In the Iowa State Daily‘s early years, every first edition of a term would start with a welcome column. What was mentioned in the column varied. Some were a simple welcome back to school, some stated a mission statement and goals for the new staff, some strongly encouraged the student body and alumni to subscribe, and some were detailed on how the newspaper was changing from the previous year. This welcome editorial for the fall 1901 term gave a brief history of The I.S.C. Student, which at the time was 11 years old and still decades away from being a daily newspaper, and previous campus publications.
Again the editorial staff of The Student extends greeting to the students faculty, and alumni of I. S. C., and again we greet you in new form. It is one of the prerogatives of a college paper to change its form, at least annually, and during the past year we have twice taken advantage of this privilege. Whether or not the changes have been for the betterment of the paper we leave to the judgment of the reading public, but we sincerely believe that no backward step has been taken.
A brief account of the changes in the college paper since its first issue may be of interest.
The first Student paper published in this institution appeared in June, 1973, with M. Stalker as editor-in-chief. The staff was composed of representatives of the different literary societies which were in existence at that time: Bachelor, Cliolian, Crescent, and Philomathean. It was controlled by a board of directors, one each from these societies. The paper was known as “The Aurora,” eight pages, 16×10 inches. The subscription price was one dollar, and the venture was successful from the start. In 1877, with W. A. Helsell as editor-in-chief, the size of the page was reduced, and the number of pages increased to twelve. Three years later the size was again changed and sixteen pages were printed. In this form the magazine continued to exist up to 1891, the exact date of its demise we were unable to learn. The Aurora was not only a college newspaper, but a magazine as well, and published original poetry, scientific essays, and orations. Shortly previous to the end of the Aurora’s career, F. E. Davidson and E. E. Faville, ’93, with others, published for a short time. “The Clipper”, a paper composed largely of criticism of existing things, which soon after was established permanently as the “I. A. C. Student” under the same management.
The Student was first issued in weekly form, eight pages, [rough?]ly the same size as the first issues of “The Aurora”, at a price of fifty cents per term. It continued in this form, with a steadily increasing financial deficiency, up to March, 1897, when Guy Brewer, ’97, took editorial charge, and made a number of radical changes.
The paper was issued in 20-page pamphlet form much similar to that of the spring term of this year, but semi-monthly. While it was a financial success, and while Mr. Brewer and his associates succeeded in removing a part of the burden of debt, which at this time amounted to several hundred dollars, the semi-monthly form was not popular, after the years of weekly publication. So in August, 1897, with A. P. Whitmore, ’98, as business manager, and Edward Rhodenbaugh as editor. The Student resumed the 8-page weekly form but greatly reduced in size. In this way it was relieved of its financial load, and placed on a sound basis. But there were many disadvantages in the 8-page paper, familiar to most of our readers. Then, in February, 1901, the pamphlet form, twenty pages, was revived, and while in many ways it overcame the objections to the old form, yet the present staff believed improvements could yet be made.
In the coming year, we propose to issue The Student every Wednesday and Saturday of the college term, making especial effort to have fresh, spicy local and alumni notes, and the record of athletic events appearing as promptly as possible after their occurrence. Arrangements have been made to have the details of football games scheduled for Saturday in the issue of the same day, instead of a week later, as in the old form, when all interest was lost. We intend to make the paper well worth the subscription price, and we hope to have the undivided support of the student body. The Student is not issued in the interest of any class or faction; with the aid of all we hope to make it fill the place which a college paper should fill, as the exponent of a great school. Our columns are always open to our subscribers, and all matters of interest to the student body will be gratefully received by the editorial board. A college paper is what the student body makes it–a success or a failure. Help us to make the new Student an unqualified success.
—The I.S.C. Student, “Greeting” from 4 Sep 1907