Wetlands Magazine reaches out to Puget Sound
Puget Sound’s Wetlands magazine is growing and adopting new methods of outreach. The publication is seeking modern ways to reach students in a world of instant communication.
Connor Joseph Queirolo, editor-in-chief of Wetlands, explained that the goals of the staff members and students involve creating discussions and spreading information.
“Students from marginalized communities are not often given a platform to write their narratives in their own terms and have them taken seriously. I think that Wetlands tries to be a forum where these conversations can happen,” Queirolo said.
Wetlands is a student-supported publication that prides itself on creating a space in which topics that may seem taboo are welcome and encouraged.
“[The magazine] raises critical conversations on this campus about identity, gender, sexuality, race, class and ability,” Quierolo said.
“I think they’re all very important topics to individuals within the campus community,” sophomore Scott Greenfield said. “And I think that the only way that we’re going to bring about effective change is if we de-stigmatize the topics in the campus setting.”
Although Wetlands does feature topics that may seem taboo or “stigmatized,” Puget Sound features other publications where those kinds of discussions may be brought up—for example, the “Happy Trail” section of The Trail. However, Wetlands is focused on taking stigmatized topics and giving them publicity, allowing more focus to be put on these difficult discussions.
“I think something that everybody on staff would agree is that Wetlands strives to start and facilitate conversations about social exclusion, privilege, identity, diversity and social justice, and that anytime we publish something and people on campus start to think about these things, it feels good to know that by being on staff you’ve helped make that possible,” Quierolo said.
In order to increase the range of people reached by the publication, Wetlands staff has taken it upon themselves to expand from print into other forms of modern media. Besides an official Wetlands blog, the magazine has utilized popular social sites such as Tumblr and Facebook to reach a wider audience.
“I think that some messages we get about certain aspects of society are unconscious messages you just get from things around you,” junior Lauren Steinborn said. “Putting media out there that shows more than one message helps…and it will open your mind.”
“The increased dialogue and perspectives within our campus can only bring about positive influence for further discussion,” Greenfield said.
The campus community supports Wetlands by submitting pieces on such aforementioned topics through mediums like drawings and paintings, poetry and prose, photographs and essays. This increases the awareness and availability for students to discuss these topics, giving them a voice and a specific identity within the Puget Sound community.
“Every year our submissions get better and better; I know that often personally challenges me to critically examine my own social location and privilege in ways that I would not have thought to otherwise,” Quierolo said. “I think a lot of people on staff would agree that the submissions we get are the real reason we publish the magazine: because these are the things that many of our friends and peers are writing about and talking about and making art about and want to be talking about.”
“The platform’s there. It’s up to the people to use it,” Greenfield said.
Wetlands strives to achieve inclusivity, availability and challenging discussions about the people and culture that surround Puget Sound.
“It’s always important to foster discussions about things…if that’s what the point of the magazine is, then it’s important that people know it’s out there so that they can read about the discussion and engage in it…and expand their own thoughts on it,” Steinborn said.
“Everyone comes to the magazine with their own histories, backgrounds, and understandings, and so everybody is going to get something different out of it,” Quierolo said.