By Ari Ziegler
Published: April 9, 2014
Many students at Brooklyn College will readily recall the people who roam campus in hunt of wild signatures for whatever cause they’re pedaling. Believe it or not, every now and again, signing one of those clipboards proves worthwhile. Several students found this to be true this past Tuesday evening at around 4:00 p.m. when Stuck in the Library, the literary magazine that is popping up more and more on campus, held its most hyped-up publication event since a successful referendum campaign.
Over the past few weeks, members of Stuck in the Library’s staff have been publicizing the publication event while gathering signatures across campus. The REF campaign, led by Yoni Stern and Gitty Davidson, had 16 percent of the student body signing in support of the magazine.
“We spoke to so many people,” Stern said. “This campaign definitely got people talking about us.”
With such talk, it would be easy for the event to fall short.
“People didn’t believe that we were actually serving waffles,” Davidson said. “I told them to come check our event out and see for themselves.”
Now that Tuesday’s sun has set, it can be said with certainty: Stuck in the Library didn’t disappoint.
“Normally the event has less people,” said Chavie Fleisher, Stuck in the Library’s event coordinator. “But we were expecting a lot more this time so I prepared a lot of extra food. But it still got finished.”
Over 65 students attended the two-hour-long event. Event features included the latest issue of the literary magazine, which contains poems, short stories, and anonymous letters from across the student community, as well as fresh baked goods, coffee, and the hallmark waffles, made on the spot as ordered complete with chocolate chips, whipped cream, and a myriad of syrups. Even Akiva Fleisher, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, manned the waffle station for a while.
“Well, the turnout was bigger than I expected,” Fleisher said. “I guess from going around [campus] people heard about us.”
The REF campaign that garnered all the publicity included a petition for funding for such events. Chavie Fleisher said that she prepared food for 75 people, with 10 quarts of waffle batter, 60 brownies, dozens of cookies, and 100 biscotti. Students came for the waffles, which were consumed more quickly than they were being made, but stayed for the magazine and the people.
“The waffles were a huge hit and everyone seemed to be having a great time,” Fleisher said. “It was nice getting to meet new people and sharing all the amazing writing in the magazine.”
After such a successful publication event, what’s next for the magazine? The latest issue announced the founding of awards for student writing across campus. The award categories, which include exceptional journalism, literary skill, and emotional resonance in student writing, were also announced at the event. A turnout of approximately 65 people, for an event that occurs regularly, as the magazine is published every third week, is notable. The turnout for the Write the Night events, which are for writing enthusiasts looking to exercise their literary and creative muscles, has also been increasing. While four writers participated in the intimate workshop during its first session, that number doubled for the second. After this publication event, more creative students will likely take advantage of the opportunity to join.
“I would love it if we had around 10 regular attendees,” said Algonquin Jones, the writer who hosts the Write the Nights with Stuck in the Library. “A student-run writing workshop of students who are openly and actively expressing their creativity together? That’s what the magazine is all about.”
After the success of Tuesday’s publication event, it wouldn’t be surprising if the news of the magazine, and of the delicious waffles, spreads and the next publication event ends up attracting many more members of the student community than this past one.