it,” Lam said. “It's why social media is really useful.”

HerCampus’s marketing director, Brooke Willemstyn, WC ’19, said that social media has remained a part of HerCampus’s marketing strategy, along with colorful flyers and SpiderBytes announcements. In the future, Willemstyn wants to connect with organizations on campus such as Greek Life to have a low-budget promotional event.

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Lam hopes to see HerCampus grow and continue to gain more writers, she said.

“With our editors we have people who are there to support you and help you grow, so I would rather have someone who is super passionate as a writer than super experienced,” Lam said.

Willemstyn’s vision for the future of HerCampus is to see it receive funding from the university and for it to become an integral platform for women’s issues.

“Having the female standpoint shine though in all HerCampus articles is a really valuable asset,” Willemstyn said.

Contact contributor Caitlin Helsley at caitlin.helsley@richmond.edu.

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