The Tower, Looking Forward

How a simple edit has demonstrated The Tower’s commitment to inclusivity

Illustrator: Ruby Guthrie

In a time when creative expression can be suppressed due to political turmoil and global terrorism, the community fostered by the U of M’s very own arts and literary magazine, The Tower, has remained strong. Formerly referred to as “The Ivory Tower” when serving as an insert in the Minnesota Daily in the fifties, and since resurfacing as a stand-alone publication in 2006, The Tower’s new name change signifies its growth. Though it may not seem like the change carries much significance, editors-in-chief Joanna Jensen and Marah Walker unveiled the true meaning behind the change while highlighting the magazine’s noteworthy qualities.

Adhering to the magazine’s central message of inclusivity, the name change solidified The Tower’s commitment to diversity on the U of M campus, according to Jensen and Walker: “This year, we want to guarantee that our name appropriately conveys our commitment to publishing and celebrating all identities.” Unsurprisingly, they are doing just that.

Adhering to the magazine’s central message of inclusivity, the name change solidified The Tower’s commitment to diversity on the U of M campus

Looking over the contributors to last year’s edition, it seems as though The Tower received submissions from every academic major imaginable; students studying history, Russian, neuroscience, nursing, music, and chemical engineering are only a few of many. The majority of contributors do not list their interest in the arts, yet it can be assumed that they, like many, believe it is a form of expression suitable and necessary for all walks of life. This goes along with the theme of this year’s edition, “Human Noise,” which capitalizes on the inclination humans have that they should communicate by utilizing artistic expression.

It is also important to note that The Tower staff changes each year, as it is part of a year-long class that requires students to apply for specific roles once their place in the course is secured. By doing so, the planning, creation, and implementation processes for the magazine are addressed by a completely new set of students each year, all led by professor Jim Cihlar, who has been with The Tower since 2012.


Undergraduate students can submit their art, poetry, nonfiction, and fiction submissions to thetower.submittable.com/submit until Wednesday, December 6th. All are welcome to submit. As Jensen and Walker say, “We want to hear everyone’s heart, and we invite you to listen.”