Article misrepresents literary magazine

Christine Brown’s presentation of her experience at Towers magazine (“Towers magazine back up, running,” 4/28) is chock full of inaccuracies. Either the reporter took liberties with Ms. Brown’s comments, or Ms. Brown has done a disservice to those of us who worked for years behind the scenes putting that magazine together. This includes all the students who served as interns, distributors, liaisons for the art department, editors and editors in chief.

For one, I was never editor in chief, but faculty adviser. I did not make editorial decisions for the magazine, but I did clean up: paperwork, distribution, and a large, general facilitating when the students became busy with their school work and overwhelmed.

As well, the article overlooks hardworking NIU staff, among them Linda Watson, Jan Knudsen, Lynda Nance, Jan Vander Meer, John Bradley and Joe Gastiger, all of us who quietly toiled and always got the magazine out. Towers has always been “up and running.”

As for there being no written instructions about running Towers, this is just crazy wrong. Jan Knudsen assured me she sent Ms. Brown the several e-mails I wrote her, dating back to September of last year, detailing the day-by-day and yearly processes at the magazine, each e-mail ending with an offer, “if I can do anything else to help, please let me know.”

I’m not on sabbatical but teaching at another university out of state, I declined comment on the article because every story I can relate only emphasizes that, while it was fun to work with the students and to put out a magazine, it was an extremely time-consuming and difficult task. Such tales bring glory only to the teller, and I wished to decline such self-congratulations.

In fact, I am the one who eight years ago rescued Towers from extinction by sleuthing, finding over a thousand missing copies of one year’s distribution in the basement of a house on College, and lugging over twenty cartons of Towers up three flights of stairs of Reavis (no elevators at that time) to begin distribution. I could tell too many stories like that, but it already bothers me that by relating this tale I portray myself as someone who did hard work and got no props for it. One will have to do. I imagine that all the former faculty advisors for Towers could relate similar tales.

Though I – and various Towers staff members who have corresponded with me since the appearance of the article – do not wish to publicly censure Ms. Brown or Jessica King, for the sake of Towers it seems that the misrepresentations should be resolved in a public forum.

Certainly I would prefer to think Ms. Brown did not choose to misrepresent her colleagues. Someone must point out the inaccuracies and the lack of credit to the Towers staffs over the years who have put out a magazine, and accepted the responsibilities that go along with it.

Amy Newman

Associate professor, English

Editor’s note: The article did say Amy Newman had been the faculty adviser.