By Christine Loughery
Every Monday night members of CRUX Magazine for the Creative Arts meet to prepare for the newest edition of their publication. As they sit around a table, the variety of members of the club take turns reading out loud and presenting submission after submission, closely analyzing and critiquing literary and visual works from the Catholic University community. After a long discussion and evaluation on each submission, the members carefully come to a consensus and separate each piece into one of two piles, either “yes” or “no” as they prepare to put together the 13th edition of CRUX Magazine for the Creative Arts.
Despite being the longest running literary magazine of Catholic University, with a decade of history, CRUX experienced a pause in the club last year due to the graduation of senior leaders. Nicholas Rao, a sophomore at Catholic University who is double-majoring in Philosophy and Italian Studies, decided to restart the club this year. Rao is now the executive editor of CRUX and is leading the club in the production of its 13th edition, which is expected to come out before the end of the Spring 2016 semester.
CRUX Magazine for the Creative Arts is a student run organization that showcases the artistic works of writers, composers, visual artists, translators, and filmmakers from the Catholic University community.
CRUX’s mission statement declares that, “the core of the CRUX project is the idea that through art, in all its guises human beings can understand the Universe more completely, more compassionately, and more sharply than through any other means.”
Last year, Rao submitted a literary piece to CRUX but soon after found out the magazine had fallen apart. He knew that other members of the Catholic University community had also submitted their work and therefore decided that a rebuilding of this student organization was necessary.
“I had a feeling that there was a lot of interest out there and I knew that I wanted some form to discuss creative writing with people,” Rao said.
In order to restart the club, Rao contacted the Office of Campus Activities where he found that the community was “really enthusiastic about bringing it back.”
Rao said the magazine would be a “place where we could publish creative writing and a formal community where people could encourage each other to work on projects.”
Rao and his fellow club members laughed as they said that they are still trying to figure out the best way to execute the 13th edition of CRUX. With little experience, the group is working toward the creation of a low-budget creative arts magazine so that the Catholic University community has a tangible item that exhibits the creative works of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Helen Gorman, a senior member and assistant editor of CRUX, described the atmosphere of the club and its members as “very friendly and enthusiastic.”
“I think there is a really good exchange of ideas and opinions. People feel really comfortable to talk about writing,” Gorman said.
CRUX Magazine for the Creative Arts has a variety of club members ranging from freshmen to seniors, with a large variation of majors and interests.
“It’s just really interesting to go through some of the submissions and just get an idea about what everybody thinks about –you know similarities and differences,” said Gregory Portner a senior member of the CRUX.
The community of this student organization is something that members see as one of the most crucial enjoyable elements of the club.
“The camaraderie of everyone analyzing literature together is really a nice experience,” said Nia Muhammad, the submissions editor of CRUX Magazine for the Creative Arts.
“The fact that we’re taking the project seriously and we are trying to get things done, but we’re not taking ourselves so seriously. We’re here to do this because it’s enjoyable and because it’s a good thing to do. We’re contributing something, but we’re doing it in a spirit of fun,” Gorman said.
CRUX Magazine for the Creative Arts is looking to expand their club and gain new members who share a similar passion for creative arts.
“The more greater the mix of people we have in here, the more we will be able to bounce off of each other. I think as more personalities and more reactions get thrown into the mix, it should be increasingly fun,” Rao said.
Following the release at the end of the Spring 2016 semester, the current members of CRUX intend to continue to carry out the legacy of CRUX Magazine for the Creative Arts in the future years, and help this student organization expand.