Meet the Team: Writer Payton McCarty-Simas

School & Class: CC 2021

Hometown: Taunton, Mass.

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Are you involved with anything on or off campus?

Besides writing for Her Campus, I’m trying to get involved with Double Exposure, the Columbia film journal. Otherwise, I do theater and spend a lot of time on my classes, writing for pleasure, and watching movies.  

2. What do you think Her Campus Media stands for?

I think that it stands for keeping women informed and providing them with a place where they know that the content is gonna be for them. Having a platform that focuses on topics you can empathize with or relate to, whether it’s political issues, helpful school advice, or something that helps you unwind, is really important.

3. Why did you choose Columbia or Barnard?

I wanted to be in NYC, and I really value the way the core curriculum encourages people to be interdisciplinary and think about things in a lot of different contexts.

4. What inspires you to write?

Writing really helps me clarify my ideas and think critically about them. Sometimes I’ll be talking and just get lost in my own head, so sitting down and writing everything out is a great way to flesh out whatever I’ve been thinking about.

5. What are you passionate about?

Oh boy, a lot of stuff. But I’d say offhand that I’m really passionate about feminism, LGBT rights, and movies.

6. What positive changes do you want to see in the college/university.

With the recent release of the new Dept. of Education rules on sexual assault and harassment in mind, I’m really hoping that Columbia will stand by victims of sexual violence and work a lot harder to help them feel safe on campus.

7. Who is your role model?

My grandparents. They’re really good role models because they treat people kindly and respectfully and value hard work.

8. If you could make you one change in the world, what would it be and why?

End climate change!! We have a billion problems to fix, but none of them matter if we’re all dead in 25 years.

9. What are you most looking forward to during winter break?

Not having to worry about homework for a second and seeing my cats.