January 27, 2021
In the fall of 2020, the staff of The Current shifted to an all virtual classroom and workspace. After transitioning to remote learning in the spring 2020 semester, students had already conquered the initial hurdle of the shift to online work and were able to better focus on fostering a virtual community not only in our classroom, but also with our audience.
At first it seemed a daunting task to handle what’s “current” in such a tumultuous landscape, but students were pleasantly surprised to find solace in sharing stories. The pandemic changed not only how the staff functioned as a team and how they distributed the magazine, but it also altered how students think about the world around them and the topics The Current tackles.
The fall 2020 team worked on the winter issue from brainstorming to layout, focusing on the question, “Are we okay?” while responding to the pandemic and a world in chaos and political upheaval. The question of “are we okay” proved difficult to answer honestly, particularly as everyone faced an increasingly uncertain future. This uncertainty is shared with all The Current readers, expanding far beyond the reach of East Lansing. The staff aimed to explore the issues together in these 45 pages.
The Current’s tireless team went on to give voices to marginalized communities in our soon-to-be-released spring issue. This installment sought to explore stale notions of professionalism, the impact of Instagram on users’ mental health, and the natural hair movement in the Black community. As the team looks forward to sharing this issue with readers, they remain committed to amplifying marginalized stories in this publication far beyond the spring issue.
In stumbling through this extraordinary year, The Current team was able to come together in making this magazine. The Current even hosted its first virtual event, a PowerPoint competition with peers, faculty and friends to foster community in these isolating times. Despite initial skepticism of effective online community building, participants found the experience fulfilling and worth repeating.
Shelby Smith is a senior double majoring in English and professional and public writing with a concentration in creative writing. Outside her time spent on The Current and with the MSU Writing Center, Shelby likes to listen to audiobooks and hand embroider.