SPJ Approves UT Austin and U Dayton Campus Chapters

Global April 2021
The University of Texas at Austin and University of Dayton’s students’ involvement in SPJ will help them be better prepared for the profession after graduation.


INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists Board of Directors approved the creation of two new campus chapters during its meeting Saturday: The University of Texas at Austin and University of Dayton.

"I'd like to welcome the Longhorns and the Flyers to our growing SPJ family," Matthew T. Hall, SPJ national president, said. "We've set out to add at least 10 campus chapters to our network this year, so we still have work to do to help all student journalists, especially students of color. With a renewed focus on student journalism, SPJ is committed to helping emerging journalists navigate and succeed in a tough industry at a difficult time. I'm grateful that SPJ has earned the trust of these two universities."

Diana Dawson, chapter adviser for The University of Texas at Austin, said a group of students who care about the core values of journalism were motivated to reinvigorate the school’s involvement in SPJ and have started off strong.

The officers of the chapter want to provide programming that will help students grow as professionals while they are in college and be better prepared for the profession after graduation.

“I am delighted that this robust group of journalism students wanted to establish a chapter of the organization that promotes the core values of the profession we love,” Dawson said. “Having a solid connection with SPJ certainly will support our goal of sending the next generation of journalists out into the world with stronger values and skills.”

Chapter Adviser Chad Painter said the University of Dayton chapter idea started when faculty and students began discussing ways to help grow the communication major. Students wanted another outlet — in addition to the student newspaper 
Flyer News and its internship partners — to gain experience, network and grow as journalists.

“Joining SPJ through the UD campus chapter is the kind of opportunity that will benefit our students during their college years and throughout their professional lives,” Painter said. “Students will interact and learn from journalists, network with professionals and peers at other institutions, and learn not only how to be a better journalist but also why journalism is vital to our republic.”

The initial goals of the chapter will be to become officially recognized as a student organization by the university, grow the membership to make the campus chapter sustainable long-term and provide programming that makes a valuable impact for its members.

“I am looking forward to expanding journalistic integrity on the campus of the University of Dayton,” Chapter President Eric Grimm said. “I am excited to connect our journalism and public relations students together in a single community while advancing their skills and experience. We are planning to create a long-lasting chapter that will continue to grow with the students.”

SPJ now has 123 active campus chapters. See the 
full list of chapters online.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a membergive to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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