Mercer Cluster


The Cluster/ is the leading news source for Mercer University and surrounding communities. It is named after a book of songs penned by University founder Jesse Mercer in 1810. The Cluster has been published as a bi-monthly since 1920.

While The Cluster is subsidized by Mercer’s Board of Appropriations, it retains strict editorial autonomy as a student publication under the University’s bylaws. Its newsroom is located in the Center for Collaborative Journalism in Mercer Village.

The newspaper has won numerous student journalism awards over the years from the Georgia College Press Association, including Best Layout and Design, Best Website, Best Feature Story and General Excellence. Its former writers include notables such as longtime publisher Jack Tarver, attorney and author Robert Steed, former U.S. Attorney General Griffin B. Bell and Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor J. Reginald “Reg” Murphy.

The Cluster’s current editor-in-chief is Emily Rose Thorne and its managing editor is Mary Helene Hall.


Comments Policy

The Cluster’s comments section is meant to be a place for respectful conversation and reflection on issues and events affecting students at Mercer University. Comments are moderated by the student staff of The Cluster to ensure that those made visible on the website reflect these standards.

Harassment, hate, spam and personal attacks on staff members will not be approved. This does not mean that critical comments will be rejected. We welcome diverse perspectives on our reporting and on students’ experiences at Mercer University.

Comments will not be approved unless a valid name and email address are submitted. Please also note that our comment moderation system logs IP addresses associated with every comment submitted.


Submission Guidelines

The Cluster represents the voices of current students at Mercer University. We welcome your submissions, pitches and queries as long as they follow our guidelines.

The best way to get involved with The Cluster, either by taking an assignment from our editors or by pitching your own idea, is to attend our editorial meetings. Meetings take place every other Monday at 5 p.m. in the Center for Collaborative Journalism, which is located in Mercer Village. Our editors are available to hear pitches and speak individually with interested students at this time.

If you cannot attend a meeting, you may contact the appropriate editor with your pitch. We prefer that you tell us your idea for a story rather than submit a full, unsolicited draft, so that we can decide whether your story is a fit for us — and so that you don’t put your hard work into something we don’t have room to publish! We will also want to work with you to shape your story to ensure it fits journalistic standards and meets The Cluster’s reporting guidelines.

In an email, let us know what your story is about, what sources or contacts you have for it (if applicable), why this story is timely or relevant and why you are the best person to write this story. Please also disclose any conflicts of interest you may have (for example, you cannot write about a friend, roommate, significant other or group you’re involved with).

Contact a section editor with any questions.

The student news site of Mercer University