INTERVIEW BY SYDNEY JOHNSON STAFF WRITER
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and the organization? How has Her Campus made an impact on George Mason University and its students?
My name is Nautia Smalls (she/her/hers) and I am an Integrative Studies major with a concentration in Social Justice and Human Rights. Her Campus is an online journalism site and an organization for college women to write and engage in journalism. It offers college women the opportunity to write in their most authentic fashion possible, while attempting to foster universal dialogue at Mason.
As a student at Mason during the pandemic, what has been the most drastic change to your schedule for you to deal?
The geographical location has changed for me. I’m from Georgia, so the impact of COVID-19 has been something that my family and I are constantly vigilant about. I am glad to be home during the pandemic, but I am definitely not making any plans to go out any time soon.
How has Her Campus changed their schedule and set agenda for the fall semester?
Her Campus is adaptable and they have done an excellent job with centering mental health and pursuing persistent teamwork and flexibility. Study sessions and bonding activities are some of the few options they have for the adjusted schedule during the pandemic.
What is it like being a member of the executive board for Her Campus?
This is my first year as a Her Campus writer. So far, it’s been liberating that I have and will continue to be in control of my own narratives the way I deem fit. Such has always been a philosophy of mine, but there was much policing in past clubs, courses, etc. about what to write about, as well as restrictions prior to my freshman year at Mason. Being in college now, there is a wider capability of expanding, elevating and writing about topics and issues that are significant (without any unwarranted interference). Persisting [with] my efforts as an aspiring ally and furthering my activism is a part of this. I am someone who formally stands behind celebrating your individuality and giving the utmost passion to every venture. I love my craft, so to contribute to an organization which specializes in centering women and supporting diverse perspectives are positive outlooks for me to further cultivate in the ever-changing worlds of writing, filmmaking and journalism.
What is the goal of Her Campus?
The goal of Her Campus is to connect with other college women and encourage them to be strong within themselves and to promote a sense of community. My interpretation is that the goal is not to push an idea of sameness, but to rather uplift the idea of diversity and inclusivity — not tokenism — and the notion that every individual can and should live in their unapologetic truth.