Into the City: My Experience at Columbia University’s 99th Annual CSPA Spring Convention


Photo by Cooper Tamase

Cooper Tamase, Opinion Editor

Everyone loves a break from school and being able to escape the bombardment of homework, conversations, grades. Escaping the various stressors of high school is one of the most freeing times in the life of a high school student. 

For many, the love of visiting the city is comparable to the love of getting a break from school. Whether it’s Boston, Philadelphia or Los Angeles, students love the city and the atmosphere surrounding them. 

In my case, I had the chance to get the best of both worlds with a full-day trip to Columbia University, in New York City, for its 99th Annual CSPA (Columbia Scholastic Press Association) Spring Convention to attend sessions regarding journalism. 

Stepping off of the bus and onto the street just outside of Columbia’s campus, I was immediately starstruck for two reasons: It was my first time on a college campus and my third time ever being in New York City.

Simply walking around the campus and even the lobby area left me mesmerized due to all of the stairs to different classes, the architecture and the beautiful campus nestled in uptown New York City.

Despite my wonder, I was able to find my way alongside my fellow Fanscotian members and file into the various sessions filled with hundreds of people. Each of these sessions served to inform journalists from school publications across the country of ways to improve upon certain aspects of their publications. 


Sessions I attended: 

Community Journalism – How to cover what is happening in the community. 

Getting Beyond the Basics – How different resources can help improve presentations, pictures, and graphics.

Hot Headlines, Cool Captions – The basics and art of writing captions and headlines.

Media Literacy Matters – The importance of analyzing information and ways to avoid the consequences of sharing fake news.

*Several sessions revolving around other topics related to journalism were held*


Through these classes, my fellow Fanscotian members and I learned several strategies to improve future Fanscotian stories as we continue to provide accurate and important information to the student body and faculty. 

Of course, I had to grab a quick bite to eat at both Tom’s Restaurant and Insomnia cookies, which added to an excellent experience at CSPA’s Spring Convention, and I look forward to applying the strategies I learned at Columbia to my future writing.