Opinion: The Maroon serves the people


The Jan. 16, 1966 front cover of The Maroon.

Michael Giusti

In 1923, Time Magazine was founded. Warner Bros. was founded. Insulin was first used to treat diabetes. The Republic of Turkey was founded. Yankee Stadium was opened.

Oh, and The Maroon published our first issue.

None of those events were in that first issue of The Maroon. That wasn’t our charge. That isn’t our mission.

We were founded by Herald A. Dempsy – the student who happened to later found the Beggars fraternity. Dempsy’s vision, and The Maroon’s charge to this day, is to serve “A Greater Loyola.”

Sure, we are part of New Orleans, and part of the world, but we are the one institution determined to chronicle the day-to-day life and times of Loyola.

Our code of ethics charges us to be both Loyola’s “mirror and lamp.” We reflect the campus back to itself and we shine light on all areas of campus.

We are here to show the campus as it is – come good and come bad.

So, as the world turned, we were here with you. Along with Loyola, we survived the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. We mourned JFK’s assassination and the attacks against the Twin Towers. We were part of the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, and we are here today.

We are student media.

We are here to serve, you, the students. We are made by the students.

Our mission says we must be representative of the entire campus. That means that if you are a biology major, you are welcome to work with us. Law student? Come on down. Faculty member? We’d love to run your opinion.

We are made by Loyola for Loyola.

Granted, this has taken humorous turns over the years.

In 1929, when the stock market was crashing on Black Thursday, a Maroon front page headline proclaimed a Glee Club Quartette appearance at the Saenger Theatre.

When the Allies declared victory in 1945, The Maroon’s front page announced that the “Mass of the Holy Ghost Will Open School Year.”

When the United States tested the world’s first hydrogen bomb in 1952, The Maroon spent countless column inches devoted to Loyola’s homecoming queen.

Our advertisements have run the gamut as well, with everything from classic Coca-Cola ads to infamous cigarette advertisements gracing our pages.

None of this is to say that The Maroon was oblivious to the world – we have always strived to capture the world, too – but for us, Loyola is our focus. We want to be Loyola’s first draft of history, and in many cases, we were Loyola’s only historic record.

It is because of Maroon coverage that you can learn about “Pathways” – the controversial post-Katrina rebuilding plan that restructured Loyola and set into motion much of what is happening on campus today.

Maroon stories can tell you the story of how Loyola almost moved its campus to Kenner. Yes, you read that right.

We were here when women were first allowed on Loyola’s campus, and when Loyola admitted its first black student to the School of Law.

Our archives tell the tale of when a major Freeport McMoRan donation almost ripped the campus apart.

The Maroon’s archives can teach you about how Loyola has seen itself throughout the ages, and it has been the Maroon’s mission to tell that story.

For 12 years it has been my great pleasure to serve as the adviser to The Maroon. I have strived to encourage our staff to tell Loyola’s story – your story. Some times we succeed. Sometimes we are tone deaf. Sometimes we fail.

But since 1923, we have been here for you. We have been doing our part, for A Greater Loyola.