By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

A new news source at Old Dominion University is written with a specific audience in mind: women.

Produced by students, Her Campus ODU is a chapter of the national online publication of the same name. Maura Olson, a junior and editor-in-chief, said that Her Campus is different from other publications because it is "for women, written by college women." She noted that each chapter focuses on the issues and interests of importance to women across the University, from politics to beauty tips to the best places to study.

"It's a women-based community that is supporting each other and supporting women," said Aiyana Roll, social media director and beauty editor. "It's an outlet for young women to seek advice, look for tips ­- yes, a typical publication can do that, but we're more focused on (female) college students."

While written with a university audience in mind, Her Campus writers say they also want to appeal to and attract readers off-campus and online. This allows it to publish both ODU-specific news and broader pieces of a regional or national interest.

"Her Campus was always an organization I was interested in and was reading online," Roll said. "It really gives a platform for college-aged women and for strengthening our voices."

The University's chapter originally started in 2018 but became inactive after many writers graduated. It re-formed in fall 2020 and began publishing in spring 2021 with about 20 active writers. Due to COVID restrictions, meetings were all virtual except for a few outdoor gatherings.

"Definitely the thing that we come together for is journalism," Olson said. "But we've been able to learn so much about each other and connect. "We really hope the group will grow as we come back to campus in-person."

Although many of the writers in Her Campus are planning writing careers, any major is welcome to join. Faculty adviser Peter Adams said Her Campus is an excellent way for students to get hands-on experience as published writers and journalists in a nationally recognized magazine.

"You don't have to be an amazing writer to join a publication if you're passionate about a particular subject," Olson said. "It's really great that you have freedom to write about news or lifestyle or economics. Really you can talk about anything you want."

The stories are published on a rolling basis at the Her Campus ODU website and will continue throughout the summer. Visit the website or follow @hercampusodu on Instagram to find out more about upcoming meetings and interest events.

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