Do you enjoy The Lawrentian? Is Specht Pages the only reason you even pick up The Lawrentian? Hello and welcome to Specht Pages, the true and supreme voice of Lawrence University. In this celebratory 46th issue and series finale, we will discuss what changes would take place if Specht Pages were to take over The Lawrentian. So sit back, relax, and allow all of us at Specht Pages to give our grand farewell.
The most unsettling problem with The Lawrentian is that many articles simply report on planned events on campus rather than real news. Believe it or not, many events on campus are not worth being reported and are not interesting enough to be read about. Among these are: sports games that don’t end in a riot, fight, dramatic win, injury or embarrassing loss (albeit, there are quite a few of those); any book or poetry reading; concerts that go off without any controversy; or public lectures.
We need to dig real dirt on students. If we are to make The Lawrentian interesting, we need to resort to pure gossip and rumors regarding students, faculty and staff. We can send in spies to parties and J-Board meetings. Additionally, we can send our associates to the commons on Saturday and Sunday mornings to listen to people tell stories about the prior night and the respective drunken stupor. Perhaps some weeks, if necessary, we can simply tell outright lies about people.
Additionally, we would do whatever possible to create news. We could encourage binge-drinking to bring about more reportable stories. Or we could set situations up on campus, like a rope that says “do not pull,” that would send off a chain reaction ending in Kohler Hall tipping over.
If Specht Pages and its associates were to take over The Lawrentian, we would be sure to make it commercially viable. There were days when they charged five cents a paper. In those old days, The Lawrentian was funded almost entirely by ads and staffed by volunteers. There were days when you could find upwards of 20 ads on a single page. Now, LUCC spends tens of thousands of dollars on The Lawrentian to keep it afloat and the only ads you can find were made by the university.
In the September 24, 1937 issue of The Lawrentian, the editorial board explained their understanding of what the purpose of the newspaper should be. “It is more concerned with presenting facts for the sake of record and giving news stories an appealing human interest touch. That is why the editors will try to put out a paper which is more than a newspaper—one which will offer real opportunities in creative writing.” Perhaps this would be a good idea to keep in mind, but perhaps an even better thought is to imagine The Lawrentian as a replacement of our now defunct yearbook.
Finally, headlines have never been a strength of The Lawrentian. As we all know, the trick to an eye catching headline is an exciting action verb: verbs such as: “declares war,” “breaks,” “burns,” “curses” and “proclaimed.” Words like “expands,” “displays,” “shows” and “visits” are simply not going to get your attention.
There you have it. The last and final edition of Specht Pages. Perhaps now it is time to move on to bigger and better things… like The New York Times.