The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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The Trend Boasts Success; Credits Rebrand

Current and former editorial staff discuss the success they’ve seen due to rebranding
Mary-Grace McNutt
Editor-in-Chief Emily Loughridge leads The Trend’s weekly meetings in the Nash Library.

Starting over a year and a half ago, The Trend began its rebranding process which looked to reestablish its identity at USAO and introduce new quality changes. Throughout this time, The Trend has reached over 1,000 followers on Instagram, published over 300 articles, and received 16 different awards at the Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association (OCMA). The rebranding has been considered a success by most people, but the bigger question is why did The Trend decide to have a makeover?

“Whenever I first came in as a freshman, the website looked like it was from the early 2000’s, and the editor-in-chief at the time didn’t have a lot of content,” Emily Loughridge, current editor-in-chief said.

Loughridge said that once January of 2022 began, former Editor-in-Chief Daniel Buster and former Managing Editor Harrison Stone, who graduated in the fall of 2022 and summer of 2022 respectively, began working towards the new version of The Trend. They said their biggest focuses were to fix the outdated website, find a staff that could deliver content, and to create a new personality for all of USAO to enjoy.

“We accomplished everything we were looking for and gave all USAO students a space for them to spread their wings,” Stone said, on The Trend’s new identity.

Stone also said that the biggest struggle that The Trend saw during this time was getting more writers on board. He stated that it was difficult to help writers build a passion for writing stories, but applauded Loughridge for being able to build a consistent staff.

One of the changes that went along with the rebranding processes was the introduction of Opal, who serves as The Trend’s mascot and was designed by Buster. Opal was named after Opal Dolan, who was the first editor-in-chief for The Trend back in 1911.

The name Opal was voted upon by USAO students, and competed with other names like Gilbert, Archimedes, Jeff, and others. Opal, the owl, relates to USAO in another way since the owl is a universal sign of the Roman goddess Minerva, who is seen present in USAO’s seal. These two qualities were big factors in what led Buster to create Opal as The Trend’s mascot.

“I wanted to create something that was wrapped up with USAO, and we knew that Minerva was a good focal point, so the owl made sense,” Buster said.

Opal was one of Buster’s first graphic design projects. While he did have some struggles with her creation initially, Buster said he was able to finish his final design and create Opal exactly how she is now. This project helped him complete his core value during his time as The Trend’s editor-in-chief.

“My main goal during my time with The Trend was to leave in it a better condition than it was in before.” Buster concluded.

Loughridge said she wants to continue that goal as she continues to try to build the newspaper’s staff, tackle new topics around campus, and become a more prominent news source for the campus. Since becoming the editor-in-chief in December 2022, Loughridge and Managing Editor Paul Tointigh has continued to break records.

In Buster’s last trimester, The Trend posted 73 articles from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, a major uptick in content compared to recent, previous trimesters. In the fall of 2021, The Trend posted 15 articles, the next spring it saw 21 posted. In Loughridge’s first spring, The Trend broke through the 100-article mark and posted 102 articles.

“Paul and I tentatively set a goal to post 125 articles in the fall 2023 trimester,” Loughridge said. “However, as we enter into late September and it is clear that we will post over 50 articles by the end of the month, I think our goal will be easily obtained. I can only credit the wonderful writers I have on my side for helping Paul and I achieve this goal and others.”


Gary Jackson is a third-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Gary Jackson
Gary Jackson, Managing Editor
Gary is a fourth-year communication major from Kingston. He works as a resident assistant (RA). Gary began writing for The Trend in January 2022, and has interned with the Madill Record and Marietta Monitor newspapers. When Gary isn’t attending class and working, you can watch him making the game-winning catch at the ultimate frisbee game, hanging out with friends, or visiting with his family. Experience with The Trend: Managing Editor: May 2024 - present Sports Editor: Nov. 2023 - Apr. 2024 Senior Writer: Dec. 2022 - Nov. 2023 Contributing Writer: Jan. 2022 - Dec. 2022
Mary-Grace McNutt
Mary-Grace McNutt, Senior Writer
Mary-Grace is a third-year communication and speech language pathology major from Moore. Mary-Grace is a part of the Drover Dancers and works for the Student Media Team, where she produces videos and takes photos around campus. She loves photography and wants to be a sports photographer after college.   Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: May 2022 - present Contributing Writer: Aug. 2021 - April 2022