Students make a splash with Birdbath

Jaime Fields, Campus Life Editor

Graphic contributed by Zac Bentz.

A brightly-colored background and large, punny header greet readers as a long list of articles stream below, with titles including “They Should’ve Let Me Write ‘Gossip Girl,’” “Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and the Importance of a Personal Canon” and “The Best Girlboss in All of Television.” This is the online student-run publication: “Birdbath.”

“Birdbath” was founded in fall of 2022 by senior film and media studies majors Sienna Axe, Morgan Stone and Zac Bentz. The publication features a variety of submissions, including playlists, rankings, reviews and essays. Each issue has a theme, so far including the Favorites issue, the Halloween issue and the Guilty Pleasures issue, while the upcoming fourth issue is themed Y2K.

According to Axe, while she’d enjoyed her experience with journalism, she wanted a space to write in a less formal manner. Over the summer, she texted Bentz to see if they wanted to join her in starting their own media publication. Both of them also shared a senior seminar with Stone, one of Axe’s housemates, so she joined as well.

The editors tried a few sites to see which worked best before finally settling on their current blogspot domain. Then they picked a date they wanted their first issue out by and started asking for submissions, both over email and Instagram.

Before they could advertise to the world, however, the editors had to come up with a name.

“We were sitting around coming up with really, really terrible ideas for names. I don’t remember any of them, but they were really bad,” Stone said. “All of the media studies classes are in Hunter Conservatory; so, we were sitting there coming up with names and Sienna was like, ‘What about Birdbath?’ The birdbath [fountain is] in front of Hunter, and we’re always in Hunter. We were like, ‘oh, that’s actually a really good idea.’”

“Now we’re the little birdies in the birdbath,” Axe said.

So far, the editors agree that one of their favorite parts is reading all the submissions.

“It’s just so fun seeing how everyone interprets what the theme is and then getting to read [about] people’s personal connection to the media that they’re writing about. I really think it’s my favorite part,” Stone said.

As editors, Axe and Stone explained that they and Bentz work together to format the articles, pick themes and colors and advertise. They don’t make many changes to people’s submissions.

“I feel like we would do more if we had to do more — we’ve been getting pretty good and coherent submissions,” Axe said.

The editors also each write their own article or submission for each issue, sometimes more than one each.

As for their goals for the future, the editors described their vision of a possible print version containing highlights from the semester’s issues.

Senior film and media studies major Julia Etrusco has been published in “Birdbath” a few times. For the Halloween issue, she shared her Halloween playlist; for the Guilty Pleasures issue, she submitted an article she wrote for class on “Dashcon,” the failed Tumblr fan convention.

“It is a guilty pleasure of mine to make my professors read about really niche topics,” Etrusco said. “The article that I had first submitted for class was due a week before the ‘Birdbath’ article was due; so, while I was writing it, I [thought] this will make a great guilty pleasure piece. Now it’s [online and] everyone can read it, if they want to.”

Etrusco said that she was pushed to submit by Stone, who is one of her close friends. However, even without the constant texts telling her to submit, Etrusco says she was intrigued by the Halloween theme of the second issue.

“I thought it was really fun … I’m always someone who is very into Halloween,” Etrusco said. “I was really busy that week, so all I could do was a playlist. I still thought it was a really fun concept, everyone [sharing] their Halloween favorites.”

Etrusco shared that she enjoyed reading the other submissions, especially the submissions of a dog by the name of Paco.

“I always love reading Paco’s submissions — I think Paco’s first submission in the very first Favorites issue really moved me, and I was like, ‘I need to submit. I need to be a part of what Paco is a part of — he’s a campus celebrity,’” Etrusco said.

Although Paco is a dog, he is listed as the sole author on his blog posts — a demonstration of the fun, effervescent and lighthearted tone that “Birdbath” aims to achieve.

Axe and Stone both wanted to encourage the community to submit to Birdbath.

Birdbath can be found online at and on Instagram @birdbathpub. Submissions for the Y2K issue are due on Dec. 5 and can be sent to [email protected].