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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Top Collegian stories of 2016

While some reflect on 2016 as the year the world lost its mind — with Britain leaving the European Union and the election of Donald Trump — there are two sides to every story. Many will recall 2016 as a political victory – conservatives now have the majority in Congress and the White House.

In 2016, major terrorist attacks were felt around the globe, particularly in Nice, Belgium, Pakistan and Orlando. The Panama Papers exposed the wealthy hiding money offshore in 2016, while Bernie Sanders continued to condemn the 1 percent. Hillary Clinton became the first woman to secure the presidential nomination of a major political party.


In Fort Collins, Colorado State University Rams fans watched the last football game played at Hughes Stadium, and saw the last routine of “Trombone No. 5.” Dean Ann Gill retired from the College of Liberal Arts. The student government, ASCSU, petitioned to change the housing ordinance from “U+2” to “Me + 3” but failed due to lack of signatures.

The Zika virus became a global threat, and CSU was granted $225,000 to help defeat it. The Cubs won the World Series, as CSU President Tony Frank predicted in a February 2015 tweet.

At Rocky Mountain Student Media, the website was given a makeover, and audience engagement and page views reached an all time high – nearly half a million. The Collegian was nationally recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, and the newspaper celebrated its 125th anniversary. Among the top stories of the year were the controversial “Fratagonia” opinion piece that elicited strong campus response in defense of Greek Life, and the news coverage of the “free speech wall” built in the plaza by conservative students during the election season.

The Collegian’s homepage – – received the most page views at 89,826 views.

Here are the top 10 articles (by number of page views) of 2016:

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1. “CSU discontinues trombone suicide marching band tradition

14,028 views | by Tatiana Parafinuk-Talesnick

This story broke the news that the popular band routine, known as “No. 5” and “Trombone Suicides,” was suspended indefinitely by the University. 


2. “Campusview: Would Hillary Clinton make a good president?

11,053 views | by Guest Authors

After the Collegian solicited opinions from the campus community on the 2016 Presidential nominees, we received several responses supporting and opposing Clinton’s fitness for the job; this article lists some highlights.

3. “Tougaw: Fraternity and sorority life does not mesh well with CSU and they shouldn’t have to

9,552 views | by Taylor Tougaw

In this column from early in the year, the Collegian’s Opinions editor argues that the University has created too many rules regarding the values that Fraternity and Sorority Life organizations must uphold. 

4. “Spease: College is academically and socially easier if you’re a liberal

7,763 views | by Holly Spease

A columnist argues that being a conservative makes college life — both in class and out — more difficult.

5. “From CU to CSU: different schools, different vibes

7,170 views | by Bridgette Windell

In this column, a writer discusses her transfer from CU Boulder to CSU — and why it was, in her words, “by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.”

6. “Windell: Adaptations like “Fratagonia” take group conformity too far

6,614 views | by Bridgette Windell

In this controversial column from March, a writer rails against the fashion trend among Fraternity and Sorority Life students in which outdoor brands like Patagonia become closet staples for those hoping to fit in. After receiving a strong negative response to the article from the FSL community, it was amended with an editor’s note. 

7. “Students angered by free speech wall built in Plaza

5,557 views | by Stuart Smith

In the heat of election season, CSU students supporting Donald Trump for president built a cardboard box wall in the Plaza in a demonstration that they claimed was in support of free speech.

8. “Rams Remember Rams honors those who passed this academic year

4,393 views | by Julia Rentsch

The Collegian’s editor in chief reports from an event commemorating the 86 members of the CSU community who passed away during the 2015-16 academic year.

9. “Diversity Bill passed after overflowing gallery, protest and petition

4,192 views | by Erin Douglas

This article by one of the Collegian’s news editors relayed how ASCSU’s Diversity Bill narrowly passed the senate and allocated nine senator seats and nine associate senator seats to representatives for SDPS offices, International Programs and Services and the Adult Learner and Veterans Services Office.

10. “Blink-182 are coming back with new album, tour and singer

3,294 views | by Alec Erickson

In the year’s most-read rendition of the Alec Reviews Music Column, Alec discusses the return of Blink-182 with their latest album, “California,” which came out on July 1.

Top 3 Instagram posts of 2016:




Top 5 news stories of 2016:

  1. CSU discontinues trombone suicide marching band tradition” – 14,028 views – Tatiana Parafinuk Talesnick
  2. Students angered by free speech wall built in plaza Tuesday” – 5,557 views – Stuart Smith
  3. Diversity Bill passed after overflowing gallery, protest and petition” – 4,192 views – Erin Douglas
  4. Pineda Soraca narrowly wins ASCSU presidency, constitution ratified with diversity amendment” – 2,592 views – Erin Douglas
  5. “Breaking: Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to speak at Moby Sunday” – 2,443 – Ellie Mulder

Top 2 arts and culture stories of 2016:

  1. Blink 182 are coming back with new album, tour and singer – 3,294 views – Allec Ericson
  2. How to turn the presidential debate into a drinking game – 2,163 views – Max Sundberg

Top 2 sports stories of 2016:

  1. Colorado State Bowl predictions – 2,144 views – Chad Deutschman
  2. Words from the Pope: Could Colorado State’s academic standing really land it in the Big 12? – 1,699 views – Keegan Pope

Collegian News Editor Erin Douglas can be reached at or on Twitter @erinmdouglas23

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