Agora: Spreading a Creative Spirit Throughout Campus
Author: The Crusader Staff Writer, Iris Bertin
The word “Agora” refers to the forum in which people come to share their thoughts or can be viewed as the marketplace in ancient Greek city-states. Here at Belmont Abbey College, Agora is the title of our school’s literary magazine run by the students themselves. Agora is aimed to promote a creative spirit throughout our campus and open up a community where art is welcomed and appreciated to its full extent. In creating an outlet for students to put forth works of art that are meaningful to them, we are spreading a deeper sense of community throughout our college campus. Affirming the many different forms of art we receive through submission and Agora events, this magazine becomes much more than many words on the pages. The sense of community that is being formed through this literary work exemplifies how strongly the Benedictine hallmarks are spread throughout our school.
No matter what art form you choose to help express yourself, Agora is accepting of a variety of different kinds. These include poetry, photography, short stories, and
any type of graphic art. In submitting a piece of work to Agora, you are able to help enter into the community of the college as a whole. Through these many submissions, a group of team editors will take on the task of sorting through, editing, and deciding to publish all of the different pieces of art. Through this process, these students are able to gain real-life hands-on experience in the editing
and publication realm. This club is offering its members experience, a sense of community, and a drive to push them to spread their creative minds throughout a college campus in hopes to reach as many students as they can.
Agora puts on events throughout the year in order to promote the magazine as well as encourage students to submit their own works to be published. At these events,
all students are welcome to share their talents with fellow students and members of the Agora Club. These events help to build a stronger sense of community among
young college students who wish to promote their art while finding beauty in others’ art as well. The Belmont Abbey College website explains the benefits of these events as such: “Members of Agora staff gain self-confidence by serving as MC’s for events; reading works of poetry, fiction, and non-literary works aloud; and performing musical pieces in public.” Building community through a shared appreciation of art is something so special to the Agora Club that can’t be found elsewhere on this college campus. Agora will be hosting events this fall and will promote them through email, around campus, and on social media.
After speaking to some members of the Agora Club and discussing the goals they have for this club and the Agora magazine, I was able to better understand the role
that these club members hold. Lauren, a senior member of the club said the goal of the Agora club and its members is to “channel the creative spirit of this campus.”
She goes on to say that during their meetings and events they aim to “put as much as we can into what we consider to be good literature and good art.” In aiming to promote good literature and good art, they must assess what the value of each piece is and what it can contribute to the magazine in some way, shape, or form. Throughout this literary magazine and this club, our college campus is being driven by the many creative minds of our students here at Belmont Abbey College.
This article was originally posted in the Fall 2022, Issue 1 of The Crusader Newspaper. Download the full issue.