By Nicole Zodrow
What does Sorin Oak Review do?
Sorin Oak Review is a student-run literary group that publish creative works (prose, poetry, art, etc.) made by members of the St. Edward’s community. Their student leaders, the editor-in-chief and senior visual designer look at their positions as a way to enhance their skills and gain professional experience from working with an on-campus literary group. The goal of Sorin Oak Review is described on their website as “showcasing the creative literary and artistic minds of the St. Edward’s University family”- Sorin Oak Review website. This goal is reflected in the tasks of the literary group, which includes picking among the submissions that they receive at the end of the Fall semester.
What do you get out of participating in Sorin Oak Review?
As mentioned earlier, the highlight of Sorin Oak Review is that it’s student-run; creating a welcoming and open-minded environment. Claudia, Sorin Oak Review’s Editor-in-chief, describes this atmosphere as how it “allow[s] people to have a safe space to spread their views and their ideas creatively.” Alexa, the literary group’s Senior Visual Designer, shares this perspective, claiming the literary group is “welcoming of everybody’s submissions” for the group’s annual issue.
In an article on student writing in college, it is mentioned that the task and events that connect to this subject can “deepen students’ writing experiences” as well as “gain and practice their authority as writers and intellectual agents within the university’s academic community” (Carter and Gallegos, 75). The literary group connects to this observation in how they discuss with each other in developing their annual issue. Sorin Oak Review discusses the annual issue and how it will be structured as well as the content being picked to accurately reflect the publication’s structure. Specifically, with the Visual Design, the team works on what the issue’s design will look like. The group members communicate with each other in a network-based process. For instance, the group works on having a strong communication with the those who submit their completed work. Even if their submissions get rejected, Sorin Oak Review encourages writers to keep sending their work.
What does Sorin Oak Review contribute to the St. Edward’s community?
When this literary group began in the ’90s, they referred themselves as “Aesthetic Voice” and then eventually “New Aesthetics.” By the literary group’s referring to themselves as Sorin Oak Review today (referencing the Sorin Oak tree of St. Edward’s University), Alexa states that the name “is a very St. Edward’s thing”; especially with how the Sorin Oak tree is embedded with the St. Edward’s community and university tradition. Claudia adds to this point of view by mentioning that “[the tree] represents St. Edward’s past, present, and future, just like Sorin Oak Review does.” Mary Helen Specht, this year’s faculty sponsor, views the literary group’s name as a way of the group bonding with the St. Edward’s community by having a concrete symbol. Furthermore, Specht states that their influence with the St. Edward’s community “creates a link between all the people that have been involved with it over the years.” By working together on creating and publishing a printed collection of creative works made by the St. Edward’s community, Sorin Oak Review displays a sample of how a community and how civil civic discourse can be presented by a shared common goal. In Sorin Oak Review’s case, creating a collection of works made by members of the St. Edward’s community. With their attention to detail, purpose, and discourse, Sorin Oak Review embeds the value of professionalism and the values that are linked to building a community, specifically the community at St. Edward’s University.
How can students get involved?