10 years. Over 40 issues. 11 editors-in-chief.
College Avenue has grown from an infant publication to a recognized name on the CSU campus and in the Fort Collins community. It has brought the gift of the magazine to journalism students interested in a more creative expression, complete with longer-form writing, creative design and striking photography. Ten years later, it is still going strong and getting better and better each year.
According to Jenny Fischer, a longtime advisor for College Avenue, the idea to create a magazine was the brainchild of Chris Ortiz in 2003. The magazine became possible because of a surplus in student media, so money was set aside to create a prototype of the magazine. That prototype was 1870*. However, the administration of the University asked student media to change the name of the magazine because there was already a publication by the same name that was created by and for alumni.
A survey was sent out to the student body of CSU asking them to choose a name for the magazine. They chose the name College Avenue.
The first edition of College Avenue was spearheaded by Ortiz and Katie Kelley. They gave the magazine the foundation and structure and built up the staff. The staff worked for nothing, but their passion was what has driven the magazine to success.
Year after year, each editor following Kelley added something to the magazine, whether it be advertising in the issues, rack space on campus or shifting the magazine from being pressed three times a year to a monthly.
Valerie Hisam Lucero created one of the most picked-up issues during her reign as editor: the sex issue. According to her, it went along with her theme of “drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll,” which is seen in her issues: the arts issues, the sex issue and the vices issue. She wanted to write on something that was traditionally considered taboo, and it paid off. Lucero’s idea has become College Avenue’s annual “love, sex and relationships” issue published each February.
The magazine has also grown to include special editions such as the Best of CSU that features the best places to go around campus and around Fort Collins, which is published each fall; graduation guides that are published each fall and spring, which contain graduation content such as highlighting the graduates and acting as a guide for visitors and the holiday gift guide, which is an annual issue published each December around the holidays. This makes for a grand total of eight issues each year.
The issues could not be published without the dedication of the staff that has worked countless hours over the last 10 years, making sure the content and design is up to par with what readers want to see from a student-run magazine. The magazine has allowed the staff to be creative in all areas of writing, photo and design, creating new content that has never been seen before.
And there are the editors, whose passion has driven the magazine forward to thrive. Without them, College Avenue would not have survived as long as it has and allowed it to grow into something that represents the CSU and Fort Collins community. They have shaped the magazine into one of the main branches of student media that allows creatives to express themselves for the world to see.
College Avenue is a force to be reckoned with, and it is just getting started.