“Vol. 1, No. 1! … Our Alma Mater has never had a regular periodical, but that is no reason why she should not have one,” wrote an enterprising group of young men at a small college on the east end of Allentown. “We enter upon with the firm conviction that a publication of this description will supply a long-felt want, and that it can be of perpetual benefit to our college.”
Of course, the ‘alma mater’ in question in the above 1883 article is Muhlenberg and the publication none other than The Muhlenberg Weekly (at that point in time it was officially known as the “Muhlenberg Monthly”). There have certainly been many changes since 1883 — including a relocation to the present-day home in Allentown’s west end, 11 presidents, and the introduction of co-education — but one constant remains: The Muhlenberg Weekly.
The truth is that student newsrooms — including ours — have long been a reliable, hyper-local news source, covering issues that would otherwise go unaddressed. We take pride in being among the official voices of the student body and serving as the official paper-of-record for our campus. Sure, there have been some bumps along the way, but all things considered, The Weekly stands stronger now than it has in decades.
However, the same cannot be said for student newsrooms elsewhere in the country.
Recently, The Daily Campus, Southern Methodist University’s student paper, was forced to re-affiliate with the university due to lack of funding. Unfortunately, The Daily Campus is hardly the only student-run publication to face such a decision to either grasp a lifeline and risk editorial independence or shut down. Out of The Daily Campus’ plight came a call to action from the leadership of The Independent Florida Alligator, who have brought together more than 100 student newsrooms for a day of action on Wednesday, April 25, and have asked writers to do what they do best — write.
To be sure, we write this editorial very much from a place of privilege — thankfully, this editorial is not a fundraising plea. We are fortunate to be financially supported almost exclusively by student funds that are allocated to us by the Student Government Association. Though we’ve certainly had our quibbles with SGA in the past, we are grateful that they continue to value the role of student journalism at Muhlenberg.
But for a college that no longer has a journalism major, the majority of us will leave our newsroom having ended our career in journalism. So why do we do it? Sure, we do it for the fun on lengthy Tuesday production nights, for the camaraderie, for the development of valuable post-graduate skills. But above all, we do it to serve the greater Muhlenberg community.
To echo our predecessors from over a century ago: We do it because we believe that The Muhlenberg Weekly can be of perpetual benefit to the college.
The newspaper has been a positive for the college and can continue to be. I graduated class of 62. The father of a close friend, class of 63, kept every one of the editions published in the four years that his son was at the college. I wish that I had done the same.
It has been said that, “If you are twenty and not a liberal, you have no heart, but if you are 40 and not a conservative, you have no head.”
I think that there is much truth in that saying, and I therefore understand the liberal view of the editorial board, but if you are really committed to journalism….shouldn’t you be concerned about the fact that the college serves up a steady stream of voices from the left but is silent when it comes to voices from the right? When you hear but one side of the story how can you arrive at an intelligent result.
The BLM presenter had an opinion to be heard. There still is racism. But is racism the main reason WHY Blacks Struggle and are left behind or does the fact that close to 75 percent of black babies are raised in single parent families have a more significant impact on the results .
In 1965 sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote his piece on the crisis in the “NEGRO” family. Part of his findings focused on what he called the crisis in the NEGRO family because single parent families had reached the number of 23 percent. As I wrote, it is now close to 75 percent. The negative impact on kids growing up in that environment …health issues, educational issues, job issues and suicide, are all devastating. Focusing on racism as the main problem will not did the very real problem that exists in the black community. Black opinion writers ; Star Parker , professors Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell and others make that point. The college should present the complete story and not just part of it.
As editor-in-chief of the WEEKLY 1954-55, and co-EIC 1955-56, I deeply appreciated the freedom we received to be “our own persons” in a time when the witch-hunting of Sen. Joseph McCarthy was a very real presence. President Conrad Seegers was a firm believer in the rights of students. There was even a Charlie Chaplin film shown, much to the chagrin of the local VFW. It was a time of change for the college. The WEEKLY that broke the news of co-education’s coming. While the majority of the faculty were long-time veterans (and capable they were), a new day was dawning for our alma mater.
I have been greatly impressed by the quality of THE MUHLENBERG WEEKLY in its current incarnation. It is not the student paper I knew. It is better in many ways. I salute the out-going editors who have made this possible, and extend every good wish to those who will be following in their stead.