Raising Student Voices and Carrying on a Tradition

Thy Nguyen ’21
Thy Nguyen ’21, editor-in-chief of The Babson Free Press, speaks at an event in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, about her book, Origins: An Immigrant’s Journey in America.

As editor-in-chief of The Babson Free Press, the College’s long-standing student publication, Thy Nguyen ’21 believes that everyone deserves their voice to be heard.

“It is crucial to showcase student voices and opinions on a college campus, especially with a student-run organization,” she says. “I believe that it is essential to amplify student voices.”

Ever since its founding in 1971, the Free Press has been doing just that, providing a space for students to write, report, and opine. Although the paper’s print edition ended with the 2017–2018 school year, a victim to the changing times that have affected so many other newspapers, the Free Press continues its student-centric mission digitally.

Thy Nguyen ’21
Since 1971, The Babson Free Press has been providing a space for College students to write, report, and opine. “I believe that it is essential to amplify student voices,” says Thy Nguyen ’21, the paper’s editor-in-chief.

Much history is contained in the pages of the Free Press, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021, and Babson Magazine recently talked with some of the many students who have worked at the Free Press through the decades. Nguyen, who became editor-in-chief of the paper in April, now carries on that rich legacy.

The need to tell one’s story, whether that of other students or of herself, drives Nguyen. Besides being editor-in-chief, she’s the author of Origins: An Immigrant’s Journey in America, which reflects on her experiences as a Vietnamese American and first-generation immigrant who was born in Saigon and later moved to Houston.

As she studies remotely from Vietnam, Nguyen took time to answer a few questions about her role with the Free Press and her hopes for its future.

Why did you become involved with the Free Press?

“I have always loved to write, and during my time at Babson, I have written a book to express my voice. At Babson, it can be hard to find other artistic or literary students, and I wanted to join a community of like-minded people.

“After being a contributor to The Babson Free Press during Spring 2020, I saw how wonderful the journalism community at Babson was, and I believed that it could be even further promoted and developed.”

“With the 50th anniversary, I have thought about the Free Press’s legacy at Babson. Talking to the alumni and going through some of the archives has made me realize how much of Babson’s spirit and passion have gone into this organization.”

Thy Nguyen ’21

What are your hopes for the Free Press?

“In recent years, the Free Press has dealt with some adjustment issues since moving online, but I believe that the organization has much potential to grow even more and create an even larger community.

“The Free Press is doing a complete revamp now. The e-board decided to create a few new positions—we have added a technology/website manager, alumni outreach officer, and three positions on the marketing team for growing the social media, biweekly newsletter, and graphic design for digital flyers. I also redesigned the layout of the website. We regularly have article submissions from our contributors and are engaging our social media a lot more.

“My goal is for the Babson Free Press to be a central source for students to express their voice at Babson, especially with social issues becoming more and more prevalent and discussed among our generation.”

The Free Press has a long legacy at Babson. Do you ever talk to alumni who worked on the paper as students?

“I am extremely honored to be carrying on a campus tradition of 50 years. I have been keeping in touch with some Free Press alumni, and their support has been nothing short of incredible. It is magical that I can still feel their passion for the organization till this day. The conversations I have had have been very supportive, and alumni have offered their mentorship and advice.

“With the 50th anniversary, I have thought about the Free Press’s legacy at Babson. Talking to the alumni and going through some of the archives has made me realize how much of Babson’s spirit and passion have gone into this organization. As time passes, the Free Press will remain as Babson’s time capsule of sorts. I am incredibly proud to be a part of something seeping with Babson tradition and memories.”

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