SLCspeaks’ Most-Read Articles (Plus a Few Editor-in-Chief Faves)

Four years ago, I started SLCspeaks in order to give Sarah Lawrence a more varied voice online. I didn’t want to publish boring news about campus landscaping or placating pieces on our donning system. The existing publications seemed bent on circling away from anything raw or really Sarah Lawrence. Arriving here, I loved my classmates who demanded lively debate and felt strongly about poetry. I was in awe of their talents: I met book writers, musicians with tracks on iTunes, and award-winning filmmakers, all of whom were also committed scholars. Accordingly, I thought any Sarah Lawrence publication should reflect our school’s incredible texture and depth.

I’m proud to say that SLCspeaks has hosted constructive conversations, diverse student opinion, and thoughtful creative work. We’ve published over 100 different writers, with topics ranging from Confessions of a Sarah Lawrence Republican to Why Lady Gaga is Not a Queer Icon and Whitney Houston Is to The Myth of the Blue Room. Some articles stand out for their intriguing images, others for their articulate opinions. For whatever reason, the following four articles caught fire. They’re our most popular articles from the last four years.

I found a treasure trove in the Archives when I researched for The Collapse of Sarah Lawrence Social Life. I was interested to notice a social cycle: Sarah Lawrence seemed to party hard and fast, stumble into security, then retreat into siloed social groups before lapsing into drink and drug-fueled fests to repeat the pattern all over again. I wondered how we could improve our parties and our well-being at the same time. Maybe it’s just senior year, but I think we’ve made strides in social engagement. Live music, house parties, dances, and entertaining student productions abound.

The Emma Roberts Effect takes second place on this list, partially because it’s an enticing piece about the seriousness of our school, and partially because the article’s namesake spoke out against it at a girls empowerment conference.

More importantly, Educational Mortality: A Goodbye Letter to Sarah Lawrence College and Private Education questioned whether private education is worth it. Ella Mahoney wrote about her time at Boston Latin School and Sarah Lawrence, reflecting on her decision to withdraw from Sarah Lawrence after her financial aid was cut by more than $25,000.00.

Alex Hughes (our faithful This Week in Pop columnist from 2011 to 2013) challenged the ever-threatened smoking ban by proposing 20 Things We Should Ban Instead of Cigarettes. His sardonic tone incensed some. For a more recent, unnumbered piece on the smoking ban, check out Emily Rogers’ article, How Ought We Govern Ourselves? A Response to the Smoking Policy.

Finally, in Unorthodox: The Sarah Lawrence Archetype, Mitchell Sunderland profiled Deborah Feldman, who wrote a book about rejecting her Hasidic background in order to get an education at Sarah Lawrence. Mitchell also described his own intuitive decision to come here while weaving in esteemed alums Babs Walters and Alexander Dimitrov. The conclusion? “Ambitious runaways will always flock to Sarah Lawrence.”

Finally, to conclude this review, the SLCspeaks editors have compiled a series of words that serve as a summation of our time at SLCspeaks:

Anna: Rewarding, challenging, necessary.

Gabrielle: Nice, penetrating, encouraging.

James: Joyous, invigorating, fierce.

Ella: Loving, evolving, gathering.

Zoe: Inspiring, formative, memorable.

Thank you all for reading and contributing. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Ella Riley-Adams (Founder, Editor-in-chief) comes from a small town in Southern Oregon. She enjoys champagne, soccer and swimming in ponds. When not immersed in Sarah Lawrence affairs, Ella works for NYC marketing and tech blog The New York Egotist and The Faster Times. Follow her on twitter @ellarileyadams.

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