Friday, December 4, 2009


The following article from this week's Spectrum (UB's student newspaper) discusses the efforts of Gasport's Ren Laforme in relaunching the University's magazine...

Generation Magazine will be returning to its long-vacant and dust-filled shelves around campus next semester.

Ren LaForme, a second year senior psychology major and current senior managing editor for The Spectrum, was elected November 19 by Sub Board I, Inc. to fill the editor-in-chief position next semester.

LaForme, from Gasport, N.Y., has been with The Spectrum for two years and was inspired to run for the position so students would be more informed with campus news and issues.

“No one publication accurately advocated for students and distributing information for students,” LaForme said. “The Spectrum does a good job of distributing news for students and Visions does a good job talking about what SA is doing, but there is no publication pushing for students, students’ rights and things that are important to students. Generation is a good platform to do that from.”

LaForme said he plans to include detailed and in-depth features on issues that directly affect both graduate and undergraduate students.

“Our features stories will be about what matters to students and tackle things like textbook costs, UB2020, and big topics that I feel like we could really dive into,” LaForme said. “You’re [also] going to find that the layout is different and there is a lot more content in every issue.”

Reader favorites like the “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” section will be returning as LaForme and another editor host student questions, giving one legitimate answer and one answer that doesn’t make sense, as the old magazine did.

However, LaForme said the personals will not be included and there is no immediate plan to feature the controversial and popular insults, love notes and call-outs.

“In the past, Generation has made some poor decisions in regards to the things they have published,” LaForme said. “The number one important thing to me is to make sure Generation is on the right path to the future as far as what’s ethical and what’s not.”

With the many new changes coming to Generation, LaForme is worried about student perceptions and recalled that the last time the magazine changed styles, readers did not take well to the transformation.

“Last time things switched around a little bit, people weren’t happy, but I’m not going to make the same mistakes,” LaForme said. “I’m going to make sure to give students what they want but in a way that doesn’t violate journalism ethics and standards.”

The first issue of the magazine will hit North and South Campuses, as well as locations yet to be determined around the city of Buffalo early next semester on January 12.

In addition to the bi-weekly publication, Generation will include multimedia content on a newly designed Web site.

Although LaForme has a distinct background in newspaper writing and editing, he says he is looking forward to new challenges and working for a magazine.

“I will miss The Spectrum. I’ll miss the hard work, long hours and people that are here. I really like this place; it has a great past and a great future,” LaForme said.

LaForme said his time at The Spectrum helped develop a distinctive set of leadership traits that will help bring Generation into the future, put a lasting impression on the magazine and jumpstart it for the future.

“I’ve learned enough at The Spectrum on how to lead groups of people and about ethics and good content to make sure that [Generation] is on the right path,” LaForme said.