Writers proclaim with a voice

Students partner with Odyssey and share their voice.

Photo+Illustration+by+Rebecca+Mitchell%2FTHE+CHIMES
Photo Illustration by Rebecca Mitchell/THE CHIMES

Photo Illustration by Rebecca Mitchell/THE CHIMES

Photo Illustration by Rebecca Mitchell/THE CHIMES

Daisy Gonzalez, Writer

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Students recently began a partnership with social media platform Odyssey which offers students an outlet to share their ideas via writing articles and creating video content whose themes, attitudes and perspectives are up to the sole discretion of the author. They are now looking for new writers and creators to join the group.

Fresh and meaningful content

Odyssey states their goal is to democratize the creation of news and imaginative content, which is absorbed by today’s millennials. They seek to enrich the lives of their audience by offering consumers fresh and meaningful content.

Students have searched for an avenue where they could express their unique voices and points of view through written and video content that lives in a constructive and highly targeted audience context. As a result, they opened a chapter under Odyssey who makes it their goal to help millennials grow and develop that very aspect of themselves.

“What we’re really all about is democratizing content and giving the millennials a platform to share their voice,” said Ellie Conley, Odyssey assistant managing editor.

A myriad of topics

Under this company and within their chapter, students have started to flourish, gain writing experience and publish their work. They have been able to write about a myriad of topics they feel compelled to explore.

“The Odyssey’s been a wonderful writing platform for me. I’ve written a lot of things on philosophy, theology, politics. I have a couple of short stories that I put on there, and then I have a couple of analysis or personal opinion essays or some holiday essays that I put on there,” said Ashley Callahan, senior communications studies major. “It’s helped me to keep up my writing, too, as a disciplinary. Not only can I write what I want and be free with it, but it’s also kept me on a deadline to keep my writing practice going.”

The Odyssey started as a newspaper on Indiana University’s campus and expanded to multiple college campuses throughout the United States, as well as interest community groups outside of colleges. They now have over 1,500 content creators, 1,200 local communities and 30 million monthly visitors.

“They wanted to give a place for people to have their work published. And they’re very big on making sure writers’ voices are retained and they have freedom to express themselves in their own style,” said Jehn Kubiak, junior journalism major and editor in chief of Biola’s chapter.

A space to share

Odyssey has created and fostered a corporate culture where employee recommendations are taken seriously and encouraged has also created an environment where students can share their point of view without hesitation.

“No matter what position you have, you have a huge say in the company,” Conley said. “Challenging the norm and challenging the way we’re doing things is something that’s completely accepted here… No matter where you are at, if you are a creator or an EIC or a contributing editor or you are just a reader, you have the opportunity to have a say and to share your opinion and that’s really what we’re all about.”

Alongside having the freedom to share their opinions, Odyssey writers and content creators have the rights to own their own content. If they wish to reuse material they shared on their personal blog or publish an essay they wrote for a class, they are free to do so.

“Odyssey, being a social media platform, allows all of our creators to directly own their content so they can post content that they’ve written before for a class as long as it’s OK with that professor. They can post content that they’ve written for their personal blog and link back to their personal blog and amplify or they can create original content with us. Same thing goes for any video creators,” Conley said.

Writers for the Biola chapter feel energized by their partnership with the Odyssey and are eager to invite other writers and content creators to join their community.  Members can come from Biola as well as from the surrounding community.

“It’s encouraged me to stay current with the world around and to keep track with the current events going on,” Callahan said. “It’s helped to encourage me to deliberately go and explore more of that.”

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