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Student-run lit magazine inadequate for liberal arts school

By Aaron Calvin, Assistant Entertainment Editor

Perhaps you've seen them in the hallways: the paper fliers calling for submissions in a frustrating Comic Sans typeface. These are distributed and hung on the walls by Font, Hofstra University's literary magazine. Quite frankly, it functions mostly as an embarrassment to both The University and its literary community.

The problems with Font are numerous. If you happened to obtain a copy (distribution of the magazine to the student body is attempted briefly each time a new edition is published), you would notice problems right off the bat. In the most recent issue, for example, the picture used on the cover is missing an InDesign link, rendering it pixilated and unappealing to the eye.

The second most stylistically offensive item on Font's cover is the actual Font symbol. The mismatched, magazine cutout style seems more appropriate for an arts and crafts store or a children's daycare than a literary magazine.

If you managed to get past the front of the magazine, you will be equally offended by its content. Layout-wise, the magazine is a mess. Poetry is cramped together and formatted poorly. Prose is sporadically added throughout.

Ironically, the font of the magazine is boring and childish. The black and white photos and non-dynamic layout cause the magazine to appear mundane and lifeless.

It would be one thing if it were simply flaws in the layout that were Font's problem. However, the problems in appearance merely reflect the content of the magazine. While there are exceptions, the quality of the writing is consistently poor. The poetry is often childish and poorly written. The short stories are usually tedious and uninteresting. This kind of writing is simply unacceptable for a collegiate literary magazine.

I personally attended several of Font's meetings at the beginning of last semester. Their meetings are confusing to say the least; part of their budget is spent on arts and crafts materials. One person reads a submission while the rest work on their string bracelets and grade them through a vague rating system. Spending more time picking out string and glue at the craft store than putting together the actual magazine is hardly how the professionals do it.

This is not an accusation to any one person, simply a critique of an institution of our school that performs poorly. These problems, though numerous, are not difficult to correct and the allowed continuation of them is simply unacceptable.

The University has English and Writing programs of the highest quality. It is beginning to build an MFA program. Font can no longer be allowed to continue as a poorly constructed, pitifully constituted and generally unprofessional magazine any longer.

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