Located at 817 W. Broad Street, the VCU Student Media Center is in a small storefront that often draws little attention. However, it is a happening place on the VCU campus that fosters an environment of communication, creativity, and collaboration. All of the organizations under the VCU Student Media Center are completely student-led, as the SMC works on a model that discourages censorship and authoritative control. Students that work through the Media Center at VCU are able to express themselves fairly freely through a variety of different media publications. Listed below are all seven of the organizations that operate under the Student Media Center at VCU.
1. WVCW Radio
WVCW Radio is a student-operated radio station at VCU. They broadcast live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. WVCW is known for delivering campus news and announcements, current events, commentary, and great music. Students who listen to WVCW often report that they are more informed about happenings around campus and in the world as a whole. The WVCW is a great news and music outlet for students that don’t particularly enjoy reading articles or watching videos. If you’d like to tune in but don’t have access to a traditional radio, you can also find WVCW on SoundCloud and on-demand and on their website.
Poictesme (pronounced pwa-ten) is a literary and art publication under the Student Media Center. They are a collective of undergraduate students’ poems, prose, visual art, and other forms of art. Their name is very much based in literary roots; Richmond-native author James Branch Cabell (for whom the VCU Monrow Park library is named) wrote all of his novels in a fictional setting called Poictesme- hence, the name of the publication. The ultimate goal of the publication is to foster a sense of artistic expression and community for students across all majors at VCU. If you are interesting in submitting work to them, you can visit the “Submissions” tab on Poictesme’s website.
3. Ink Magazine
Ink Magazine is a student-led collection of art, music, culture, and fashion editorials. Features of each issue can include social commentary, opinion pieces, (auto)biographical pieces, visual art pieces, playlists, and much more. Ink Magazine is very open to posting “non-traditional” content, which pairs well with the quirky, artistic environment of VCU. The collective is especially active on their website and their Instagram; even if you aren’t interested in submitting to/getting involved with Ink Magazine, their media is definitely attention-grabbing and interesting to a lot of people.
4. Mesh Media
Mesh Media is different from the other divisions of the Student Media Center in that it is not simply one publication or media source. Instead, Mesh Media is a network of student-run websites that publish articles about VCU and the happenings of the Richmond community. Mesh Media includes Rams Review (articles related to athletics), The Horn (articles related to the music scene in Richmond), Shafer Bird (articles about campus dining), and River City Fashion Uprising (articles about fashion around Richmond).
5. The Commonwealth Times
The Commonwealth Times is an independent, student-run press at VCU. Sometimes referred to as “The CT”, the Commonwealth Times was founded in 1969 and is one of VCU‘s oldest remaining media publications. The CT does have a regular staff, but they also accept submissions from VCU students of all majors. Pieces published in the Commonwealth Times can be opinionated or strictly factual- topics are generated completely by the students who write the articles. Students who consistently contribute quality work are even eligible to rank up to paid positions.
Emanata is the group behind VCU‘s first and only comic anthology. Each year, Emanata produces a black-and-white volume that is a collective of talented student writers and illustrators. They also hold events for aspiring comic-writers that help them better their craft. Emanata has increased in popularity over the years, so they are getting more and more submissions for each publication. However, they are rumored to be very diligent with their responses to any submissions. If you are interested in submitting to Emanata, a good place to start would be their Facebook page, as it has all of the contact information you need for the people in charge.
Amendment is a literary and art journal produced exclusively by VCU students. It is similar to Poictesme, but there is a key difference; Amendment is a publication that works specifically to promote social justice, tolerance, awareness, and social progression. They seek to accomplish this mission by publishing work that draw attention to unknown or ignored issues in society. Amendment publishes one large collection during each fall semester, but it also publishes smaller things like zines and chapbooks throughout the year. They also hold events like film festivals and flash fiction events, and also work on events in connection with other divisions of Student Media.
Students who are pursuing an English, journalism, advertising, broadcasting, or mass communication degree tend to gravitate towards the Student Media Center. The divisions of the Student Media Center can be great places to socialize, learn more about communications and current events, and gain experiences for future resumes. Still, it is important to remember that these divisions are not exclusive; students of all majors can and are encouraged to submit and contribute to the publications sponsored by the Student Media Center.