The Massachusetts Daily Collegian: The first club I joined at UMass Amherst!
By Mahidhar Sai Lakkavaram
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian (or the Collegian) was one of the first clubs (they’re technically an agency, but you get the point) I joined during my first-year, even when everything was still online. If you couldn’t tell already, I love writing, and the Collegian was such a great outlet for me to write about topics I’m passionate about while also learning new techniques, and being around people who have the same interests.
Side note: Even if you’re not into writing, the Collegian has so many different sections—Translations, Videos, Photos—you name it! Don’t write it off just yet, dig a little and you’ll probably find something you like!
The News Section
I started out in the news section during Fall 2020, my first semester at UMass. I knew beforehand that I wanted to get involved in the campus newspaper, so when the opportunity came (despite all the challenges with everything being remote) I took it!
What I really liked about the news section was how open it was to new ideas. I worked on multimedia projects, covered events, and even profiled and interviewed various members of the UMass and the local Amherst community.
The news section eventually started a beat system, where the writers broke off into groups specialized around a topic—that’s when I joined the social justice, politics, and international news beat. I wrote a variety of articles as part of this team, including the process behind mail-in ballots , UMass’ reaction to Michelle Wu’s mayoral win, and international students’ experience during the remote semesters.
A lot of these ideas I pitched, while others were pitched by the editors for writers to claim. The team is always looking for new writers, so feel free to news [at] dailycollegian [dot] com (reach out to them)!
While I liked writing for news and continued to do so, I also wanted to try out a new section—that’s how I joined socials!
As the name suggests, the social media team works on handling all of the Collegian’s social media handles. For the year 2021-2022, they were hiring assistant social media editors, and I just gave it a shot and got in!
I had little to none experience with social media management and graphics prior to joining the team, so I wanted to expand my skill set and was super excited when I got the job.
The socials team is such a creative space, everyone comes up with amazing ideas and cool projects and strategies for our handles—it's a collaborative and fun atmosphere to be in!
After I went abroad to London, I couldn’t join the team due to other time commitments, but starting spring 2023, I’ll be an assistant social media editor again!
This is one of the best parts of joining the Collegian—you aren’t limited to the section you join. There’s a lot of crossover between different teams, and you’re more than welcome to try any of the different sections out.
While socials and news are the main sections I'm involved with, there were multiple times I got to work with other sections and pursue projects there as well. I wrote an article about Amherst makeup artists for the arts section, joined the DEI section to make the Collegian a more inclusive space, and even was on a podcast called Amherst and Abroad!
So that’s a summary of my experience at the Collegian! Through all these different projects, I learned a lot about the media world, made countless friendships I deeply cherish, and got a bunch of cool merch I use all the time.
What clubs are you a part of? We'd love to communications [at] honors [dot] umass [dot] edu (hear about your experience)!