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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

LUX

On the first floor of the Campus Center, passed the Advising offices, you can find the Honors Program and will probably find a copy of the latest issue of LUX, the Honors Program newsletter. This venue of writing for students on campus is not yet widely known and it offers a great opportunity for students to showcase their research and talents.

It all started in the spring of 2005 when Devin Braham, English Major ’06, approached Rajini Srikanth, Honors Program Director and English Professor, asking for guidance for her future. Srikanth recommended starting a newsletter for the Honors Program. In order to conceive the newsletter Devin asked Lucienne Pierre, a friend she had met through classes to help her create it, Lucienne accepted and both became co-editors of this new writing outlet. As the idea of a newsletter grew stronger Devin and Lucienne had to think of a name for it. Professor James Willis, their teacher of Junior Colloquium at the time, suggested the name LUX. They both chose it because they thought it to be a good representation of what the Honors Program is all about, illumination. Devin says the name suggests enlightenment through learning, “not a divine enlightenment that descends from heaven, but an enlightenment that one works for and achieves by seeking it out.” That is the idea behind the title and it is very much representative of the newsletter itself.

From the beginning Devin and Lucienne decided that the newsletter would be published twice a semester, wanting writers from all subjects, from management to science to art. They wanted and still want the newsletter to have an article for everyone. “Perhaps every issue won’t have something that interests everyone, but with each new issue, I hope we can draw in more people by constantly offering a variety of articles,” Devin said.

Working for LUX has been a great learning experience for Devin and Lucienne. They have learned a lot about what it takes to publish a magazine, and that even on the small scale that LUX is published it takes a lot of work for two people. After the first issue came out, they soon realized they needed staff to help them. With the second issue of LUX they had the copyediting, layout and writing help of Senior Honors student Laura Paz. For them Laura was an immensely beneficial addition to the newsletter and continues to be.

As Devin looks forward to graduating from UMass this spring, her hope is that LUX becomes a permanent part of the Honors program and of the whole University community. Since both Devin and Lucienne will be graduating they have passed the torch to Anna Tsui, Econ Major ’08 who is now the new Editor In Chief. Anna believes that LUX and her were destined to be. Last year she had wanted to start her own newsletter, one that would deal with politics and would feature student opinions and voices that might not otherwise be heard, be it because they do not share mainstream campus ideas or because they feel too alienated. With LUX Anna is in charge of a newsletter that displays students’ minds and interests. The vision of LUX is that it should serve as a newsletter which allows students and faculty to showcase their research and talents in depth to the greater UMB community. “I believe it caters to an unfulfilled desire that many in the campus community have to really be able to understand what’s going on in the heart of the institution beyond surface reporting and really get a sense of what these people surrounding us are all about,” said Anna.

Anna has taken the step to make LUX a Registered Student Organization. She is now working on getting the Student Senate to fund LUX on a continual basis so that inconsistent or unreliable advertising income does not become a problem. As a student run and student promoted newsletter LUX is focused on serving the student population so they write about issues relevant to that experience. Last issues included an article on Dorms, Ethics and on a student research piece of the lack of Asian American coverage during Hurricane Katrina. The past issue included stories about the Vietnamese Down South, Queer Art and the Honors trip to South Africa. For the next issue they have a greater diversity of student writers, an interesting Opinion section as well as some Faculty research. Anna thinks that having faculty write for LUX is great because they have the knowledge and experience that students want to gain, also faculty are top in their field and their research is very current, poignant and interesting.

Having heard of the students initiatives on campus and student issues, Anna is trying to put together a Money edition, or Investment issue of LUX, showcasing student businesses, tips on investing money, scholarships, taxes, and monetary related issues that affect students on a daily basis and that can ultimately impact their education. This is pertinent for students who have to work half or full time to pay for tuition. LUX is accepting any ideas now from people who are interested, both outside and inside the Honors Program.