Student mag on the (up)rise

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Student mag on the (up)rise

CLINTON OLSASKY, Staff Writer

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Even though over 250 student organizations exist at UNI, some students have found it difficult to find a group on campus that allows them to exercise their talents while building formative relationships. Until recently, there were little to no formal outlets through which students interested in fashion, music and the arts could express their creativity on the printed page. This changed when senior and textiles and apparel major Kara Keigan founded Uprising Magazine in October of 2014.

“The magazine started as a way for people to express their interests who don’t normally get to express them at the university,” said John Fisher, senior mathematics teaching and music director at Uprising. “Fashion majors, people who are interested in music, art and culture in general.”

Uprising’s first issue came out this past May. Kara Keigan, editor in chief, is planning on releasing one issue per semester this year. The organization is entirely student-run, and heavy emphasis is placed on student involvement and creativity.

However, as the magazine continues to expand and gain traction, a complicated funding procedure has proved troublesome for this newer organization.

Being an officially recognized student organization, Uprising Magazine was eligible for student organization funding through NISG. However, due to a contract that the Northern Iowa Student Government has with Copyworks, a local print service provider, Uprising’s funding was deferred, and the organization was advised to go through Copyworks.

“Basically, NISG has a contract with Copyworks that they have to encourage everyone to go to Copyworks,” said Keigan. “But Copyworks doesn’t have the kind of printing that you need to print a magazine. So they had to outsource it, and then the quote I got back was just ridiculously high.” The quote in question came out to be $10,000 for one issue.

According to Keigan, she was allowed to print wherever she saw fit once she presented the quote from Copyworks to NISG.

Another complication arose when NISG underwent budget cuts this year. According to Keigan, these cuts resulted in their contingency fund having a fourth of its usual amount. In order to successfully print one issue per semester, Keigan was forced to find a way to circumvent this obstacle.

“I asked for fall printing money and spring printing money, because by the time it gets to spring, there will be no money left in the fund…so it’s just a big mess,” Keigan said. Uprising’s plan going forward, according to Keigan, is to receive half of their funding by the NISG and then accrue the other half through advertisement money. The organization receieved approximately $2,000, which, according to Keigan, barely covers half the cost to print one issue, let alone two.

“We’re hoping to bring in a lot of money with ads,” said Keigan. “But we didn’t really have ads in the last magazine since it was all new for us, so I’m just hoping for the best.”

According to their official Facebook page, “Uprising Magazine is a student-run print publication at UNI focusing on exposing a variety of fashions, art, and cultures to inspire readers.”

In particular, much of the magazine is devoted to shining a spotlight on local and independent musicians. Having read Uprising’s  first issue, senior electronic media major Sommer Darland asserts the publication’s dedication to local artists.

“I think it’s really important to highlight local musicians,” said Darland. “A lot of people come to Cedar Falls to go to UNI, and they aren’t familiar with the local music scene. I think Uprising Magazine […] is a really good way for them to find out what local shows they could go to and see something new that they haven’t been exposed to before.”

According to Fisher, this is the magazine’s way of “paying” unknown artists with what they deserve: recognition.

“Anybody who knows about local music scenes will tell you that local artists are often on the receiving end of exploitation,” Fisher said. “Local musicians are usually paid very little—that is, if they are paid at all.”

Fisher went on to say the musicians’ pay often isn’t even enough to cover gas expenses. For him, Uprising is a way to shine spotlight on underground artists and to compensate them in a way that “is probably worth more than money.”

Uprising’s first issue came out this past May. Kara Keigan, the editor in chief, is planning on releasing one issue per semester this year. The organization is entirely student-run, and heavy emphasis is placed on student involvement and creativity.

“Everything is about the local artists,” said Fisher, “but as far as the magazine goes, all the ideas are from the students. It’s written by students, the models are students and the pictures are taken by students.”

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