Siobhan Cooney (‘22) is the editor-in-chief of Brushing Literary and Arts Journal.
The 2022 release of Brushing, Rollins College’s official art and literary journal, marks the publication’s 50th anniversary. The journal was first established in 1972 as an expressive and accessible platform for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other members of our campus community to showcase their creativity. For a publication with such an impressive lineage and longevity, you would think that funding this endeavor would be a no-brainer for a liberal arts institution like Rollins. Sadly, this has not been the case.
Brushing does not have a secure line of funding from the college, which requires our team to campaign and garner financial support from various sources across campus. This is disappointing on several levels, considering that the journal fulfills so many critical mechanisms of a liberal arts education, including co-curricular involvement, creativity, and interdisciplinary learning. We are one of the four pillars of Student Media, a fundamental component of the Rollins Gateway, whose logo is on the mural of Kathleen W. Rollins Hall.
Like our fellow media outlets in the department, Brushing is entirely student-run, top to bottom and front cover to back. This experience facilitates dialogue between faculty and staff from a variety of departments and offices on campus. We also publish a blend of traditional and experimental works of art and literature from emerging authors and artists across all academic disciplines (humanities, arts, natural sciences, and social sciences). Above all, Brushing is, and has always been, committed to diverse creators and content.
The funds for each annual print release covers the entire cost of production at our chosen publisher and are necessary to provide free copies of the journal to all interested members of the Rollins campus.
From the very start of production, the amount of involvement and demonstrated interest in this year’s edition has shattered previous years. We received 70 submissions and nearly 20 staff applications. Clearly, the want and need for this kind of platform is evident.
Again, we’ve been in print for 50 years. Why is it such a struggle to secure a consistent budget? If Rollins truly prides itself as a liberal arts institution, there should be no question about supporting our publication. We shouldn’t have to scramble each year. We shouldn’t have to censor our design ideas out of fear of not being able to have the money to back them up.
I have served as editor-in-chief since my sophomore year, and as a graduating senior, I am grateful for this kind of opportunity. Ending my three-year tenure in the role on such a momentous occasion has its pressures, but it is also a distinct honor. We, as a liberal arts community, have a responsibility to uphold the legacy of our beloved publication. I’m grateful for the monetary contributions that made this year’s print release possible. However, I hope that future editors won’t have to go through this for the next five decades. So I’ll end by saying cheers to 50 years. Here’s to hoping that Brushing will receive the credit it deserves
The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur or Rollins College.
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