When Chloe Kim, a senior at Milton, had an idea for a new publication, she reached out to Abdelaziz Bahnasy ’17 through a mutual friend. Soon, students all over New England joined in to make Kim’s publication a reality. Working collectively, the students created “The Tavern,” a weekly platform for high school students to write or publish artwork on any subject of their choosing.
According to its Facebook page, “The Tavern” strives to create a community where students can record and express their thoughts by sharing their ideas with an audience outside their respective schools. With its motto, “A Thoughtpaper, Not a Newspaper,” “The Tavern” publishes a variety of works, from commentary to poetry and photography.
“After thinking about our specific goal as a paper, we realized we weren’t interested in reporting news; our goal is to provide a platform for students from different institutions to engage in thoughtful dialogue and civil discourse,” wrote Kim in an email to The Phillipian.
“The Tavern is unique, first of all, because it’s a collaboration between ten independent boarding schools in Massachusetts. Beyond that though, this is the one paper that’s totally commentary and uncensored in any kind of way. It does not have to fit any kind of agenda.” said Bahnasy.
As a member of the nine-person editorial board of “The Tavern”, Bahnasy serves as the Editor for Andover. Other members come from nearby prep schools including the Brooks, Milton, Governor’s, Tabor, Groton, Northfield Mount Hermon, St. Mark’s, and Concord. Each school maintains a panel of ten members and an editor.
“The ten specific schools were not chosen out of exclusivity, but out of practicality. The list of schools on the masthead of ‘The Tavern’ may very well change or expand in coming years, but as of now, we’re trying to see if even this group of ten can be maintained,” wrote Kim.
Although “The Tavern” is a recent creation, both Kim and Bahnasy have many ideas for the future of the publication. Kim hopes to someday publish a hardcopy issue, and Bahnasy hopes to give students more opportunity to write. Currently, each issue features a “ten-thoughts” article made up of a single weekly submission from each school. The article seeks to address a guiding theme or question.
“If we could end up allowing every school to have submissions from students more frequently, that would serve the purpose a little bit better and that’s where I want to go with it,” said Bahnasy.
Kim, who was born in Seoul and raised in Minneapolis, loves to read and write poetry and fiction. The idea for “The Tavern” came to her in late-August after spending time with friends over the summer.
“I wished there could be some way for me to continue being a part of their lives while still living mine. It just crossed my mind that it would be cool to have a newspaper uniting high schoolers across the country. I feel like it’s a natural tendency for schools to spotlight their focus on athletics more so than on the arts, and I hope ‘The Tavern’ can help in the effort to balance the scales,” wrote Kim.
Currently, ‘The Tavern’ has published two complete issues, both of which can be viewed on its website: “the-tavern.net.”