The Year According to SLCspeaks

2011 started everything. On February 26, SLCspeaks went public. I posted the first link on Facebook and walked back from Fleetwood Starbucks in tears, strung out on too many Americanos and the exhilaration of finally producing a platform on which Sarah Lawrence students could honestly speak.

Our core team of five editors put together SLCspeaks’ debut writings. Nina Sparling narrowed the daily email down to the top five events of the week for What’s Up. Garin Kessler gave advice on flirting with nerds and Mia Lardiere reported on Sarah Lawrence’s possible frat-ification for Gabrielle Campagnano’s diligently edited Speak section. Anna Quinlan weighed in on the Oscars and Jana Claire mellowed us out with yoga poses in Create and Wanderlust, respectively.

I was buzzed on the idea of a rebel publication. We would be blunt and snarky, unapologetic. As I heard senate was inefficient, SLCspeaks would never associate with them. The Phoenix and the Sadie Lou could both die unremarkable deaths deserving of lesser publications as SLCspeaks eventually triumphed, ruling the Sarah Lawrence content space.

For the rest of that year, the staff met weekly in Hill House, publishing regular content and existing in relative isolation. Word of mouth was our greatest resource. In May, we launched the “Work” section as a reflection of the professional and academic opportunities Sarah Lawrence offers. Then summer came and we scattered to our various corners of the globe.

In the 2011-12 school year, SLCspeaks has transitioned from being a rebellious teenager to a more mature 20-something (okay maybe that’s just me). We’ve found our bearings, and realized that collaborating with pre-existing systems doesn’t mean forsaking independence. After our summer application period, we took on a staff of 25 writers and photographers. I’ve heard more than one tour guide mention SLCspeaks to prospective students—thank you guys!

We hosted our first open meeting in the Tea Haus, resulting in more new writers and people so full from freshly baked cookies they could barely stagger away. SLCspeaks is now an approved Sarah Lawrence publication (the Senate proceedings were smooth). My personal animosity towards other publications has lessened—perhaps coexistence is possible.

2011 started SLCspeaks, it saw us through our growing pains, and it is clear that its culmination will bring fresh excitement. But first, one more announcement: on Tuesday, December 13, SLCspeaks will host a Conference Week Minimalist Bonanza including more cookies and a “Stimulation Station” featuring two of Sarah Lawrence’s favorite things: tattoos and tea.

The future also means more intriguing articles, site optimization and parties. You will never see the words “404 error” again. You will, however, see a lot of articulate opinions, art reviews and communal questions. You’ll see pieces you disagree with and those you can’t help but re-tweet. SLCspeaks aims to reflect our student body’s self-awareness and inherent variation. No matter if you end your evening with a glass of wine in Gilbert or video games in Slonim, know that SLCspeaks will always invite you to regular festivity and constant conversation. Happy New Year.

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.


  • Reply December 12, 2011


    So proud of this site! Glad to be apart of it and have my ass chewed out for speaking my mind!

  • Reply December 12, 2011


    A terrific contribution to the digital space that has just got better as each week has passed. Bravo.

  • Reply December 14, 2011

    James Neiley

    Love it, Ella. So happy I’m involved! xox

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