Hi, I’m Jackie. Aside from studying and checking out the newest eats in the city, I enjoy helping people. I’m never one to shy away from lending an open ear to anyone going through a hard time, facing a difficult decision or just simply looking for something fun to do on the weekend.
So, I started this advice column called “Dear Jackie.” Like I said, I’m open to most anything, and I encourage readers to write to me about anything and everything — as long as they’re comfortable. I’ll write back with my advice or suggestions and post them, in case our conversation could help others.
This isn’t just one-sided, though. Don’t like what I said or have advice of your own? I want to hear your thoughts as well. If I find they add to the conversation, I’ll include them in my next post.
From time to time, I may reach out to some of my friends around campus who can give professional advice to help me with my answer. After all, I want to give the best responses possible to those who come to me for help.
I look forward to getting to know all of you better now that I’ve joined 14 East’s team. You can reach out to me with any questions or feedback by filling out the form here. In the meantime, you can most likely find me browsing the local farmers market for the best deals on fresh apple cider and bright orange pumpkins to carve for spooky season — my favorite.
A note from the writers:
“Dear Jackie” has been a project a year in the making, but Jackie is not someone you would ever see on the street, in your classes or at a 14 East meeting. Following the trend of many of the top advice columns like “Dear Abby” and “Miss Manners,” Jackie is a persona created to represent a team of writers with a mission.
Here, those writers are Cate Hoogstraten, 14 East’s director of development, and Justin Myers, 14 East’s event coordinator. We operate under the mission of this magazine to deliver student-led, community-driven reporting that connects readers to our work in a personal matter.
Advice columns have traditionally been one of the most successful ways for publications to build a better sense of community and connection with their readers, and we wanted to bring that to 14 East.
The name “Jackie” comes from 14 East’s namesake of 14 East Jackson Blvd., which houses the journalism department at DePaul and was the original home of the magazine.
As she stated, feel free to write to her with any questions, concerns or feedback you may have. We’ll read over them and do our best to answer them, though we cannot guarantee that every question will be answered. In addition to our own experiences, our replies will be heavily based on professional opinions from various offices, organizations and personnel on and off campus. We’re doing this because we’re no experts when it comes to every issue, and we want to make sure the advice we give is advice done well.
Though we ask for your email, everyone who writes to Jackie will remain completely anonymous in publication. The email is only for us to have a way to reach out to for clarification or questions, as well as to give you a chance to review our response before we send it out into the world.
We will, however, assign you a pseudonym. This also keeps with traditions in the advice column industry. We’ll base these on the content of your query. For example, someone who writes to us about the stress of having a mountain of final project due dates on top of a full work schedule might receive the pseudonym “Time Crunch.” We do this to maintain a sense of personal connection throughout the entirety of our column. Rather than just answering questions from the void, pseudonyms preserve a sense of personal connection between the sender and us, the receiver. You may also choose a name for yourself, if desired. We only ask that all chosen pseudonyms are content-based per our example and not realistic names, to ensure clarity that these are pseudonyms and not the actual names of those who write in.
With that being said, we’re so excited to finally be able to introduce you all to Jackie! Again, to ask a question, we have a form that you can fill out here. We’ll do our best to get back to you with a response in one to two weeks. Before publication, we’ll send it back to you one final time to read over and approve — just in case our answer isn’t quite what you hoped. After all, despite including professional opinions in our responses and doing our due diligence with our own research and writing, we admit that we’re not perfect.
If you, the reader, happen to find something that you have a different perspective on than the one we gave, we encourage you to write to us with your feedback as well. As long as it continues a previous conversation in a constructive manner, we’ll publish it in our next Jackie column. We want our responses to be less of a definitive end-all be-all and more of an opportunity for healthy dialogue regarding issues of concern to our readers. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and has their own stories to tell, and we want to make sure those experiences are heard.
Again, we’re happy to bring Jackie into our newsroom and are excited for what this opportunity has to offer. We can’t wait to read your letters!
Justin Myers and Cate Hoogstraten
Header image by Phoebe Nerem.