Editor’s note: As part of a media transparency initiative, on May 8, 2017, the Collegian spent the last day of publishing of the year telling our readers about us. You can read more about the people behind our publication in the Editor’s Blog.
As one of the oldest daily published papers in Colorado and in the West and one of the only student run newspapers in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Collegian has been an important part to Colorado State University’s history.
December 1891: The Collegian is founded
The Collegian started out as a monthly publication that contained student essays about local and international issues when it was founded in late 1891. The editorial board consisted of six students, only one of whom was female.
April 8, 1902: The Collegian’s first controversial article
The Collegian’s first controversial article focused on a law that required male students at CSU to work three hours a day on the University farm. The article, written by B.C. Buffum, stated that the work male students were forced to do was “beneath the dignity of a College student, and consequently demoralizing.”
The statute was amended in 1969 as legislators felt it was no longer pertinent.
1907: The Collegian creates the student government
The Collegian created the Associated Students of the Colorado Agricultural College to “edit and publish a students’ paper,” and it was the first step towards the Collegian’s funding partially coming from student fees.
Oct. 18, 1945: The Collegian foretells Old Main building burning down
The editorial published in this October issue of the Collegian said that one day, Old Main would be the site of a disastrous fire, citing that students and faculty felt the building was musty and inflammable.
Old Main would be burned down in the 1970s as a demonstration against the Vietnam War.
1964: The stump comes to the Plaza
The stump found its home on the Plaza in 1964 when Collegian employees, John Hyde and Shelton Stanfill, bought it for $4.50 and etched the word “COLLEGIAN” into the side as a symbol of free speech.
Currently, the stump has a plaque from the Associated Students of Colorado State University engraved with a quote from Robert Kennedy in place of the word, “Collegian.”
The stump was removed from the Plaza in 2016 to be replaced by CSU’s Forestry Department since it deteriorates every ten years.
Speaking on the stump is ranked at number 18 on CSU’s “70 things to do before you graduate” list.
April 1, 1972: April Fool’s article about Morgan Hall burning
The April Fool’s editions of the Collegian started in the 1950s, usually printing a disclaimer somewhere in the publication. Article topics ranged from amusing to serious, such as the 1972 article about Morgan Hall burning down.
Although CSU has never had a building on campus called Morgan Hall, some readers believed the article to be a work of truth. Many students and faculty did not attend their classes. The corresponding image for the article was a file photo of Old Main burning from the 1970 anti-war demonstration.
May 4, 1972: New “College Days” tradition prints nude photos
During the 1960s, the “College Days” editions of the Collegian printed black and white photos of scantily clad women on the cover of the publication.
In 1972, a new tradition for the “College Days” edition arose. The front cover of the May 4 “College Days” edition was a 4-color photo of a nude woman.
Only 200 papers initially arrived on May 4 due to the edition being 34-pages long, and more papers were delivered until later that afternoon. Hundreds of students gathered in the lobby area of the Lory Student Center waiting for more papers to be delivered, and a riot nearly broke out.
Sept. 21, 2007: “Taser This … F*ck Bush” column
The Collegian editorial board published an opinion piece that consisted only of the words, “Taser This … F*ck Bush” in bold print. The piece was written in response to the University of Florida taser incident, in which an undergraduate student was tased by police at a town hall forum featuring U.S. Senator John Kerry.
Aug. 1, 2008: The Collegian publishes under a non-profit organization
Following the response to the “Taser This … F*ck Bush” column, the Collegian started to be published under a 501(c)3 non-profit, known as Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, which houses a magazine, radio station, television station, video production services and video training services that are all student-run.
April 13, 2014: Block Party turns into riot
Arts and entertainment editor McKenna Ferguson responded quickly to reports of a block party south of campus that turned into a riot. About 200 people gathered outside of a house on the 500 block of Blevins Court. Two police units initially responded, then 23 police units and SWAT teams came to break up the scene.
The article has gained 48,530 reads on the Collegian website and is the top read news story of all time.
May 4, 2015: “Cult or community?” An in-depth look at Grace Christian Church
The second most read Collegian’s news story of all time was an investigative piece about Grace Christian Church. Many students encounter the campus ministers of Grace Christian Church during their first year at CSU. The article has been read 47,568 times on the Collegian website.
Collegian news director Haley Candelario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.