Her Campus, His Campus: Reinvigorated, inclusive chapter of Her Campus is returning to Rutgers
“What about His Campus?”
This was one of the responses that Rutgers students Alex Arbeitel and Faith DiTrolio often heard when telling others about the relaunch of the online women’s magazine Her Campus over the summer. But the two School of Arts and Sciences sophomores were expecting comments like this.
Arbeitel’s response: “Every campus is His Campus. Why can’t women have their own platform?”
Women’s magazines, such as Cosmo and Glamour, are repeatedly labeled as “silly, sex-obsessed and demeaning.” DiTrolio and Arbeitel aim to swap these three words with “empowering, inspirational and informative.”
The friends took on the role of revamping the Rutgers chapter of Her Campus after it fizzled out in spring 2014. Her Campus Rutgers, an online magazine for college women launching on Sept. 22, will publish content in six categories: Celebrities, Features, Snapshot, Events, Cuties and Blog.
“(Her Campus) tackles a lot of the same big issues people ignore in other women’s magazines because they can’t get over the fact that there’s a big advertisement for a perfume on the page,” Arbeitel said. “(We don’t want) people to think we are stereotyping women by saying women are only interested in fashion and beauty.”
DiTrolio and Arbeitel want female students to know that serious news and lighthearted lifestyle articles can go hand-in-hand, and combining the two works toward informing college women about issues that directly affect them.
The online magazine features fun quizzes, lists and entertainment reports alongside more serious news articles. It succeeds in satisfying the variety of interests of young women, Arbeitel said.
Her Campus proved it isn't just articles about kittens and zodiac signs earlier this year when it gathered data from thousands of college women to conduct a "Feminism on Campus Survey", hoping to serve as a platform to discuss the state of feminism.
“(Her Campus) makes it easy (to) take a quiz about what Disney sidekick I am, but then seconds later read about protests across the country,” Arbeitel said. “It makes news for women very accessible.”
The two friends initially got the idea to relaunch Her Campus Rutgers when searching online for websites to contribute their writing to and stumbling upon the Her Campus website. Most college campuses have a Her Campus chapter, and DiTrolio was surprised a large state university such as Rutgers did not.
The road to bringing Her Campus back to Hub City was not without some obstacles. DiTrolio and Arbeitel had to conjure 100 signatures in favor of Her Campus and recruit editors and writers.
One aspect of the Rutgers chapter that DiTrolio said will be changed is the “campus cutie” section.
In the past, the section featured a photo of a male student accompanied by a short interview with questions about the students’ favorite color or last meal. This year, DiTrolio plans to focus on the students’ intrinsic characteristics and how they are making a difference at Rutgers.
“Campus cutie can easily be misconstrued as ‘We’re going to find the first muscular guy in Voorhees Mall and ask him about his favorite sports,’” Arbeitel said. “But we want to look for driven, dedicated students and say ‘They’re really great because they’re hard-working and making a difference.”
Dedicated and hardworking women are the audience Her Campus Rutgers is targeting. Dubbed "collegiettes," DiTrolio described the readership as women who are "strategically career-minded, distinctly fashionable, socially connected, academically driven and smartly health-conscious."
DiTrolio, a future world-famous prosecutor, and Arbeitel, an aspiring English professor, are representative of their audience — a diverse spectrum of women who all have goals, strong work ethics and dedication.
"We're thrilled to open Her Campus Rutgers and to work with people as talented as Alex and Faith," said Her Campus CEO and Co-Founder Stephanie Kaplan in a press release. "As the new semester begins, having students at an academic institution like Rutgers contributing to Her Campus on a regular basis should be a tremendous resource for our growing audience."