The Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) Communication program, a recent acquisition of the University’s Chesapeake Energy School of Business, plans to launch an online magazine, Novus, on Thursday, December 4th.
The magazine will reflect the diversity of the growing student body at the University, which currently numbers 567 students representing 28 states and 16 countries and who speak over ten languages. Ultimately, Novus aims to interest their student audience in learning more about their peers at the residential campus in Bartlesville, prompting discovery and appreciation of the cultures represented.
But that is isn’t all Novus hopes to accomplish. “It’s important that our audience knows Novus isn’t just talking about geographic or cultural diversity” says student editor Anlan Cheney. “Yes we have a lot of international students, but there’s so much more than that. We as a student body represent different spiritual backgrounds and traditions, interests and talents for example.”
Cheney says the first issue’s theme is “Contact Zones”, an academic concept coined by Mary Louise Pratt to describe, in Pratt’s words, “social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other.” As the inaugural issue, Contact Zones will present diversity in an OKWU-specific context, focusing in on topics in geographic and cultural origins, spiritual traditions, and academic and extracurricular opportunities.
Pieces will include those about family-linked attendance, the impact of international student athletes, growth of the student organization The Orange Movement, and essays on spiritual diversity and language opportunities.
The Communication Program currently publishes an online news source for students called
the Eagle. Novus is a relaunch of last year’s first attempt at a magazine named Eagle Magazine, but the Program felt it was not sufficiently differentiated from the Eagle. Thus they redeveloped the magazine into Novus to reflect a more specific theme and audience.