Student organization looks to fundraise with ‘Men of Journalism’ calendar

Nick Wicksman poses during his ‘Men of Journalism’ calendar shoot in Civic Space Park. The calendar is Cronkite’s chapter of SPJ’s latest fundraising idea. (Courtesy of Anne Stegen)

The Society of Professional Journalists student chapter at ASU has put together its latest fundraiser, the Men of Journalism calendar, expected to launch later this month.

The calendar has pictures of 13 journalism undergraduates around downtown Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale in professional attire.

“Most of the Cronkite School and the Downtown campus are female, so we wanted to capitalize on that market and create a calendar of men that hopefully the ladies of the Downtown campus will buy,” said Anne Stegen, president of ASU’s SPJ student chapter.

The process for choosing the men of the calendar was extensive, leaving no Facebook profile unexamined, Stegen said.

Journalism senior Stegen said she wanted the selection process to be as fair as possible.

“We asked our members and the officers of SPJ who they might nominate to be in the calendar,” she said. “We asked around and got a good blend that way. There was a lot of Facebook stalking. It was kind of fun.”

Stegen would only release the names of two students to be featured in the calendar: freshman Nick Wicksman and junior Robert Baker.

Baker said he was happy to help out SPJ.

“I am a goofy guy. I’m down to make fun of myself and ham it up for the camera a little bit and I thought it would be a fun thing to do and help raise money for the organization,” he said.

Wicksman is also unafraid of the limelight. He participated in the Mr. Taylor Place pageant earlier this year.

“It was awesome. I love having my picture taken and meeting new people. I found out I was one of two freshman in the calendar, so that made me feel awesome,” Wicksman said. “I loved having the opportunity. It was fun. It was creative. I had a good time.”

Stegen said she wanted the calendar to represent the Cronkite School accurately, so a mixture of factors determined who made the cut.

“We wanted to balance out things like their class standings, so we have freshmen and sophomores, juniors and seniors, all undergraduate,” she said. “We also balanced whether they were in Barrett, the Honors College, and not in Barrett.”

Journalism freshman Mitch Quesada said he thinks the calendar is a fun idea and a unique way to get to know other people from the campus.

“One of my friends is in it so it is kind of cool to see him on a wall calendar,” Quesada said. “That is pretty neat.”

The student chapter applied for a grant to launch the calendar directly from SPJ at a conference in June, but the grant was split between two other chapters. Without the grant money, ASU’s SPJ student chapter turned to to crowd fund the project.

The calendar currently has about $200 until it reaches its funding goal of $589. There are 10 days remaining to fund the project.

“It is really encouraging indicator of the popularity that our calendar will have,” she said.

The calendar is expected to sell for $10 to $15, which some students say is a little high.

“It sounds like a good idea but I personally wouldn’t buy it. It might be too much for me right now because of college,” criminology and criminal justice freshman Jennifer Santos said.

But journalism freshman Alexandra Gaspar is looking forward to the sale of the calendar.

“I think it is entertaining just to see students we know in a calendar,” she said.

The calendar is expected to start selling the week before Thanksgiving break if SPJ receives funding in time.

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Correction: Nov. 2, 2012

A previous version of this article said the “Men of Journalism” calendar would include 12 students. The calendar will include two students in one of the months, making the total 13.