This week’s Campus Celebrity is none other than our Her Campus Mother here at Western University, Alexie Evans. Not only does Alexie run our page and organize all of our material, but she has also given many young female students, including myself, the opportunity to write on many different complex and personal issues. Not only have we been given the opportunity to write and publish, but the freedom we have been given has allowed us to vent and heal on personal levels as well. Alexie Evans has impacted my life in an unforgettable way in opening up a safe place in which I can share my views and experiences with others. She truly deserves all the recognition in the world for passionately backing Her Campus’ presence at Western University and all of her writers. From all of us at Her Campus Western Ontario, thank you Alexie!
KA: What undergraduate program are you in?
AE: I’m in my fourth and final year (yikes!) majoring in English and double minoring in Writing and Anthropology.
KA:What’s the number one rule all writers should know?
AE: You should definitely be interested in what you’re writing about. If you find the content boring, so will your readers — they’ll be able to tell. I find the best articles come out when the person is really passionate about the subject. That being said, you don’t always get assigned topics you’re super stoked on, but you need to find a way to style it your way so you get the most out of your writing!
KA: What has been your favourite academic course that you have taken while at Western University?
AE: Ouu this is a hard one. It’s a tie. I love the travel writing course I’m taking now because it keeps me brushed up on my writing style and thinking about different topics I could use for the future. I also liked 18th Century Literature, but that’s probably because Professor Mark McDayter was hilarious and also called me out for seeing me at the bar.
KA: The Age Old Question: What do you want to be when you grow up?
AE: I definitely want to go in the direction of journalism. I always thought I’d be a teacher because “what else would I do with an English degree”? But my involvement with Her Campus has really helped me discover my passion — and that is NOT analyzing novels for the rest of my life. I’d love to work for a big-name magazine one day in editing and/or writing. I also think climbing the Her Campus ladder would be pretty sweet.
KA: How did you get involved with Her Campus?
AE: I got involved with Western’s chapter of Her Campus when it was in its second year of infancy. I basically just saw the former campus correspondent (and founder of the Western chapter!), Rida Ahmed, post in a bunch of Facebook groups that her chapter was looking for writers. I contacted her with my experience and starting writing articles right away. When last year’s CC, Eternity Martis, was leaving Western and they needed a new CC, I applied immediately!
KA: If you could describe Her Campus in one sentence, what would you say?
AE: At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, Her Campus is extremely empowering — an organization that’s completely run by female college journalists… I think that’s pretty amazing.
KA: What has been the most rewarding experience during your time with Her Campus?
AE: Last semester our chapter earned the status of being a Gold Level chapter. This takes into account a lot of things — our social media reach, page views, writers, etc. I was floored at this result, because our chapter has never achieved a chapter level since it was launched. It was incredible to see all the hard work and dedication of my team pay off!
KA: How do you select people to join Her Campus? How can curious minds get involved?
AE: I find social media to be the biggest and best tool to generate new writers. I usually post in a bunch of different Facebook groups with my contact info when I need more writers. Once people contact me and tell me about themselves (program, experience, etc) and get more info on what being a writer entails, they decide if they can/want to commit the time or not. Dedication is the biggest thing I look for in team members — I want everyone to be as excited as I am about our chapter! I’m always looking for interested writers, and the easiest way to contact me is direct messaging me through Facebook or by my email, email@example.com!
KA: Do Her Campus members get together outside of school/ writing for the website?
AE: Yes!! The first time my new team got together was awesome — it was just like we were old friends who had known each other forever. We started off the year with a wine night to get to know each other. We also try to get together for dinners that don’t just focus on the magazine — it’s a great way to meet new friends! We’re also hosting a “Girl’s Night In” at the end of the month complete with a Passion Party, it’s guaranteed to be a hilarious night.
KA: What article was the most fun/empowering to work on & why?
AE: OMG. One of my very first articles for HC was called “Everything You Need to Know About the Female Orgasm”. It was so much fun to research and then write! I really wanted to talk about a kind of “risqué” topic and it generated a lot of buzz!
KA: Why do you think Her Campus is important to the Western University community?
AE: I think the fact that Her Campus is run by all women is really cool. Since we’re London-specific, readers from our community can really connect with us at a deeper and more personal level. We discuss a range of topics including issues at our school as well as other things that women our age are concerned with.
KA: Other than writing, what are you passionate about?
AE: Something I’m really passionate about is raising awareness for mental illnesses. Part of the reason I chose to hold a mental health awareness week was that I had personal experiences with depression and anxiety in my teenage years. I know I wish there had been outlets like there are now in order to openly talk about it. I’m in such a positive place in my life now that I want to do all I can in order to help others get out of their dark place too. There’s so much negativity and ignorance surrounding mental health, and the more I openly talk about it and connect with others who are suffering, the better!
KA: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
AE: I think I have an unacceptable amount of guilty pleasures… including cat pictures, watching Netflix for seasons straight (who doesn’t), and having way, way, too many bottles of wine in my apartment. Like seriously… it’s starting to be a problem. I’m running out of room.
KA: You chose to dedicate a week of Her Campus material to Mental Illness, what was the response you received from that like?
AE: AHH. It was astounding. I literally get shivers thinking about it. A few of us experimented with articles about mental illnesses in the past, and every time we posted them, we got such positive feedback. So we thought, why not dedicate a whole week to these kinds of articles? We planned the awareness week to fall in line with Bell Let’s Talk day, so that we could help to promote that amazing campaign. In our Snapshot section, we collected photos from those in our community about why mental health awareness was important to them. This piece was one of the top viewed pages on all of HC — it was so heartwarming to see such a welcoming response to mental illness, which still continues to hold a negative stigma.
KA: What’s up next for Her Campus this year?
AE: For Western Ontario’s chapter, we’ll be collaborating with other Canadian chapters for different articles. We are also hosting a Girl’s Night In party featuring a Passion Party. We hope this will strengthen our readership and people can get to know more about us!
For Her Campus as a whole, we’re all pretty excited that Her Campus will be publishing a book! It’s basically a guidebook for women headed to college, and can be purchased on Amazon.com for pre-sale now, and it’s officially released in April!
KA: What is your biggest wish for Her Campus Western Ontario in the future?
AE: I hope HC Western Ontario continues in the forward motion it’s been going in — I would love for our chapter to be a “Pink” chapter level and be on par with some of the other amazing Chapters out there like HC Brandeis, HC Fairfield, etc. I want our Canadian chapters to have some higher recognition! I also hope that future CC’s will apply for our chapter to be a recognized student organization at Western, (since we have been denied in the past) since it would help even more to grow our chapter!