In the late 1960s, The Collegian premiered Campus Scene as a forum to spread social news. Separated into “Men’s News” and “Women’s News,” the column offered interesting tidbits from a variety of social groups at Hillsdale. This innocent information often included lists of new Greek pledges and advertised all-campus events.
But, as Robert Frost once said, “Nothing gold can stay,” and Campus Scene quickly derailed. Instead of presenting wholesome facts, the column began spreading ruthless, dare I say, life-ruining gossip.
Campus Scene soon evolved into a space with the sole purpose of trashing fellow students — a 20th century Yikyak some might say, either in paragraph form or a simple “Shut up Janelle!” Yes, that was an actual line printed in the April 22, 1971 issue of The Collegian, sandwiched between this assortment of inquiries:
“Who is it this week Linda?”
“Is J.H. still shaking up with J.W.?”
Two years later, the one-liners just kept coming. The Oct. 11, 1973 issue read,
“L.S. congratulations go out to you this issue for making it home before 9:00 a.m. last weekend!”
That is classic Campus Scene, only printing initials and first names, as if everyone from sea to shining sea didn’t know exactly who L.S. was.
Some of my personal favorite quotes can be found in the Sept. 20, 1973 issue.
“Girls in Olds, please wear clothes.” A lesson for the younger readers: That is what we call a pre-twitter subtweet.
“Does anyone know a good hang-over cure? Or how to re-fill a fire extinguisher?” What a weekend that must have been.
The column didn’t just cover gossip though. No, the Nov. 15, 1973 issue truly asked the hard-hitting questions: “Who boogies at 5:00 a.m.?”
That is just intellectual curiosity at work.
Campus Scene also taught facts that even Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn could not educate you about. The Oct. 28, 1971 issue reads, “Last weekend was the weekend.” The author wasn’t wrong about that.
On top of its journalism and philosophy, Campus Scene managed to crack a few jokes. On March 14, 1974, the Campus Scene said, “If there was an award for streaking, the ATOs would win it — PANTS DOWN!” If someone mixed the brains of Lenny Bruce, Jerry Seinfeld, and Chevy Chase, they still would not be able to come up with a quote as original and jocular as this.
I’m sure current readers are reading these Campus Scene quotes and shaking their heads at the debauchery. However, this Hillsdale student prefers to fondly tip her cap to the boisterous column authors for having the courage to spill the tea.