Happy 95th birthday, you estranged cousin from down the hall
our arch rivals somewhat competent practitioners in journalism amicable “newspaper of record,” whatever that means, down the hallway of the fourth floor of the Leavey Center has made it into its 95th year of existence. Vox takes a look back at the paper’s sometimes difficult history.
According to Georgetown University Library, The Hoya was first newspaper to cover all aspects of university life; hence, its name. Somewhere along the line, at the height of the Vietnam War, the paper decided to solely focus on university life, and Georgetown students rallied against its editors’ conservatism and pressured for it to disband.
A result of the widespread backlash was the founding of the Voice, by two former editors of The Hoya, who made a promise, in March 4, 1969, “to present and analyze national and local issues of concern to the student, whose concern should spread beyond the campus”. The two newspapers have since engaged in a
somewhat bitter friendly rivalry.
In its more recent history, The Hoya planned for almost five years to become independent of the university in 2009, as is standard practice for many major college newspapers across the country. During the process, however, while student groups generally supported the move (even the Voice did then) the university went ahead to file a trademark for its name.
The potentially sticky legal questions for independence ended up not mattering anyway after The Hoya published an April Fool’s Day issue widely criticized for its insensitive and discriminatory content, which, a later enquiry would conclude, showed that it lacked diversity training.
In the issue’s wake, students staged a sit-in protest at its office, President John J. DeGioia weighed in on the matter multiple times after the publication sparked acts of vandalism on campus, and its editors faced the music in angry town hall meetings. The Center for Student Engagement forced the newspaper to delay independence for a year as part of its sanctions, and ultimately The Hoya decided to drop the idea of independence indefinitely.
Today, from the library now accepting credit cards to people slipping on ice, The Hoya continues to dutifully report on everything that happens on the Hilltop—though it could use some work on its headlines.
In any case, a heartfelt congratulations from Vox!