The Dickinsonian was founded in 1872. It was first issued by two literary societies and was distributed monthly. The paper was typically eight pages in length and devoted to literary articles, nothing like the contemporary newspapers and The Dickinsonian of today. It was founded “for the purpose of advancing the interests of the institution; and uniting more closely the Alumni to their Alma Matter; and promoting Science, Art, Literature and Religion” (Sellers 271). The literary paper was furnished by the faculty, administration, alumni, and a few others.
During this time The Dickinsonian brought speakers such as Walt Whitman to the College. The paper was a journal and had a severe lack of actual current events and news. An example is the time between 1874-1875 where the College was at court in defense from faculty that the board of trustees had removed. There is no mention of the court hearings or the College affairs whatsoever. Eventually students began to contribute to the editorials “some trifling news” (Morgan 431). Student articles however were “under the same watchful supervision of public orations” (Sellers 272). The Dickinsonian changed with the passing of time. It began to develop into an actual college newspaper that allowed students to become aware of the current events relating to Dickinson, a “news sheet.”
As time passed, the student body organized, edited, and produced the newDickinsonian without the strict supervision of the administration. The original literary societies that had given birth to the past Dickinsonian were not content with this transition and added the The Dickinsonian Literary Monthly. The Dickinsonian however had become more of a news sheet that eventually was issued weekly. “This more frequent issue furnished opportunity for both college news and the literary product of the student body” (Morgan 432).
The paper was diminished from 1879 to 1883 due to “fraternity politics in the choice of editors” (432). Management also contributed to a similar problem in 1923. In 1925 the paper returned and continued to be issued weekly, consisting of about four to eight pages in length. It was greatly supported by both the administration and entire student body.
By 1934 The Dickinsonian was well situated as a credible newspaper, being recognized by major newspapers in near cities. It addressed the college’s political, socialand academic issues. It was a way for students to stay informed of the current news and a way for them to express there reactions and feelings. The Dickinsonianbetween 1931 and 1934 portrays many of the issues and grievances student wanted to address.