Veritas: The “liberated” Elon College Newspaper

Shannon Tennant
March 28, 2014

The late 1960s were a time of turmoil on college campuses, and Elon was no exception. Serious issues such as the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War polarized public opinion in the United States. Rock and roll, “hippies” with long hair, and women’s changing roles were exciting new trends or the end of civilization, depending on your point of view.

Elon had possessed a student newspaper since its earliest days. The Maroon and Gold was founded in 1919 to replace the defunct Elon College Weekly. Though initially independent, by the 1960s the paper was financially supported by the college and produced by a for-credit journalism class. Distrust of the college administration and concerns about censorship prompted a group of students in the Student Government Association to found a “liberated” newspaper. They called it Veritas, meaning truth.

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Bubble Bitching : Elon’s satirical underground newspaper

Shannon Tennant
November 29, 2013

The Pendulum is Elon’s official student newspaper, but there have been several unofficial, “underground” publications offering different viewpoints of campus events.  One of the most amusing was the satirical paper Bubble Bitching.  In the style of the Onion, Bubble Bitching was created by a senior Business major and a senior Communications major in the spring of 2003.  “We’ve been making these jokes to each other for three years,” said one editor in a Pendulum interview. “Now we’re putting them down on paper.”

Bubble Bitching was produced biweekly for a year, printed double-sided on a piece of regular paper (this was in the days of unlBubbleBitchingPic2imited campus printing, before print dollars!) and slipped into the Pendulum’s newspaper racks.  The front page of Bubble Bitching contained two stories and a sidebar of funny headlines.  There was a joke under the masthead, and the reported price of each issue varied.  There were several digitally manipulated pictures with irreverent captions.  On the back, the editors provided a list of real music concerts coming to the area.  Their slogan was, “Quit your damn bitching. That’s our job.”  The editors remained officially anonymous during their tenure.

Bubble Bitching was very popular on campus.  Students, faculty, and even administrators eagerly awaited each issue.  In fact, the editors confirmed to the Pendulum that several administrators had expressed their appreciation.  (These administrators were left anonymous, no doubt to protect their reputations.)  The magazine was not without controversy, however.  A Pendulum editorial in April 2003 made slighting references to Bubble Bitching and a website called “You go to Elon if.”  The Bubble Bitching staff replied with an editorial of their own, defending the place of underground publications.

Bubble Bitching was celebrated in a 2011 exhibit by the Sorry, an arts curatorial club.  “(Almost) 10 Years after Bubble Bitching” was held in the Arts & Letters learning community in Trollinger House for one night only.  It featured enlargements of the issues hung on the walls.  Because no contemporary students remembered the paper, it was a chance to educate people about a creative part of Elon’s media history.

The original Bubble Bitching was followed by several imitators.  The longest lived revival appeared briefly in the spring of 2012, perhaps inspired by the Sorry’s exhibit the previous semester.  This new Bubble Bitching was close in format to the original: one double-sided page, two or three short satirical stories, and a sidebar of humorous headlines.  The masthead read, “BB is the stuff of legends…Anyway, BB was billed as the official unofficial paper of Elon when it launched in 2003.  Now it’s taking back the title.”  The 2012 Bubble Bitching staff used a blog to organize the issues, which can be found at the site http://bubblebitching.blogspot.com/. Unfortunately, publication seems to have ceased after only five issues.

In the words of the original editor, “We’re proud of Elon. We pay to go to a private school just like everyone else. But it’s amusing where some of the values are placed here. It’s important to laugh at ourselves.”

Who will take up the challenge next?

Some highlights from the original Bubble Bitching, which can be found in its entirety in the Belk Library Archives:

  • “Fabulously Wealthy Alumni Engage in Bidding War for Naming Rights to New Crosswalk Median”
  • “Elon Establishes Followership Fellows Program”
  • “Elon Study Abroad Programs Target Disney World”
  • “Elon Ratio makes Bad Pickup Lines More Effective”
  • “Elon Starts Club Beer Pong Team”

Colonnades Literary Journal: Writing at Elon

Julia Mueller
September 20, 2013

1st issue of Colonnades, May 1937

1st issue of Colonnades, May 1937

The first issue of the Elon Colonnades was released in May 1937.  Elon College owned a printing press making the publication of the annual literary journal possible.  Students exclusively contributed to the content, which included poems, fiction, non-fiction, and art.  In 1951, the title was formally changed to Colonnades.  There were several years in the 1950s when the journal was not printed, but in 1962, Professor Franke J. Butler and Mrs. Nancy Butler restored the tradition.  From the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, Colonnades also published planners and calendars displaying art and photography.  In 2002, the first issue with a theme was published.  The theme was “Snapshots of Life.”

Today, Colonnades is an award-winning journal and continues to be entirely operated by students.  The goal of the journal is to promote creative expression among students.  Students develop a theme in the fall for the upcoming issue and students from all majors may submit literature or art.  The 2013 theme was “The Quiet Divide.”  The editors choose which texts are most suitable for the issue and in the spring, the new issue is presented.  Featured students read selections and art pieces are displayed during the unveiling celebration.  Copies are free to the public.

The first poem in Vol. 1 No. 1 of the 1937 issue was written by Margaret Earp, a member of the editorial staff.  It reads,

“Emotion”
O to write and give wing to this pent-up emotion;
To tell with a pen what no tongue can recite;
To yield up my feelings, hear no words of wisdom;
Have no reproach, but only to write!

Student publications on campus

Pam Richter – Class of 2011
October 8, 2010

Throughout its rich history, there have been a number of firsts that have and also continue to take place on Elon University’s campus. The Elon College Monthly was the first student publication established on Elon’s campus with the first issue of the publication printed in June of 1891. This was a joint enterprise of the three literary societies (Clio, Philologian, and Psiphelian) on campus. Continue reading

Phi Psi Cli yearbook archive hits cyberspace

Eric Townsend-University Relations
Dec. 21, 2009

Page from Phi Psi Cli. Photo courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Elon University’s entire collection of yearbooks, from Phi Psi Cli’s debut in 1913 through its 2009 edition, is now available to view online with search functions that allow users to locate specific names and organizations in a given year.

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