Students at Tyler Junior College will get a chance to show off their creative talent in the upcoming fifth edition of the bell Tower Journal of the arts.
The bell Tower Journal consists of pictures, poems, short stories and other types of art created entirely by students.
Started in 2005 by Linda Gary, PH.D. an instructor in the English department, Gary wanted more than a literary journal.
“I had approached derrick white, an instructor in the art department and Torrey Wiley, an instructor in Graphic arts, to make this journal a collaboration of different art,” Gary said.
Gary had said a lot of the larger college departments are very territorial and have journals of these types for each individual department. But this collaboration was a great idea for the students.
“This idea was very unusual on a lot of college campuses. Sometimes departments don’t work well together, but TJC is very collegial,” Gary said.
All submissions are entirely student entries and are chosen not only by teachers but also by students.
“To select the work that is submitted, a six-person selection committee is formed. The committee is three faculty members from each of the departments. These members choose one student from each department and they vote on all pieces submitted,” Gary said about the selection committee.
All students chosen by the faculty to be part of the committee cannot submit material and usually don’t know that they are even being considered.
“Derrick white just randomly asked me one day while i was sitting in the art lobby,” Courtney Hollon, former TJC student, said about being chosen.
Although there are members from each department, all members vote on all work. it is not separated into the English voting for the poems and the art department voting on the art. all members decide on each piece.
“I think it’s very interesting. i think we have pretty high standards. The artwork is very fine as well as the literary works,” said Richard Parrish, Ed.d., committee member for the English department.
Students on the committee are just as important and have their own opinions on the voting process.
“If it amazed me and it looked cool, i didn’t have to necessarily like it but i voted for it. it wasn’t about my personal preference. i looked at it as open-minded as i could,” Hollon said.
During the selection process, all submissions are anonymous. This is to keep possible favoritism from occurring. There are no names on the works the committee evaluates.
All works put into the journal are selected by a majority vote. Submissions receiving a 4, 5, or 6 are automatically put in the journal if space allows.
Some submissions are set aside if a tie occurs and re-voted on later.
“All of the submissions deserve to be published, but it is a budget issue. I always encourage the students that weren’t selected to submit it somewhere else because it was a good piece. we just didn’t have the room,” Gary said.
Students do not have to be majoring in any of the three departments to submit. Submissions are open to all students from all TJC campuses.