One thing I love about the Campus Times is that if you look hard enough, you’ll see snippets of half-finished projects or sagas all across our website. It’s a product of being a college student with a four-ish-year tenure at the University. There are some things you do in college that will lack conclusive endings due to the incredibly conclusive ending of graduation, and CT columns are no stranger to this phenomena. Toddler Detective is a personal favorite of mine — a CT writer decided, “hey, I’m going to write a humor series about a toddler detective,” and then wrote nine iterations of it. There is no conclusion to Toddler Detective — and similarly, there is no conclusion to The Jenny.
The Jenny was created by Ashley Bardhan ‘20 — former Managing Editor, Sex & the CT writer, and more — as a woman-focused, online-only culture magazine that expanded off the Campus Times. “I was reading The Cut a lot at the time and grew up reading teen girl zines like Rookie Mag, as well as iconic, incisive blog sites like Jezebel and Gawker (I’m currently and very gratefully a staff writer at former Gawker site Kotaku),” Bardhan wrote in an email correspondence with the CT. “CT and UR’s journalism classes focused mostly on local and news reporting, and I wasn’t interested in that. I wanted a job at a culture magazine and I was serious about it — I needed to build my clips and resume. A smart, artistically-minded, digital-only publication became my focus. There was just no other outlet for that kind of writing on campus.”
The first edition of The Jenny started not on the CT website, but instead on Tumblr. “I’m sure the first theme was something unexceptional like ‘beginnings,’” Bardhan said. The first Tumblr post attributed to the site, which is cross-posted to the CT website — not all of them are — is by Louis Herman ‘, titled “A note on fear and yearning.” Herman talks about the queer, transgender experience from a fashion-oriented perspective, noting the juxtaposition of curating outfits (an “optimal blend of aesthetic and functional”) with the grating feeling of being externally perceived (a “specific blend of confusion and self-embarrassment” from the public).
According to senior, former The Jenny writer, and current Editor-in-Chief of the Campus Times Corey Miller-Williams, the publication lasted a couple of weeks, with all of the articles mainly being posted to Tumblr. Due to COVID-19 and Bardhan’s graduation, interest in running the offshoot publication subsided, and now The Jenny is but a series of strewn-about articles. The Tumblr page is not linked anywhere on the Campus Times website. It feels like a dead end indicative of its time.