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Campus print media outlets join under Student Publications umbrella

UTM’s three student publications have joined forces under one umbrella – the Office of Student Publications.

Established May 5 by the university’s Publications Committee and approved May 11 by Chancellor Nick Dunagan, the new office oversees all production and business aspects of The Pacer student newspaper, the Spirit yearbook, and BeanSwitch, a literary and visual arts magazine.

“Those of us who work regularly with student publications saw a need several years ago to streamline the operations of the newspaper and yearbook. We’ve slowly implemented several steps toward that goal, and the creation of the Office of Student Publications is a major step forward for us,” said Tomi Parrish, coordinator of Student Publications. “We then were approached last spring by the English Department to work together on BeanSwitch, and we’re tremendously excited about that opportunity, too.”

Each publication will continue to have a faculty member as editorial adviser, with the new office taking care of such items as payroll, bids, deadlines, advertising, pre-press production, sales, distribution and the purchasing of supplies and equipment. Jim Bruce, an instructor in the Department of Communications, is the editorial adviser for the yearbook; Leslie LaChance, an assistant professor in the Department of English, advises BeanSwitch; and Parrish, who also is an instructor in Communications, will continue to advise The Pacer.

The new office, however, is not the only change occurring among the publications this year. The Pacer’s publication date has been changed from Fridays to Tuesdays, and staff writer meetings have moved from Thursdays to Tuesdays.

“We bid our printing contract and The Jackson Sun won the bid,” Parrish said. “Their best days for printing The Pacer were Tuesday or Wednesday, and we believe more students will pick up the paper on Tuesdays. It will also allow us to provide more up-to-date coverage of weekend events.”

“We are looking forward to sharing our Web site experience with our other member organizations,” said The Pacer’s Executive Editor Stephen Yeargin.

Another major change concerns BeanSwitch, which will be printed once per semester instead of once per year. The planned publication dates are Dec. 3, 2004, and April 22, 2005.

“We’re excited that we’ll be producing two issues of BeanSwitch this year. Having two issues means more work, of course, but it also means there will be more opportunities for students to publish their work and to get involved in producing the magazine,” LaChance said.

“We have a dedicated, creative editorial staff, and we’re always eager to add more students to our publication team. We’ll also be organizing open mics/art shows and publication celebrations each semester, so students will have live venues to read their work and show visual art. I hope lots of UTM students will take advantage of an opportunity to do something creative and gain professional publication experience at the same time.”

Anyone interested in working with Beanswitch can contact Executive Editor Jonathan Riley at or LaChance at

The Spirit staff, under the direction this year of Executive Editor Kevin Anderson, also plans to meet all deadlines and to have the yearbook ready to be distributed in May 2005. Deadline problems forced a delay in the delivery of the 2004 yearbook, which is supposed to arrive at UTM in mid-September. For more information on the yearbook, contact Anderson at or Bruce at

The Office of Student Publications has its own Web site – – which is currently under construction. Updates on the activities of the three publications, including dates and times for yearbook photos, will be featured on the site.

Eventually, the site also will provide brief histories of the three publications, links to Web sites for each publication, and interactive forms and contact information to make the office more customer-friendly. The Spirit and BeanSwitch sites also are under construction, but should be online this fall.

Meanwhile, the office currently is housed in Parrish’s office, 305D Gooch Hall, and can be reached via her phone number – 881-7558 – or her e-mail –