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The Campus Scene column logo. | Col­legian

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.

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    sounds like a good time. I’m sur­prised the college allowed this to be printed. They usually squash any­thing that sheds light on what hillsdale college was really like back in the day. This type of column basi­cally con­tinued right up until about 2003.