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Two seniors launch Troubadour magazine

Princeton's newest student-run magazine released its inaugural Winter 2001 issue last week.

Two seniors, editors-in-chief Dan Hafetz and Jon Harris, founded Troubadour Magazine as both a travelogue and a commentary about life beyond the gates of Princeton.


"Troubadour is founded on the assumption that travel is a state of mind, not a state of being somewhere," Harris said.

The magazine features selections from student essays and journals — vignettes of first-hand accounts of foreign environments. The stories include a mix of poetry, art and photography portraying student experiences around the world.

However, it tries not to lose sight of the local community with, for example, a photographic documentary by Ann Waddell '02 called "Route One Kids," which focuses on the gritty lives of children in trailer parks along Route 1 in central New Jersey.

The idea for the magazine came after Harris and Hafetz began comparing experiences witnessing human rights abuses in Burma and poverty in southern Africa, respectively, following semesters abroad during their junior years.

"We realized we needed space for people to share and raise awareness about issues around the world," Harris said. "We also knew that to be successful in our attempts, we had to create a product far better than what had come out of student-initiated groups at Princeton previously."

Troubadour relies on combining many people's journals for an account of experiences in foreign places. Business Manager Conor Green '02, Hafetz and Harris decided to forego advertisements in Troubadour's inaugural edition, choosing to rely on donations from a variety of University and non-University organizations to publish the magazine.


They noted, however, that it might reconsider its advertisement policy if the magazine attains a national reputation, possibly allowing travel relevant products to appear.

Already the staff is working on the next issue of the magazine. "Now we're opening up submissions completely to the University at large, including faculty and alumni," Green said. "The next process is going national with the magazine through University alumni."

Hafetz and Harris said they plan to work on Troubadour full-time next year. They already have a basic form for the magazine in the future, but they still need to solve the problem of financing the project.

"We hope to use the Princeton alumni pool and then try to franchise at other Universities," Harris said. "We have a handful of alumni who might want to get involved, at least in part, to stand behind our publication."

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To accomplish these ends, the editors said they would like to leave a large portion of the magazine in the hands of Princeton students, even if they eventually employ the talents of professional journalists and authors. In this way, they said they hope to use Troubadour to give young writers opportunities to have their original works published.

In the short term, Hafetz, Harris and Green said they hope to spread the distribution and popularity of the magazine through face-to-face contact with potential readers and distributors and through word of mouth. The editors designed a website to present their magazine's content online which may be viewed at