The Spectrum and The Voice

When I moved to Cleveland in May of 1991, I immediately began looking for work. It was too late to find teaching assignments for the summer term, but I lined up some courses at both Notre Dame College (not the Fighting Irish of South Bend but the Squabbling Nuns of South Euclid) and Cuyahoga Community College. CCC's Western Campus also hired me in as a part-time hourly employee to advise their campus newspaper, the Spectrum.

I wound up teaching at CCC until the spring of 2006, and for all that time I continue to advise the Spectrum . In 1999, the college decided to combine the three campus newspapers — West's Spectrum, Metro's Mosaic, and East's High Point — into a single, college-wide publication, the Voice. Since that change was made, each issue has consisted of four sections: a college-wide "wraparound" (the Voice) plus three campus-specific inserts. The role of coordinating the wraparound section rotates between the campuses, and, at the end of each academic year, the "lead" campus also publishes an all-Voice graduation issue.

For the academic year 2002-03, Eastern Campus had the lead. Their student staff flaked out around Christmas time, though, and we at West were asked to take over the coordinating role. We stepped right in, and our first issue — in March — caused some controversy, since it used a "taboo" word in the above-the-fold page-1 headline:

The next month, we turned the back page of the April issue into a fake front page, spoofing all the previous month's fuss:

To my pleased surprise, only two people objected to our belated April Fool's Day gag. Everyone else seemed to find it funny — and quite a few folks pulled me aside to say that it was the best thing they'd ever seen in the campus paper.

One of the perks of being the Spectrum advisor was that I got to go to the College Media Advisors conference every fall. The CMA conference is always held in a nice hotel in a cool location — San Francisco, New Orleans, Orlando, Atlanta, Kansas City, Washington DC, New York — so I got to sightsee, visit with friends and family in the area, and hang out with enjoyable colleagues (such as Ira Levy and Shellie Michael).

Since moving to Maryland in '06, I've missed the challenges and rewards of college-newspaper advising and I've missed the free trips to the annual CMA conference! Maybe one of these days I'll get back into the advising bidnis. I'd like that....

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