The Weekly

For the majority of Ursinus's history, the school's newspaper was called "The Weekly". The switch to renaming it the Grizzly is actually a relatively recent one. Because the school newspaper was (and still is) run by a group of students, it serves as a unique way to look back and begin to understand the type of issues that were on the minds of students. It is important to note however that a couple of articles cannot be indicative of the thoughts and ideas of the entire student body at the time. Where the newspaper really shines, in my mind at least, is when it can begin, encourage, and foster a dialogue with other students. It shows in those moments that whatever is being discussed was important enough to the student body for them to act and speak their mind. 

While the title of my project would lead one to assume I would be presenting material from the beginning of the war to the close, a two-decade time period ranging from 1955 to 1975, it was a very conscious decision on my part to focus on the late 1960s and early 1970s. On one hand, it was just an issue with scale. To comprehensively work my way through 20 years of school newspapers while also using the Lantern, Alumni Journals, and interviews in my project felt as if it was biting off too much for me to chew for an eight-week timeframe. I did not choose my starting and ending dates randomly however. At the beginning of the project, I did go through the majority of Weekly editions from this time period but there was not much I could actively use, which actually says a lot on its own.

During the late fifties and early sixties, the Ursinus campus was a quiet place. While there may be brief mentions of the outside world, the Weekly was most concerned about what was happening on campus. To be fair, that makes sense. This is only a small newspaper from a small school. However, when the biggest stories are about who could be voted as Homecoming Queen or who scored the game-winning touchdown, which does not give me many usable sources to work with to discuss Vietnam.

It was in 1967 that we begin to see a change in the attitude of the Weekly. The editor worked to get the campus more involved and more informed about what was happening in the world. This change in the tone of the Weekly roughly coincides with the Tet Offensive, which is widely regarded to be the turning point of both the outcome of the war and the public's support of the war.

As with any event, it is not as if American support disappeared overnight as a result of the Tet Offensive. Support had been waning for a long time but this seems to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

Vietnam & Ursinus
The Weekly