Student Spotlight: Megan Baranuk

The EIC of The Vindicator talks about COVID challenges

By: Nick Hawks

Megan Baranuk, By: Alexandra Ruggieri Photography

It’s already been well-established that COVID-19 has completely changed all of our lives. For Cleveland State University junior Megan Baranuk, COVID-19 has been a double whammy. Not only is Baranuk the Editor-in-Chief of The Vindicator, a CSU arts and entertainment magazine, but she is also the special events chair for CAB, tasked with the responsibility of brainstorming ways for students to stay involved in extracurricular activities at the school. Without many events taking place across the city, it’s been a challenge for both of those positions. 

“Most of our events have been pretty much virtual,” Baraunk said. “It’s been difficult trying to get engagement. People log on to their computers, and they are just going on their computers all day long. So it’s definitely different.” 

For her position at The Vindicator, the aspect of editing virtually has made it a challenge for building as a staff. In college media, there is turnover every year with the staff, which is something that happens naturally as people graduate. Many staff members have not even met each other yet and the school year is nearly half over. 

“I think part of it is just not being able to read body language,” Baranuk said. “And the tiny little cues you can see on a person’s face. Being in the presence of somebody, I feel like there’s so much more for you to process, like really feel with that person by seeing their face.”

Ironically, one of the things Baranuk was most excited about when taking over the position was throwing magazine release parties in an effort to establish more of a connection with the editors. Without being able to meet in person, not only are the hopes for those parties now a distant memory but so is the entire field of entertainment. 

Unless you’re attending a Trump rally, mass gatherings have become a thing of the past, which raises the question, what does an arts and entertainment magazine cover if there is no arts and entertainment? 

A visit to The Vindicator’s website reveals that many of their articles focus on talking about student’s experiences with online learning, such as this article by Sophia Smith about online learning and mental health. With Barnuk at the helm, The Vindicator seems to be tackling the right issues plaguing college students right now, whether it be the recent Black Lives Matter movement or issues students have with mental health. In these times of change, it’s just what college students need to read.

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