In order to better improve their craft, young campus artists will travel far next spring. Most of the drama and publications classes and some yearbook students are already making payments towards a March 11-17 trip to New York City.

The journalism, yearbook classes will attend the Colombia Scholastic Press Association Convention to learn from the finest newspaper editors and writers in the country including the Washington Post, New York Times and Chicago Tribune. Over 5,000 students from around the country are expected to attend workshops and seminars.

The drama class will split off from the group and attend their own acting workshops. They will also present a skit and receive critiques from Broadway actors/director.

Second time travelers expect to obtain a similar learning experience; some have traveled before with adviser Greg Stobbe to the Big Apple. After using the tips from their first trip, they have seen improvement in their work.

“After The Feather won the national Pacemaker award as one of the top three online newspapers in the country,” Stobbe said, “the paper lost most of the staff. We are almost starting from scratch. I thought we really needed to get the new students to New York and expose them to the highest quality editors and reporters in the United States. I am thrilled so many of them want to learn and I know this trip combines a lot of that plus the city is a great environment to learn in.”

This will be the fifth time Stobbe has taken students to Columbia University for their annual press association conference.

“I enjoyed the workshops,” Michelle Rose, ’08, said. “There were almost 300 to choose from. They taught me a lot about editing and writing in general. I have definitely improved my abilities since my last trip.”

Returning people who appreciated the conference also look forward to some non-educational activities, as a well deserved break from the entire year of hard work.

“There were a lot of professional people there (Columbia Univ., NYC 2005),” Ben Dang, ’08, said, “And the one person I’ll never forget about is Robert Greenman, a famous writer for the New York Times. But I?m also looking forward to the cheesecake, plays and sites.”

With all the airport complications occurring today many hesitate to fly. Some have concerns about the trip and being vulnerable in an unfamiliar place.

“I’m worried about getting mugged by some homeless people,” Jason Savage, “07, said. “They lurk behind bushes.”

To help lighten the load of the expenses for the trip, students sell chocolate bars for $1 each, and receive a 45% profit. Many students find the job of a vendor more difficult than expected.

“It’s been really hard,” Kayla Dones, ’09, said, “No one wants chocolate anymore. It only costs a dollar, but people are just so cheap.”

Similar to Dones, Andrew Rurik, ’09, also plans on joining the group on their trip to New York.

“I’m looking forward to sites, sounds, and just being in New York,” Rurik, said. ?Broadway is certainly a plus for this trip.”