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The Col­le­giate Network awarded best mag­azine layout for the 2011 – 2012 school year to The Hillsdale Forum.

Sophomore Wes Wright, editor-in-chief of the mag­azine, and junior Spencer Amaral flew to Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 2 to attend the annual Col­le­giate Network’s Editors Con­ference, where they were pre­sented with the award.

“The Hillsdale Forum received rave reviews from all in atten­dance,” Wright said. “The award is espe­cially sig­nif­icant, because that was our first year in the mag­azine format. Basi­cally, we’re awesome.”

The pub­li­cation, a 24-page mag­azine of con­ser­v­ative political thought that pub­lishes four or five issues a year, made the switch to its present full-color format last year.

The Forum beat out over 50 other con­ser­v­ative pub­li­ca­tions from around the country, including last year’s winner, the Harvard Ichthus, and other Ivy League con­tenders.

The Col­le­giate Network is a program of the Inter­col­le­giate Studies Institute that pro­vides financial and cre­ative support for con­ser­v­ative campus news­papers and mag­a­zines; they seek to raise the level of campus dis­course through these member pub­li­ca­tions.

“[The Editors Con­ference] draws together editors from each of our member papers for a weekend of jour­nal­istic training, men­toring from pro­fes­sional jour­nalists, and fel­lowship with each other,” said Lillian Civantos, man­aging director of the Col­le­giate Network.

Speakers from many pub­li­ca­tions were present, including Jim Moroney, CEO/publisher of the Dallas Morning News and David Mills, exec­utive editor of First Things.

Wright said he credits the design team of junior Lauren Wierenga, freshman Nathan Wilson, and sophomore Daniel Mummau with the Forum’s success in the mag­azine layout cat­egory, saying that they have already improved over last year’s designs.

In addition to con­ser­v­ative opinion essays, readers of The Forum can find lighter campus fea­tures like “Hillsdale Hunk & Hottie of the Month” and “Professor’s iPod.”

“We try to stay away from pol­itics. Pol­itics is momentary,” Wright said. “We try to place such tem­porary issues in the grand context of con­ser­v­ative thought.”

The Forum cur­rently receives aid to help with printing costs, but Wright hopes to move to a fundraising and adver­tising-sup­ported model soon.