The “Last Issue” of the Bucknellian

Nancy Campbell and David DeGuzman

The following articles are part of a series of articles republished to commemmorate the 125th anniversary of the Bucknellian’s publication. Read the rest here.

Editorial: Back to class

Nancy Campbell, Editor, December 2, 1983

I regret to inform you that The Bucknellian, which completes its 92nd volume with this issue, will not publish next semester. In a unanimous vote last Sunday, the editorial board voted to close the paper. You may wonder why the board chose to make this move — there was no choice in the matter. The editorial board was forced into this decision.

Perhaps you took for granted it would not happen. You thought there would surely be some poor sucker who would step in — perhaps for the fun of it, perhaps for the ‘glory’, perhaps for the resume. No one stepped forward. There were no applications for the editorship.

This was not the fault of my staff, for they are ready and willing to perpetuate themselves next semester. There is simply no one to take on the commitment required to lead this staff. 

Someday, I am sure there will be someone who will feel the need for Bucknell to publish a campus newspaper strongly enough to get things going again. Unfortunately, inertia will not be on that person’s side. If the paper closes now, it will be a long time before it will get a competent staff together again.

As I considered the responsibility of allowing the paper to close, I took some small comfort from the thought that the campus would not be totally devoid of communication, as WVBU would still be broadcasting news. This would keep some sort of check on the University’s attitudes and policies toward students. But WVBU too faces imminent collapse at the end of January. For the same reason, lack of someone at the top, WVBU too will close.

We might try to pin the blame for the demise of two large and largely successful student organizations on student apathy, but I have a competent and unapathetic staff. I cannot place the blame on student apathy simply because one or two positions cannot be filled.

I place much of the blame for the problem on the fact that student officers, even of activities like The Bucknellian and WVBU, get no credit and/or monetary reward for the job they do. There is little recognition (shall I say positive recognition?), no money, no credit, balanced on the other side by the ‘challenge’ of taking on a more-than-full-time job and a full course load. It’s no wonder no one wants it.

I have proposed several versions or plans for an ongoing system of credit and evaluation for the editor of The Bucknellian. Charles Bramhall ‘85, station manager of WVBU, has done the same. We have both [been] met with “It’s been tried before” and “We certainly can do nothing by next semester.” There seems to be no alternative to the present system, or lack of it. The University does not seem to want to support the students in this endeavor.

This prevailing attitude of “take care of it among yourselves” leaves me to conclude that perhaps there is no alternative — no alternative, that is, to closing the two organizations and leaving behind a campus without communication in 1984. How fitting.

I wonder what no newspaper and no radio station is going to look like to prospective students visiting the campus, and to all those eager freshmen who intend to continue their activities in college. If I were looking at things from a public relations standpoint, I would not want two major student-run organizations dealing with communications to shut down in the same semester. It wouldn’t look too good.

So I close my term as editor on a sad note. If and when someone wishes to reopen The Bucknellian, l will teach that person what it will take to do so. I will also feel sorry for that person, because as long as there is no incentive for The Bucknellian editor or the station manager of WVBU, the threat of there being no successor hangs over every editor’s and station manager’s head.

Editorial: Bucknellian cares

David DeGuzman, Editor, February 10, 1984

Yes, The Bucknellian is publishing for the spring semester. Some poor fool stepped forward to assume the role of editor; partly to keep The Bucknellian in operation and partly to resolve (or compound) my own philosophical turmoil.

Many Bucknellians were absorbed into the three-piece suit corporate world since the day their SAT scores arrived in the mail and they discovered they could attend a “competitive college.” Monetary tunnel vision, coupled with apathetic myopia, hinders the questioning outlook normally representative of youth.

This trend toward “thinking beyond their years” has aged some of us quickly. Blind acceptance of an imperfect world and the subliminally nagging idea that Bucknell is a highly reputable trade school come together to produce a student body that does not give a damn about much beyond books, grades and drunken Friday nights that allow them to forget about books and grades for a while.

There is no excuse for not caring about our present environment. Parents no longer buffer out the world; at the same time, food, clothing and shelter come in a package deal. Your sole responsibility at a university is to think — and to care and respond to the world presented to us.

The Bucknellian performs two functions on campus — it reports campus news and involves non-apathetic people, either through discussions over its pages and/or direct involvement — and it attempts to reach the “corporate-bent” student while reaffirming that somewhere at Bucknell University somebody gives a damn.

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