Last week I went to a newspaper conference with the UVU Review and like previous conferences, it became very clear that our paper is not like most. Most college newspapers have a reoccurring topic that the Review hardly touches on. This topic is anything regarding alcohol. Headlines like party crashing, DU-Why and best beer for your buck, would seldom to never show up in the UVU Review, but this is prevalent in most other college papers.
It is not that UVU students don’t drink. As a UVU custodian, I found many beer bottles in the women’s restrooms on campus while cleaning. The girls bathrooms have the added bonus of a feminine napkin disposal within the stalls, creating the opportunity to not be seen throwing the bottle away. However, the five bottles found each semester doesn’t really compare to the amount of drinking done in other state campuses. This was obvious when attending classes with other schools at the conference.
It is interesting to hear instructors for the conference say things like, “I know what you guys do on the weekends,” and to hear fellow students say, “Dang I’m so hung over.” These types of comments made me feel so alienated and odd, which is probably true. LDS members know that the life they live is different from the rest of the world, but I don’t think many realize how different it is, however those who write, know that stories about drinking attract readers. UVU Review is not able to cover that popular topic since it is not exactly relevant to the majority of the student body.
Although we don’t get to write about some of the exciting content other papers do, our paper seemed to do well in comparison to the other papers. Critics were surprised and impressed with our design and content. Our staff was also less than impressed with the other newspapers. Many other publications didn’t have the recourses or support that ours has. We met many staffs that consisted of ten people or even less. Our staff has 25. In other schools, those who write, often also photograph and design the paper as well, resulting in terrible photos and design that is lacking.
Alcohol causes a lot of interesting stories for a newspaper to cover. There are endless possible issues to be had when a person gets wasted. An arrested group of students who can’t get back from spring break, waking up with strange individuals on your couch and the person who carries a breathalyzer, would cause an array of possible stories UVU would rarely have. I think it is ok though. –Without that go-to topic, we need to be more creative, and use pure talent to peak student interest. Nonetheless, I want to say thank you UVU for supporting our paper.