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Letter to the Editor

By Ellen Tashie Frisina, Associate Professor


As a proud former Editor in Chief for The Chronicle (1976-77), and now a proud member of Hofstra's faculty, I found this week's editorial bittersweet – especially the part about former Editors-in-Chief passing down Chronicle history orally. So true. 

The Chronicle Alumni reunion had very sparse attendance this year, mostly because – as alumni told Alumni Relations when they floated the idea – most of us former student journalists remember the dark side of Hofstra. Journalists are well-known for gathering only in dark pubs after a particularly harrowing workday, so it is no surprise that less than 50 people registered for the April 2 reunion. 

Harking back to that oral history, I need to make a correction to Marc Butcavage's page 3 essay on Nonsense. Nonsense may indeed have grown out of the New Voice, but the New Voice was actually founded in 1976 as a reaction to The Chronicle's coverage of the Student Senate, now the SGA.

At the time of my editorship, The Chronicle printed many articles and editorials that focused on misdoings, misdeeds, and general problems with the Student Senate. It was good journalism; but like any good journalism, it didn't please the government much. One student senator took it upon himself to start his own newspaper, and got Senate funding to counter The Chronicle's coverage of the Senate. Shortly after that incident, The Chronicle had its budget cut, the small stipends to editors yanked away, and there was a lot of talk about evicting us from our offices. 

I could tell you the name of that Student Senator, and I can tell you that within a year the New Voice folded – apparently to be reborn in 1983, rising like the phoenix from the ashes.  I could also tell you how the Chronicle remained stalwart, strong and sarcastic – but as your editorial noted, I'd have to tell you orally, probably over a beer in a dark pub.  Or at next year's reunion.  I'll be there.

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