College Humor

Once a year the student journalist at several colleges get into trouble for the annual April Fool’s issue, which is always irreverent and often vulgar or offensive.

At one college, however, they leave that issue for the last day of classes. According to an article by Joyce Tsai in the Lowell Sun:

UMass Lowell administrators are expressing anger and disappointment over the offensive nature of the spoof edition of its student newspaper, dubbed the “UMAss” Lowell Disconnector, in which the “M” has a red “X” through it.

The paper, which came out Wednesday, is part of an annual tradition of the regular student newspaper, the UMass Lowell Connector. This last edition of the school year is intended to be pure farce. Part Onion and part Harvard Lampoon, it’s intended to make students laugh, and it’s an opportunity for its hard-working student staff every year to blow off some steam, its editors say.

The paper’s website has apparently been down for months but UCVB has captured an image of the cover here. According to Tsai this year’s issue was very controversial:

But this year, it has sparked the indignation not only of university officials and faculty, but the campus’s students leaders, said Larry Siegel, UMass Lowell’s dean of students.

The eight-page issue is packed with raunchy, lewd and crude attempts at humor that some might say is more befitting of a movie rated NC-17 rather than a college publication. Rife with profanity, it features a grotesque string of ribald tweets supposedly ripped from the actual Twitterverse.

Really? Because it seems like raunchy humor is a pretty common characteristic of the annual satirical issue of a college publication.

This issue also apparently featured “jokey items about gays, immigrants and race, a guide to the best brands of college booze.” One article consisted entirely of “a derogatory term for a woman’s anatomy” repeated over and over.

Siegel told Tsai “There’s a responsibility here. And this is immature, careless and callous. Words are very powerful. And these kind of public words are ones you are going to be accountable to.”

He’s presumably talking to the paper’s editor-in-chief, Megan Headley, and the managing editor, Nick Alexandropolous.

But actually they probably won’t be held accountable. The issue seems only to exist in printed form; at this point it’s not even possible to find the paper’s regular articles online.

Furthermore, because the students released the newspaper on the last day of classes, rather
than on 1 April, no one will remember this in September, when the next issue issue of the publication comes out.

Well played, actually.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer