Boarding the bus at 8:00 a..m., students groggily filed into the long Eyre bus as the sun slowly rose. Below the bus were stored duffels of all colors and sizes. A busful of students who were unsure of whether the trip and conference was actually going to commence or not, closed their eyes and dreamt away.
The CSPA 93rd annual Spring Scholastic Convention took place at Columbia University from Wednesday, March 15 to Friday, March 17. Students from high schools all around the nation had the opportunity to come to this convention.
Due to the snow storm, the ability for everyone to go on this trip was in doubt. With weather alerts and the University of Colombia suggesting traveling was dangerous, students wished for the best as group leaders kept everybody updated. The trip ended up being postponed one day.
Students arrived at the hotel Row NYC on Wednesday afternoon. After checking in, students had the chance to explore NYC on their own for the rest of the day. Sophomores Grace Johnston and Julia Clair went shopping. “I got to go shopping, walk around in Times Square and stroll through Central Park,” Clair said.
On Wednesday night, the students had the opportunity to watch either Kinky Boots or Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. “This was different from all the other typical field trips because this was not only one day. This trip was not very scheduled and we got free time,” Johnston said.
On Thursday, students had to attend at least three of the morning sessions at the conference. Students could choose from over 350 different sessions organized by the categories of newspaper, yearbook, photography, digital media and video.
Journalism and newspaper teacher Evva Starr taught two sessions at the CSPA meeting. “I am most looking forward to teaching and attending the CSPA sessions. I love being around peers, seeing other people collaborate and learning from other students,”Starr said prior to the trip.
More than 500 newspapers, magazines and yearbooks that entered the CSPA’s in 2016 competitions were displayed at the 93rd annual convention. The display included recent high scoring and winning publications. Students were able to browse through the publications on Thursday.
Senior Gwen Klein reminisced about going on this trip her sophomore year. “I learned a lot about journalism and design. It helped me become a better editor and page designer. The most fun part was being able to explore the city,” Klein said.
Founded in 1925, CSPA is an international student press association. The goal is to unite student journalists and teachers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, critiques and award programs.
The Columbia Scholastic Press Association serves student journalists four main purposes: to define the standard for success, to maintain the student media for students, to create contests and offer awards to make student media better and to recognize that journalism can lead to broader understanding of society and people.