A Storied Past

Monday, October 21, 2013

Beloved Student Newspaper "The Quaker Campus"
Achieves Centenarian Mark

from The Rock, Fall 2013

As an English professor at Whittier College during World War I, Maxwell Anderson wrote to the Quaker Campus criticizing the executive committee of the Associated Students which funded the newspaper. The anti-War Anderson was angry because the Committee declined to publish a letter from a Whittier student who had declined induction into the armed services. Anderson later became a leading American playwright.

In February 1992, the paper ran a special four-page section reporting on Spike Lee’s evening speech at the Graham Activities Center. The newspaper’s editor-in-chief met Lee when his plane arrived on Monday morning at the Los Angeles airport and followed him all day until Lee granted an exclusive interview during his 9:30 p.m. return ride to the airport.

When news of 9/11 reached the Whittier College campus on a Tuesday morning, much of the campus was riveted to the television. But the editor and news editor of the student-run newspaper, the Quaker Campus, couldn’t sit and join their class mates. Their deadline—Wednesday night—was a mere 36 hours away, and they now had an entire news and features section to re-cast, write, and produce.

ACROSS ITS 100-YEAR HISTORY AND UNDER A SPECTRUM OF MASTHEAD DESIGNS, the Quaker Campus has been publishing stories as impactful and varied as these since its debut on September 1, 1914, when new editor Harold H. Story vowed to cover all campus news and bring humor to the paper whenever possible.

Since then, stories published during the multi-awardwinning newspaper’s first century have highlighted memorable parts of campus life, and chronicled significant moments in national history through the lens of the Whittier College community. In addition, looking back through the numerous headlines and stories today provides a glimpse of some of the Quaker Campus’ more notable editorial teams and investigative journalists (see sidebar below).

But the vast preponderance of QC stories have focused on exploring and generating discussion around daily campus life—student government elections and activity, the highs and lows of our athletic teams, student arts and culture, and the range of high profile, sometimes controversial, campus guests, such as Henry Kissinger, Rev. Al Sharpton, Morgan Spurlock— even Richard Nixon himself. And in covering these stories, the QC has stimulated and fostered campus communication, helped students and administrators speak to each other in print, and broadened students’ shared experience.

Only two years past, the Quaker Campus and its staff headed by then-editor-in-chief Justin Dennis ‘15 earned its most recent accolades—First Place, Special Merit from the American Scholastic Press Association. And, as history has demonstrated, more to come on that front.

For now, though, another new editor and staff take up the reigns of the legacy journal, hoping to live up to the work of their predecessors, to adequately capture the pulse of the campus today, and hopefully, successfully, and purposefully guide this beloved newspaper into its next iteration.