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Columbia Spectator Staff

In an attempt to remedy what it sees as a lack of political
discourse on campus, the Columbia Political Union has started
The Columbia Political Review, a new magazine that will be
available in printed form in early December.

CPU General Manager and Spectator columnist Yoni
Appelbaum, CC í03, said he hopes the magazine will ìmake
serious political issues accessible and relevant to
students.î

The CPU decided to produce the magazine in order to fill ìa void of
political dialog and discussion on campus,î said Appelbaum. He
expects the publication to facilitate such a discussion ìin a way that
speakers, panels and such cannot,î explaining that many students
cannot attend or are not drawn to many of the events the CPU
organizes.

ìPolitics have a bad reputation in college. Theyíre seen as dry and
boring,î Appelbaum said. He envisions the Review as a
magazine ìto which those two adjectives could not possibly be
applied.î

To that end the magazine will feature articles that ìreach across a
full gamut of political ideas in a way thatís interesting,î said
Appelbaum.

CPU Publisher and former Spectator Editorial Page Editor
Jaime Sneider, CC í02, said the Review will be different
than other political content on Columbiaís campus because it will
shy away from the op-ed type of articles featured in the
Spectator. Instead, he said, the Review will focus on
ìin-depth political analysis.î

CPU Spokesperson Sarah Richardson, CC í02, said that the
Review also plans to distinguish itself by featuring stories
ìthat donít fall into common templates used by whatever current
political commentary is saying.î As an example, Richardson said
the Review would avoid ìstories that fall into the ësince
Sept. 11 everything has changed, and hereís another thingí
format.î

The CPUís history of writing political material includes distributing
pamphlets that provided background and explanations of political
positions. The organization decided to begin producing a
magazine in place of these pamphlets when it found out that a
magazine would be less expensive.

Even so, funding the magazine presents a challenge for the CPU.
Appelbaum said that by the end of this year, the magazineís
budget will be equal to the organizationís annual budget. The CPU
began producing the magazine this year thanks to ìan extremely
generous grantî from the President and Provostís Initiative Fund.

But the Fundís grant to the CPU is a one-time gift, which allows the
CPU to begin its magazine but which also forces the organization
to look elsewhere for further funding. The CPU hopes to find
steady sources of funding once a print copy of the Review is
available.

Appelbaum was confident that given the ìquality of the staffî and
ìthe need [the magazine] will address, funding will be forthcoming.î
Richardson mentioned that the first issue in its online form had
already received positive feedback.

Many of Columbiaís peer institutions already have publications
similar to the Review, Richardson said, and the CPU plans
to use the successes of these publications as models.

She added that she hoped the Review could ìalso be
innovative in a way that suits Columbia students in a city where
they have so much political stimulation.î

According to Appelbaum, students have been enthusiastic about
writing for the Review. Sneider, however, insisted that the
magazine still needs to expand its staff, which he thinks will get
easier as the magazine becomes ìmore established.î

The CPU hopes to produce the Review four times per year,
and Appelbaum did not rule out the possibility of more frequent
production ìif the support is there.î The magazine will be
distributed in student mailboxes in Lerner Hall and in locations
frequented by students who do not have have mailboxes, such as
graduate students.

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