GWU-Today and SGA Team Up to Create a New Student News Publication

By Marianne Luedeman

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – GWU-Today and Gardner-Webb’s Student Government Association recently launched Bulldog Monthly, a new student news publication aimed to connect Gardner-Webb students to the news occurring on campus. 

Bulldog Monthly is a joint publication between GWU-Today and SGA featuring articles relevant to campus news as well as engagement pieces, such as a crossword puzzle. The publication is formatted as a magazine and available in physical copies as well as online. 

Paul McElearney, junior class senator and liaison between GWU-Today and SGA, said the publication was created because “our student body was out of the loop. We had a feeling that students were struggling to get the news.” 

Bulldog Monthly launched last December at Tucker Student Center, where members of the team handed out 300 physical copies to the student body. Ultimately, the team behind the publication felt that they had a successful soft launch.

Members of Bulldog Monthly’s publication team hand out copies in front of the Tucker Student Center.

Reflecting on the launch, McElearney added that “we got really good reception from the student body, we got great feedback, and we got some interest from the student body to help us with (upcoming issues). Between that and what we learned to improve on going into the new year, I think it was a big success.”

The publication featured two articles in its soft launch, one providing an overview of Gardner-Webb’s new Brinkley Amphitheater, and the other giving the student body an update on the Caf’s renovation. In choosing what stories to cover in its inaugural issue, writer Sierra Talbert indicated a desire to share what’s most important to students.

“We decided to take two of the most important, relevant, and concerning projects on campus to cover. Students had been questioning when the Caf would be done and wanted to know more information on the amphitheater, so we wanted to focus on those major issues,” Talbert said.

The team behind the publication features a collection of Gardner-Webb students from a variety of academic backgrounds. Students Sierra Talbert and Marianne Luedeman write the articles while Theo Drescher and Phineas Garlock manage the graphic design. Paul McElearney and Jamiesha McKenzie assist in association with SGA.

GWU Student Forest Aeris holds up their copy of Bulldog Monthly.

“I think we’ve got a really strong team. Pretty much in every area we’ve got good talent. We’ve got great writers putting out the information that students want to know and want to read,” said Garlock. 

The team is also assisted by an advisory board, which is described by member Dr. Lisa Luedeman as a “group of industry leaders who have (worked) in the field of journalism or communications.”

This advisory board is led by Dr. Kortni Alston-Lemon, happiness scholar and department chair of Gardner-Webb’s Department of Communications, Art, and Design. Luedeman, a former journalist and PR professional turned professor, and Jackie Bridges, former writer for the Shelby Star and the assistant director of University Communications, form the rest of the board. 

The board is in the process of expanding to bring in more industry experts from both inside and outside of Gardner-Webb’s campus. 

“We’re hoping to make it as industry driven as possible so that the students working in student media can really get some industry advice from people who have been in the trenches themselves,” said Luedeman.

Professor Hannah Wylder is handed a copy of Bulldog Monthly during the December soft launch.

Bulldog Monthly is planned to be published monthly, with the hard launch of the publication planned for late February. Additional issues are planned for March and April.

The publication can be found on GWU-Today’s website, located here: