Commentary: Anniversary symbolizes The Slate’s dedication to SU


Asst. PR Director Sylvia McMullen interviews an SU faculty member during APSCUF’s strike, which lasted for three days.

While many students are looking forward to the end of the semester because they are graduating, getting ready for an exciting internship or just as a time to relax, The Slate is celebrating.

Sixty years ago, a group of students got together and created Shippensburg State College’s second student-run newspaper. That’s right, there was at least one newspaper on campus before The Slate first went to press in 1957.

The Reflector began publication in 1923 as a newspaper, but by 1948 the president’s council declared it could no long call itself a newspaper because it was geared more toward literary pieces and not news. Today, The Reflector continues to publish as Shippensburg University’s literary journal. But for nine years, the school went without a newspaper, until The Slate picked up the torch in 1957 as your trusted campus news source.

Though The Slate faced its challenges throughout the decades, its dedicated staff never failed to come back every semester and provide coverage of the campus and community.

In the late ‘50s, The Slate produced a bi-weekly, four-page paper that covered topics ranging from student enrollment rates to social activities. Throughout the ‘60s, the paper began to flourish, growing in size and breadth in coverage. With the addition of opinion articles, The Slate became an outlet for students to express their alternative, and even subversive, ideas and culture.

Looking through the countless archived papers, it’s apparent some of the issues students faced in the ‘70s and 80s are still prevalent today. Increasing tuition rates, class schedule changes and dorm policies are among a long list of classic college issues.

There are some things, however, students today simply can’t relate to. As the Vietnam War raged in southeast Asia, shockwaves reverberated back to college campuses. The Slate published stories about the draft and when soldiers gunned down students at Kent State University, SU responded.

In the days following the shooting, The Slate put together an extra issue for the end of the semester. It was all about the war, the draft, the dead students and the solidarity SU administrators, faculty, staff and the student body formed.

The Slate stood as a beacon of unity during SU’s darkest times, but it also shined bright during the school’s successes and proud moments. Indiscriminately, The Slate publishes the news that affects SU students the most, whether it is good or bad. Only by providing a full picture of the events and opinions of SU can the community truly stand together.

After 60 years of service, The Slate’s commitment to providing the highest quality news and entertainment remain as strong as ever. As technology constantly changes and evolves, The Slate seeks to adapt and embrace new mediums of communication, while improving the tried-and-true methods. Whether it be social media, websites or the newspaper, The Slate is here to deliver news to its readers in a variety of ways.

In an age of impatience, fake news and boiling tempers, the need for civil communication is only rising. As The Slate looks toward the next 60 years, it hopes you will take part in its mission to report the news and create a vibrant market place of ideas. Only with enthusiastic and diligent editors and writers can The Slate continue to make a lasting impact on the community.

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