The Phoenix by Any Other Name

By Tra Friesen in Campus

Phoenix

The 2015 Phoenix comes out next May.

Well, maybe not.

The Clark literary and arts magazine is considering a name change after 35 years of publishing as The Phoenix.

The name change will be determined by an online student poll that was conducted from Oct. 1-Dec. 1, according to student Filip Popa, who spearheaded the initiative. Students picked from these options: Imperio, Journal 1933, Downpour and no change at all.

“The response was more than we’ve ever expected,” Popa said. “To date, we’ve had more than 450 votes.”

The students in English 277 and Art 270, who produce and publish the Phoenix collaboratively, said they thought the term phoenix was “overused” and that it doesn’t have a strong Clark connection.

Most students involved in producing the Phoenix like the name “Downpour,” student Gabbie Moussan said.

“Downpour symbolizes both the rainfall experienced in our area and the down-pouring of talent that we receive every year from Clark College students that contribute to this publication,” Popa posted on the Phoenix’ Facebook page.

Not all students might not agree.

“No change at all” is leading in the polls, but nothing is final, said Phoenix literary adviser and English professor Elizabeth Donley.

The magazine was founded in 1959 and was titled Egg, a name that stood until 1974 when the original journal stopped publication due to “internal controversies and financial difficulties,” according to the Phoenix’s website.

Students chose the name Phoenix to represent the publication’s rebirth in 1981.

“How is that relevant now?” asked student Tim Roduner, whose work was featured in the 2014 Phoenix.

If students vote for a name change it won’t be announced until the release party in May, Donley said.

The prospect of a name change has stirred passions. One student jokingly said he has received death threats in response.

This year also marks the first time the Phoenix is accepting submissions from faculty members, not just students. This change could also tie in with the potential name change, said student Cory Blystone.

“We don’t ever see their work ever,” Moussan said.

Popa said that the poll also raised awareness for Clark’s literary and art journal.

“The name change was first and foremost a way to get people talking. And I think we succeeded at that.”

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