Standing ‘Athwart’: The New Political Magazine at Colorado College

By Julia Fennell

There is a new political magazine on campus called Athwart Magazine, founded by Nate Hochman ‘21.

“We are largely a political opinions magazine,” Hochman, the founder and editor-in-chief, said. “Our focus is on amplifying voices and political opinions that are sort of unpopular or heterodox to CC political opinion.”

There are students who disagree with the dominant ideology that’s presented at CC but they don’t speak up because of legitimate fear of incurring social consequences, said Hochman.

“I think that if we sort of amplify those voices, we could demonstrate the fact that there’s actually a lot of dissenting voices here throughout the school and people might be more willing to speak up and we could enrich campus discussion,” said Hochman. 

Athwart Magazine’s tumblr page describes itself as “Colorado College’s student-run platform for dissent from campus political orthodoxy.”

“Athwart focuses mainly on opinion pieces for people to freely express their unpopular political opinions, especially opinions that might not be viewed or approved by the greater CC community,” said Anna Marcus ’21. “The magazine doesn’t have a political label, like it’s not conservative like some people think.” Marcus went on to explain that this magazine was created in part to give people who don’t share far-left political views a platform to address their opinions.

Unlike other on-campus publications, Athwart Magazine goes to press once a semester, during Blocks 4 and 8. Eventually, this number might increase to twice a semester, but Hochman does not want to publish more than that.

“I think one of the reasons we see ourselves as being a unique and valuable contribution to the ecosystem of student publications at CC is the fact that we’re not constantly scrambling to find submissions and edit,” said Hochman.

Marcus is the digital marketing and design person. “Every article that gets edited and published in the print version, I then upload to the online version.” She said that although the website is not public yet, it will include a reader’s choice section.

Marcus is also in charge of handing, managing, and posting for the Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram, she said. Marcus does the logo design as well.

Athwart Magazine has eight contributors for the first publication. Athwart Magazine does not have staff members, so it runs on a  “case by case” contribution system, Hochman said.

Athwart Magazine receives funding from several different sources. They receive some “in-funding from sources in the school” and funding from the Intercollegiate Studies Institutes, Hochman said. Henry Rigsbee ’20, one of the senior editors for the Athwart Magazine, and Hochman went to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute conference in Philadelphia and have established a relationship with them.

Intercollegiate Studies Institute describes its mission as “Inspiring College Students To Discover, Embrace, And Advance The Principles And Virtues That Make America Free and Prosperous,” according to their website. While Intercollegiate Studies Institute is a conservative-leaning group, Hochman said the group does not have influence over what Athwart Magazine writes.

“They’re very invested in us sort of enriching our campus discourse and they’re not going to tell us what we can and can’t write, and if they did, I would reject it, because that’s not the point,” Hochman said. “We’re trying to be explicit that we’re not an ideological conservative or libertarian magazine.”.

The magazine is unaffiliated with Cutler Publications, the independent governing board of several on-campus publications, including  The Catalyst, Leviathan, Cipher, and Anamnesis. Hochman said being unaffiliated with Cutler Publications was a conscious decision.

“We’re not particularly comfortable with the Cutler Board’s leadership and we think that there’s a lot to be left lacking in the Cutler Board’s leadership,” Hochman said. Athwart Magazine is happy to have the opportunity to be autonomous, he added.

Athwart Magazine did apply for funding from the Cutler Board last semester, and after being asked to revise his proposal, Hochman decided to seek funding elsewhere, said the Cutler Board over email.

Hochman said he thinks that technically speaking, they were denied funding. The Cutler Board didn’t like their mission statement and wanted them to tone it down, he said.

In a joint statement from Cutler Board President Abby Williams and Vice President Susanna Penfield, they said the Cutler Board values and welcomes all student and community feedback. They said they have reached out to Hochman in the hopes of starting a conversation concerning his reservations.

Athwart Magazine got its name from a quote by William F. Buckley, the founder of the National Review: “National Review is founded to stand athwart history yelling stop.”

“Our vision is to stand athwart the ideological uniformity and lack of creative, original political thought at CC in our own sort of humble way, and I thought it was a good name,” said Hochman.

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