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Original photo by Lauren Martin

How This Editor-In-Chief Is Managing Her Campus FSU Remotely: Meet Lauren Martin

“We always say that we’re a publication written by college women for college women so… we want to make sure that we’re written by all kinds of college women, and that we are representing all the different faces that are present on our campus. I feel like the more writers that we have doing that the better, but also the more editors and the more executive board members the better. The more people we have in positions of power that represent the types of people we have on campus, the better it is for everyone,” says Lauren Martin. 

Martin is the current Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus FSU, a chapter operating entirely remote, with more than 120 members. With such an unprecedented number of women participating in this organization in an unprecedented time, Martin has her work cut out for her. 

As Editor-in-Chief, Martin believes it’s important to be skilled at multitasking: “You have to be able to communicate with multiple people about multiple different things all at the same time.” This is especially true now when communication revolves almost entirely around the internet. To communicate with other members of her team and the organization, Martin has been required to operate virtually, something that she’s found to be a challenge. “Having to teach someone how to write for Her Campus over Zoom… just being physically in the room changes the vibe so much and so having to do that virtually…” she paused. “I couldn’t read body language. I couldn’t feel the crowd. I couldn’t tell if the writers were listening or understanding what I was saying at all. I had to do that with the editors the night before and that is even harder than writing.” Even with these unforeseen challenges, Martin remained calm and articulate during the meeting, meticulously going over each slide of the PowerPoint she and her team put together. 

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“There are a lot of moving parts to Her Campus and you and your co-Campus Correspondent [the name Her Campus Nationals gives to chapter leaders] are the glue that holds it all together. We have to be really strong to make sure that everyone else is really strong.” Lucky for Martin, she’s working with an efficient and organized team. Two days before the first meeting, HCFSU's Campus Correspondent's decided that it would be best for staff writers to contribute bi-weekly as a way to prevent editors from overworking themselves and to give writers a break in these crazy times. “Within an hour, head editors Jackie Pfiel and Lauren Gordon had a new rotation list to provide writers with their schedules. They were just able to organize it so quickly,” Martin said. She has found it particularly easy to communicate with her co-CC, Her Campus President Hannah Masten, as the two are roommates: “If we get an email in the middle of the day, I’ll just walk into her room and say ‘Did you see this?’ whereas normally if you don’t live together you’d have to text or coordinate some sort of time to physically meetup or get on Zoom.”

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Masten is not the first member of Her Campus to be roommates with the editor-in-chief. Martin revealed that three of her previous roommates were also involved with Her Campus. “This is going to sound cheesy but I really did meet my best friends in Her Campus.” By joining the social media team and the executive board, Martin was able to foster many close friendships with other Her Campus members. “Her Campus is really where I found my people.” When asked how she planned to provide those same friendship building experiences to members remotely, Martin replied that the executive team aims to have two social events each month. “They’ll all be virtual so everyone can participate.” Besides the virtual events, Martin encourages members to follow each other on various social media platforms so that they can see what their peers are up to. Editors are held to a high standard when it comes to social interaction: “I really want them to reach out to their writers, and really try to make that a tight-knit group.” Editors even have scheduled office hours to be available to their writers, which is a new policy Martin has implemented. “However we can encourage people to meet virtually but safely, we are trying to do that.”

One of Martin’s, and the rest of the executive board’s, goals for this semester and past semesters as well was to bring more diversity to the chapter. To do this, Martin and Masten created the position of Outreach Coordinator, which is meant to “follow that diversity and inclusivity initiative.” That position went to Jocelyn Arbogast. Her job this past summer included “sending Her Campus’s application to every single cultural organization she could find” and asking them to encourage their members to apply and represent their organizations. Arbogast will also be in charge of bringing in diverse guest speakers. “I know in the past, Her Campus has been white women writing for white women and bringing in white women to talk to white women, and that’s great, but there are so many other people on campus and within Her Campus that need to be supported. Having Jocelyn in that role with that pure focus is exposing us to different types of voices.” Martin continues, “It has been something that I’m proud of that we’re doing and I hope we continue to take that even further. At the end of the day, journalists are supposed to represent everyone….having these diverse women on our team and also learning from diverse leaders in our fields is really important to me.”

Running such a large organization is nowhere near easy, but Martin handles it with grace. Being in charge of a team is one of the requirements for her dream job so it’s no wonder she is nailing the position. A hard worker, Martin is also the Head of Communications for Video Editing Experts and the Media Intern for the College of Communication and Information here at FSU. On top of that, she’s in her senior year and is taking four classes this semester. Staying on top of things and being productive is something Martin knows well. She’s dealt with anxiety and that has fueled her to keep busy. When asked how she manages her busy schedule and her anxiety she said, “I’m in therapy and I’m the biggest advocate for it. I think everyone should go to therapy even if you don’t think you need therapy. It helps.”

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With Martin and the rest of the executive board always calling Her Campus “a learning publication” I wanted to know exactly what they aim to teach and the messages they want to instill in members. “The biggest thing I want to instill is...” she thought for a moment, “I think very practically, so all of those practical skills that we can give them. We try to do resume workshops, career-building workshops and anything to get members connections in their field. Anywhere that I can open a door for someone, I want to do that.” Writing, editing and grammatical skills are also important for Martin to provide, stating that no matter what major you are or what career field you might be going into, “you’re going to need strong communication skills and strong writing skills.” In another sense Martin wants Her Campus to be a strong community where members can say: “If I have nothing else on campus at least I have Her Campus”. In these trying times, Editor-in-Chief Lauren Martin works hard to ensure that the members of Her Campus FSU are developing skills that will assist them in their careers, but also providing members with the same strong friendships that she received from the organization. Working remotely has been a challenge but it’s not one she’s willing to fail. 

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Emily is a junior at Florida State University majoring in Editing, Writing, and Media and minoring in Communications. In her free time, she enjoys singing, discovering new music, and tracking down the best coffee in Tallahassee. Find her on Instagram @emischutz.
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