Student Media and SGA shed light on rebrand decision
Of the student-run organizations on campus, APU student media and the Student Government Association (SGA) are undergoing a facelift. The student press outlets, also known as The Clause (newspaper), Collide (magazine), Capture (TV) and KAPU (radio), are now one collective entity: Zu Media. The change comes after APU student media moved a majority of its operations to West Campus, where a new newsroom facility for all media outlets will open next year. This year, the Student Government Association (SGA) has also rebranded by updating its image with a fresh icon and mission.
Lead Advisor of Integrated Student Media, Robert Kent Walls, spearheaded the Zu Media rebrand.
“Prior to my arrival, the idea of rebranding was in the early stages,” Walls said. “Journalism has changed so much over the years. It gives us a chance to adapt.”
The change comes at a pivotal moment in the world of journalism. Newsrooms across the country have drastically cut back on staff and moved more content to a digital platform. Sophomore, Journalism major Nathan Foster, News Editor of Zu News, believes that the choice to rebrand was essential for APU student media.
“I think that some of our efforts were a little outdated, and now we can catch up to modern journalism,” Foster said.
Senior journalism major and Editor-in-Chief of Zu News, Jamie Roebuck-Joseph, concurred with Walls and Foster.
“We’ve definitely taken on a more modern and digital interface, but that’s just the future of journalism,” Roebuck-Joseph said.
Zu Media has adjusted the way they produce content and will now emphasize publishing stories online to ensure timeliness.
“We’re busting stories out in a couple hours, throwing them online, then working anywhere from 5-8 hours on production nights to distribute it in our print editions,” Roebuck-Joseph said. “We’re here to serve APU, and I’m so excited to see how people interact with the changes.”
Walls and the Zu News staff felt that rebranding was a great chance for the student media to see itself as one collective unit.
“My assessment was that individually, the different student media outlets weren’t strong enough,” Walls said. “The experience was separated. We had the Clause office on East Campus and the TV set on West. You didn’t get to immerse yourself in all of the platforms.”
In the future, all student media content, whether it’s Zu News, Zu Magazine, Zu TV or Zu Radio, will be available under one website, ZuNews.com.
“We had this idea of moving the program forward and making a convergent newsroom, which is more professional,” senior journalism major Brandon Rodriguez, Sports Editor of Zu News said. “We hold ourselves to a professional standard. Moving all of our platforms under one common name lets us expand our audience.”
Although some might be excited about the fresh start, the decision to change ‘The Clause’ to Zu News might be a controversial topic to some on campus. The Clause was first established in 1965 and has been APU’s student newspaper ever since. However, Walls stated that although there is a new name, the overall purpose has not changed.
“I understand the history, and we’re going to honor that history,” Walls said. “But if you look at any successful industry, they are willing to adapt. We have a new name, but it’s still the same mission.”
Along with Zu Media, the Student Government Association (SGA) has made some changes to its logo and mission. The have created a new logo which depicts an “S” shaped arrow.
“The icon portrays an ‘S’ shaped arrow that is moving forward and upward, and that is exactly the direction we want to lead the students of APU,” junior public relations major and Director of Communications Morgan Lawrence said in a statement.
Moving into a brand-new office this year allowed SGA the opportunity to initiate a new campaign.
“The idea of rebranding started in fall training,” senior physics major and SGA President James Whitfield said. “We were looking to reset the trajectory of what SGA is. Our old logo was hexagons, which signified how well we fit together, but we really wanted our new logo to be external-facing to show our new direction.”
SGA also wanted to change their perspective on their role within the student body.
“We were known as the liaison between the administration and the students,” Whitfield said. “We wanted to tweak that by saying that SGA creates and advocates change on behalf of the student body. Even that simple phrasing represents who we desire to be.”
SGA was first established in 1945 and has been one of the longest student organizations in the history of APU. However, Whitfield and SGA staff expect the rebrand to allow them to have more open dialogue with students.
“I know students in the past have felt that SGA is very distant from the student body,” said senior accounting major Jackie Gonzalez, SGA Director of Internal Affairs. “A goal for this year is to let students know that we are here, and we want to hear their concerns, because we can’t do our jobs without that.”
Starting Sept. 25, SGA will have a pop-up office located across from the OAT office. Students are encouraged to walk in and share their concerns with SGA staff.