There is a small, relatively new publishing community on campus located within the LifeStyles Center in Mary Walker Health Center. They have a targeted audience, a diverse group of writers, and a growing population of readers. This publishing community is the LifeStyles Center blog and I am the lead editor! The LifeStyles Center is a very unique place to publish a blog. We publish articles ranging anywhere from sexual health and heroin to hazing and election season. We have a new topic each week, so each article of the week relates to the same topic. For example, if the topic is STDs, Monday would talk about prevention methods, Thursday would talk about treatments, etc…We work out of a single room in Mary Walker Health Center with one computer and one table. The rest of the room is filled with condoms, lube, stuffed gorillas, model vaginas, bean bag chairs, a red wagon, craft supplies, and other fun stuff.
Most of you are probably aware of Toilet Talk, which is another publication that comes out of the LifeStyles Center. Toilet Talk is a well-liked weekly “newsletter” that is posted in bathroom stalls by volunteers every Friday. Toilet talk is interesting because it is designed to be short enough to read in a single trip to the bathroom. While Toilet Talk is very informational for how short it is, the LifeStyles Center wanted an outlet for lengthier, easily accessible, student-produced literature. This is how the LifeStyles Center blog came into existence. It started a few years ago and since then there have been dozens of different writers. The writers of the blog are LifeStyles Center Peer Educators who decide to write for the blog as their “task assignment.”
A task assignment is the specific area of the LifeStyles Center that a Peer Educator wants to spend the semester focusing on. Some task assignment options include: Toilet Talk, Blog, and Outreach Design. Because of this, there are brand new writers every semester. I wrote for the blog for two semesters as a Peer Educator before I was promoted into the Peer Mentor position. Now I have the pleasure of running meetings, editing all of my writers’ work, and sending it in for publication. Because the writers for the blog are not necessarily professional (or semi-professional) writers, I have had to learn to go easy on the editing. This has been tricky for me because I am also a Writing center tutor (editing is my favorite). However, just like the LifeStyles Center, we want our blog to be unique and fun.
I have come to realize that the point of this particular blog is not to be perfect, but to be relatable. Our target audience is simply SUNY Oswego students, so it is a strength of ours to have average SUNY Oswego students writing for us. This tiny campus publication is very near and dear to my heart because of everything the LifeStyles Center does for this campus. Their main goal is to help students stay safe and healthy. Like I said, our blog is steadily gaining popularity, but it is definitely not as widespread as we would like it to be. Visit http://lifestylescenter.net/ and share some articles if you wanna help out!
Written by Sarah Pasquarelli