Chimes depends on student writers, editors, and photographers to keep its pages in print all school-year-round. Our newsroom runs on a mix of volunteers and paid staff from a variety of departments and every grade level. Anyone with a drive to work hard, an interest in journalism, and a few extra hours a week can be a part of Chimes.
Any student can volunteer for Chimes at any time. Volunteering is a great way to gauge your interest in journalism and try it out without having to make a long-term commitment. In fact, nearly all of our staff members started off as volunteers.
The majority of our volunteers are writers. Volunteer writers can write however often they would like to, whether that be twice a week or once a semester, for any of our eight sections that interest them. Writers can expect to spend anywhere from 2-5 hours on one story, depending on the level of detail required and their interest in that subject. Bylines for volunteer writers will list them as a “Guest Writer” for their first three stories, after which they will be a “Staff Writer”.
Our volunteer photographers typically shoot between once a month and once every two months, depending on their schedule. Assignments can range from shooting a volleyball game to a Nite Life event to simple stock photos of students reading in the library. You must have your own camera, be it a a DSLR or your smart phone, or at least have access to one. Interested photographers can contact our photo editor with questions or to get their name on our contact list. If you sign up, we will contact you when an event comes up that you can shoot. You are also welcome to shoot events, stock photos, etc. at your own discretion and send us the results.
Every article we write has to go through three rounds of edits before it can be published. Copy Editors can work remotely or with us in the office. The majority of editing is done on Wednesdays, though some articles come in on Tuesdays. Copy Editors edit for grammar, content, and AP style (which we can teach you) using Google Docs editing software (which we can also teach you). Volunteer copy editors can work whenever they are available, though we prefer a regular weekly or commitment of at least 2-3 hours.
Contrary to popular belief, many staff positions at Chimes are compensated. These include the three head editors, ten section editors, one advertising manager, and at least six on-call writers and photographers. All paid positions are hired through an application process, but considerable preference is given to those who already have volunteer experience with Chimes.
Head editors, section editors, and the advertising manager for the next year are hired at the end of the spring semester, but on-call writers and photographers are hired on a rolling first-come, first-serve basis. But, we’re students: people graduate, people go abroad, and sometimes openings come up mid- or second semester. If you are interested in applying for a paid position, please inquire to learn if any are currently available.
For more information on job requirements and application processes, see the job descriptions below (note: Head editors are hired from existing section editors).
“How do I get involved?”
Were glad you asked. Write a story, take pictures of an event, or send us an idea. If you have questions or want to officially become part of the staff, come talk to us. We are in the Chimes office (located in the commons annex basement) nearly every Wednesday night during the school year from 6:30 to midnight or later. If you drop by when we’re not there, feel free to leave a note. Otherwise, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @calvinchimes, or message us on Facebook and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Section Editor | 10 positions | 8-12 hrs/wk | Application
Section editors are responsible for generating content every week, recruiting writers, assigning stories to volunteer writers and laying out pages for the print edition. Section editors are paid a stipend per semester.
Our sections are: arts and entertainment, campus news, features, local news, opinion and editorial, religion, science and technology and sports.
A section editor can plan to spend roughly eight hours per week working on their section. Applicants must be self-motivated, organized and professional. Strong writing skills are a must. Special consideration will be given to applicants who have ideas on how to recruit writers and how to create intentional community with writers (include ideas in a separate short answer).
Positions are also available for a head copy editor and a photo editor. These positions have different requirements.
On-Call Writer | 3-5 open positions | Application
The main goal of an on-call writer is to publish accurate news on important events within the Calvin community hours after they occur. Writers will be paid a stipend for each article they write.
An on-call writer will write about three articles each month. Some of these articles may be assigned; others may be offered to writers on a first come, first serve basis. These articles could range from covering Chaos Day to reviewing a big concert to doing investigative work on the latest faculty senate decision. Being able to conduct good interviews is a critical part of this position. On-call writers may also be called upon to write an unplanned story that breaks suddenly without prior knowledge or planning.
On-Call Photographer |3-5 open positions | Application
The main goal of an on-call photographer is to take a number of excellent photographs of important events around campus for publication immediately afterward on social media. Photographers are paid a stipend for each event they cover.
An on-call photographer will take photos about once each month. Some of these events may be assigned; others may be offered to photographers on a first come, first serve basis. Photographers should be skilled at taking photos at concerts, ceremonies and sports events.
Advertising Manager | 1 position | Application
The Ad manager solicits ads from advertisers, ensures that ads received meet our standards and sends invoices to advertisers. We believe that business majors, especially those with a focus in marketing, would be good candidates for this position. The ideal candidate is very self-motivated and has strong communication skills. The position involves about 5 hours of work per week and pays a 10% commission on ad sales, which must meet a semester sales quota.