So You Need A Column Topic? 2.0

columnist fb cover

With applications for The Hoya’s fall 2016 columnists just released, 4E is here to help you get a little inspiration by giving you some examples of excellent column topics from the past.

First, here are some tips from last semester’s guide!

  • Write about a topic you’re familiar with. The best columns are those that focus on something about which the writer has genuine curiosity. Just look at Hoya Historian!
  • Make sure your topic is broad enough to span the entire semester, but not so broad that it can become scattered.
  • Be CREATIVE! There are some columns that cover topics such as identity or politics that are always good subjects to write about, but sometimes the great column ideas develop from seemingly simple ideas, like this one in the Guide about sandwiches. Try to think of a unique idea or have a different take on a topic we’ve already published.
  • If you have an idea you’re passionate about, run with it and see where it goes. The sky’s the limit!

The Guide

The Guide, which publishes once weekly, is looking for columnists to write every issue or every other issue. The wide scope of the Guide, which focuses on art, culture, lifestyle and entertainment, allows for a lot of creative freedom when coming up with column ideas. Just look at the variety among these sample columns about Kanye West, a columnist’s summer job and dating in college.

“What Yeezy Taught Me About Failure” – Daniel Smith

“The Woes of Summer Serving” – Nicole Jarvis

“Opting into the Dating Game” – The Cereal Dater


An integral part of every issue, our opinion pages feature columns of an argument-based nature. Past themes have included identity, advice from seniors, neuroscience, foreign policy in the Middle East and politics. There is a multitude of ways through which the column can analyze an issue, including from a social, political, historical, statistical, educational or cultural point of view. Here are a few successful columns from last semester.

“It’s Good To Be Busy” – Rahul Desai

“The Buzz About ‘Lemonade’ “ – Femi Sobowale

“The Convoluted Kurdish Question” – Matthew Gregory


Sports columnists have the opportunity to delve into deeper analyses of team strategy, unpack the rivalries and controversies within the worlds of both professional and collegiate athletics, make predictions on future trades and match ups and comment on the relationship between sports and popular culture. Check out these excellent examples.

“Contracts Create Disputes” – Michael Ippolito

“Saunders Impacts Players” – Paolo Santamaria

“Sports Figures Overrepresented On Campuses” – Jimmy McLaughlin

We hope these examples help! The Hoya is always looking for innovative and talented writers like you, so please apply here by 11:59 p.m., August 27th!


The 5 Things You’ll Experience When You Join 4E


Attention: Funny and cool writers of Georgetown

4E wants you to join the inner circle write for us. Our application can be found here and it’s due September 15. So you should probably get on that if you want your life to be infinitely better.

If my natural wit and cunningness isn’t enough to make you apply, maybe my explanation of what you’ll experience as part of 4E will.

If you join 4E…

1.You will be forced to sing CoCo by O.T. Genasis around 5 million times. Because baking soda. (Note: We have no baking soda.)

2.You will become one of the loudest people in Hoya Court, because that is where we hold our meetings and because we are a loud group of people and tend to rub off on each other.

3.You will become a keeper of some of the most entertaining rumors on the Hilltop. The 4E staff knows all. We knew about Epi before it became a thing. #insiders

giphy4.You will become proficient in gifs. And list making. And writing about Lau. All important skills that may get you a job in the future. (Disclamer: 4E cannot ensure employment.)

5.You will meet and hopefully become friends with some of the funniest and kindest people on the Hilltop. 4E sticks together, who wouldn’t want to be part of that?


Think you can deal with that? Send in that application. Guac might be involved.


Become a Contributor for The Hoya!

write to kanye2.0The Hoya is looking for contributors for the fall 2014 semester (Read: The Hoya is looking for you!). Applying to be a contributor now is a great decision because you have loads of free time as it’s still summer and, of course, you’re shaking with excitement to get involved back at school.

First, let’s clear the air about what this application actually is. After looking through the 2018 GAAP group, I’ve noticed a bit of (totally understandable) confusion. To be completely honest, I wouldn’t understand what a contributor does if I didn’t work for The Hoya. This is not an application to become a staff member of The Hoya. Rather, contributor applications are for columnists or community members on the editorial board. As a columnist, you write a column, either once a week or every other week, with a consistent and creative theme. Columnist positions are available in the Opinion, Business, Sports or Guide sections. On the other hand, the two editorial board community members meet with the rest of the editorial board to discuss issues on campus and in D.C. before before voicing its opinion in the paper. These two individuals serve as representatives of the Georgetown community on the board, which is otherwise made up of Hoya staffers.

All of these positions provide a glimpse into what goes on at The Hoya and an opportunity to make friends with the lovely staff. Apply — what do you have to lose?

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. TOMORROW (Aug. 15). For more specific info and the applications, check out our Facebook event. 

Still confused about what a columnist actually does? Here are some of our favorite columns from past semesters:


ROSENBERGER:Can Christianity Bring Sexy Back? 

FUNT: An Open Invitation to Kanye West


Lessons Learned at GUASFCU 


Forgotten Female Figures 


Blowouts Are a Reality of Sports, Not Bullying

Remember another round of applications to join our staff will be available mid-August. And don’t worry, we won’t let you forget about it!

Which Department Should You Join?

Which SectionOdds are that if you’re reading this post, you’ve already heard all of the great reasons to join 4E. What can I say? We love what we do, and we think anyone could (and should!) enjoy it. However, if Bradley Cooper or the Capitol Hill fox aren’t the big-hitting stories you’re looking for, or if (for whatever reason) you feel like joining the 4E family might be a little too much fun, have no fear. The Hoya has plenty of other sections to get your paper-producing fix!



News – Do you feel as though you’re the next Ron Burgundy and you just need somewhere to start? Do you want to be the one breaking the big stories and scandals to the Georgetown community? Maybe the News section is for you.

Opinion – Do you have a lot of feelings? Do you want to learn and perfect the skill of sharing those feelings with the world? Can you craft well-written arguments about current events and debates, big and small? Opinion has your name written all over it.

Sports – Are you a Hoya Hooligan? Do you dream of one day hosting SportsCenterHave you ever gotten into a passionate argument over the merits of Space Jam? If you answered yes to any of the above, the Sports section is probably for you. Plus, I hear its blog, Hoya Paranoia, is a lot of fun to write for. (4E Editor’s note: Max is Paranoia’s editor. And yes, he is a ton of fun, so you should write for him!)

the guide Are you artsy? Do you consider yourself a connoisseur of fine dining or an expert movie critic? Do you have style or wit? Come write for the guide.

Copy – Do you want to have a hand in all the articles that are written? Do you cringe when people can’t figure out the difference between “well” and “good”? Do you perk up when people debate the merits – or lack thereof – of the Oxford comma? Join Copy, and help The Hoya maintain its great reputation.

Photo – Are you a whiz on Instagram? Can you always get the perfect picture? Do you want to get to meet and photograph big guest speakers without waiting in ridiculous lines? Check out our Photo section and give it your best shot. (Pun intended.)

Layout – Are you a former high school yearbook/paper editor or future interior designer? Help organize and put the paper together with our dynamic Layout section.

Multimedia – Do you think you have what it takes to become the next YouTube star? Are you looking to be a part of a revolutionary shift into video content with The Hoya? Apply to our Multimedia section and make us go viral!

Online – Are you trying to get involved with all aspects of the paper? Have you ever dreamed of managing a website, but couldn’t figure out how? Want to work with our 4E editor-emeritus, Lindsay Lee? Your answer should be yes, and your section should be Online!


Are you trying to get involved with The Hoya, but don’t really have any interest in writing? Do you want to experience the business side of a large-scale multimedia project? Publishing has you covered with positions in sales, technology, personnel, accounting, marketing and corporate development. In Publishing, you get started right away and have a huge impact on the paper, managing our current affairs and planning The Hoya’s future.

All applications are due Friday, Jan. 17th, at 5 p.m. sharp.  To find out more about the application process, the individual departments and the application itself, check out our website. Good luck, applicants!

PS-  Everybody should still apply for 4E. Don’t forget about us. But also, seriously consider applying for the sections that appeal to you, because we’d rather have you in another section you love than not on the paper at all!



Which Section of The Hoya is Right For You?


The application due date for The Hoya is right around the corner (Friday, September 6) and we realized that some of you might be a little unsure which section you want to apply to. Have no fear! We had some of our staff members tell us what kinds of people they’re looking for and what kinds of people thrive in their respective sections. Take a look and be sure to get those applications in on time.


Like meeting interesting people? As a news writer, you’ll meet and interview students, faculty, administrators and business owners from every corner of Georgetown and the surrounding neighborhood. You never know when a 10-minute interview will turn into a two-hour conversation or when you’ll find out about a new club to join, show to see or person to keep in touch with. There is no better way to learn about Georgetown and integrate yourself into the campus community than joining the news section.
Curious? In news, you’ll discover new stories, information and even secrets as you report and investigate for your articles. The best reporters have a passion for digging and detail.
Aspiring writer? In news, you can write as much as you like, developing both your skills and your portfolio.
News is the biggest section — and the one with its name in the word newspaper — so it’s clearly the best.
~Emma Hinchliffe, Executive Editor
If you enjoy hearing what other people think, like other people to hear what you think, or just have a lot of feelings then there’s no question that Opinion right for you. Opinionators enjoy facilitating campus dialogue, writing hard-hitting editorials and weeding oxford commas out of Op-Eds. While journalistic experience is not required, strong writing skills are preferred. All in all, we just have a lot of feelings.
~Katy Berk, Opinion Editor

The Guide
Do you get worked up over movies, wax poetic about your favorite dishes or love telling stories about interesting people? Then you should probably write for The Guide, The Hoya’s lifestyle and arts section. You can review new books, music and movies, talk about your favorite restaurants or write lifestyle pieces about the things and people that make Georgetown tick. We also have the best taste in gifs.
~Victoria Edel, Online Editor

Sports is fantastic because you get to cover the Hoyas across the country and around the world. From soccer national championships in Alabama to basketball exhibitions in China, sports is on the front lines of one of the country’s best athletic programs.
~Evan Hollander, Chair of the Board

Photo is great for people with creative minds that want to apply their talents to helping create a better-informed campus. From sports to speakers, we’ll help you find your passion. Plus, you’ll never find yourself so close to the Clinton’s, President Obama, or Bono again in your life and you’ll always have a high quality cover photo.
~AJ Brown, Photo Editor

Layout is a great section for anyone who has a good eye for design. As a layout assistant you would help put together the newspaper twice a week, from placing the articles and photos to designing graphics for print and online. Also, as an added bonus, you get to spend lots of time with your senior editor — me.
~Ian Tice, Layout Editor

the hoya’s copy secion is a hardworking group of perfectionists.. We check all articles for style, grammatical, and factual errors. We spend a lot of time in the Hoya office, sometimes staying until 11 p.m. at night but it is alot of fun. As the unsung heroes of the paper’s credibility, the Hoya relies on us to protect there reputation and that is rewarding.
If you cringed, winced, cried or felt physical pain upon seeing the errors in this description, then copy is the section for you.
-david chardack, copy Chief

The Fourth Edition (established in January 2012) is the newest editorial section of The Hoya and is accordingly one of the fastest-growing sections. Here at the blog, we are looking for innovative and passionate people who know how to be a little bit sassy at times. The blog can occasionally be silly and informal, but we also produce more serious content. The blog is great for people who would like to contribute a range of writing styles to The Hoya.
~Lindsay Lee, Blog Editor
Corporate Development
Corporate Development is the perfect section for anyone interested in learning more about Georgetown by talking to amazing GU grads and students who want to develop their grant-writing and development skills. Corp Dev is one of the newest sections, so there’s tons of room for innovative and creative ideas to further the division.
~Mariah Byrne, Director of Corporate Development

Accounting (formerly Finance)
Great for those with a mind for numbers and an interest in learning about the day-to-day financial operations that keep The Hoya’s operations running smoothly.
~Mary Nancy Walter, General Manager

If you’re good at interacting with people, have an interest in the business side of a newspaper and would enjoy the challenge of going into DC in search of potential clients, then sales is where you want to be. The sales department is in charge of bringing in all the advertising revenue for The Hoya, which is integral for making sure that it continues to exist as Georgetown’s official student-run newspaper. No prior sales experience is necessary — we are just looking for people with enthusiasm, creativity and a desire to get out into the city.
~Michael Lindsay-Bayley, Director of Sales

Personnel is a great place if you are interested in how person-to-person interactions shape one’s experience at an organization. While we do handle day-to-day events like disputes and hiring new staff members, we largely focus on what new programs can be introduced or modified to make the overall experience at The Hoya better; new hires are given the freedom to pursue projects that interest them, but also have the responsibility that comes with direct accountability.
~Michal Grabias, Director of Personnel

Marketing is a great place for anyone who wants to get a peek into the business side of The Hoya. We are looking for creative and dependable people who know how or are willing to learn the best way to promote The Hoya brand. Assistants help with developing and implementing marketing campaigns. If you are interested in brand management, campaign planning, ad creation, and even market research, Marketing is the place for you. Since the Marketing Department is the newest section of the paper (around for only 1.5 years), there’s still a lot to build and you will have a chance to have some hands on experience in developing how the department operates for years to come.
~Mullin Weerakoon, Director of Marketing

So You Want To Be a Hoya Columnist?

stack_of_newspapers copyGood news readers — you too can be a part of The Hoya. Applications for our fall semester columnists have just opened; you can find them all here on Facebook.

But what exactly does a columnist do? Columnists are Georgetown students (and a few professors) who write either every or every other week for the opinion or sports sections or The Guide. What you can write about depends on which section you want to write for. To help you figure out into which section your voice would best fit, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite columns from the last year.


Mark Stern (COL ’13) wrote a column called Letters of the Law where he explored the Constitutional law underlying many hot button politic issues. He wrote about the Supreme Court’s handling of the oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry (that’s the Prop 8 case), issues of the Second Amendment, and efforts of the D.C. Council to restrict students’ rights.

Khadijah Davis (COL ’15) wrote  The Ethnicity of Femininity, where she often spoke about issues related to feminism, race and diversity. Check out her columns about Beyoncé’s role as a feminist and how pluralism can be better acted upon at Georgetown.

My personal favorite column is As This Jesuit Sees It … which rotates between members of Georgetown’s Jesuit community. Fr. Matthew Carnes, S.J., wrote a column about viewing ourselves as part of a legacy of Georgetown students, Fr. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., wrote one more than a year ago about the problems of perfectionism and Fr. Patrick Rogers, S.J. provided some valuable perspective as finals bore down on campus.

The Guide

Preston Mui (COL ’13) wrote one of my personal favorite Guide columns: Burleith Bartender. Dedicated to keeping Georgetown’s consumption of mediocre drinks at bay, he shared recipes for pitchers that would please any party, his favorite ways to enjoy gin and the tools any novice bartender needs.

Allie Doughty (COL ’13) penned a column in the fall about the funny intricacies of language called Georgetown Babel. She wrote about the figurative language that makes up weird idioms and the different phrases you’ll hear on the different coasts. Nicole Jarvis (COL ’15) also wrote a lifestyle column entitled Pardon My French about the strange things that keep her ticking, from burritos with french fries in them to the Van Gogh socks that get her through midterms.

Allie Prescott (COL ’14) shared her music tastes in her column Amplify, from her favorite classy tunes to her feelings about the musical year that was. Zach Gordon (COL ’15) shared his slightly less conventional music tastes, from his defense of Selena Gomez to his love of Björk. And I’ve personally written a column called Girl Meets World where I talked about, amongst other things, how friendships don’t get enough screen time, what Liz Lemon of “30 Rock” meant to me and how there aren’t enough fat people on television.


Tom Hoff (MSB ’15) took some controversial opinions in his column Down to the Wire. He argued that we ought to forgive Michael Vick, explained how race played a role in the media coverage of UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad and looked at how injuries just might end professional football as we know it.

Arik Parnass (COL ’15), the Candid Canadian, often talked about sports that don’t get as much coverage. He wrote about his love of tennis player Andy Roddick and the way nationalism complicates where international soccer players end up. Laura Wagner (COL ’15) explained how Novak Djokovic’s success might be tainted given tennis’ flawed drug testing.

Former senior sports editors Pat Curran (COL ’14) and Evan Hollander (SFS ’14)  shared a column about the Men’s Basketball team. Reading Pat’s NCAA tournament hopes, while humorous, still stings a bit in light of how things turned out. In the emotional turmoil of Georgetown’s loss, Evan laid out how difficult it was to find the reason why they can’t find postseason success.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg, though. Click around our website, look at the applications and apply by August 5th!