I did an experiment: I randomly chose a year in the “life” of UHD, and read the newspaper. Now, many things were happening in the world in 1991-1992 (fall of the Soviet Union, Kuwait, end of apartheid, “war on drugs”, etc). But of course, when reading a newspaper like the Dateline Downtown, global becomes local. So what do we learn?
- The students of LASSO (the Latin American students organization) were tired of being ignored by the student press, which had no Hispanic students on staff. Their letter to the editor, while publicly rebuffed, led to much more exposure of their events by the paper (March 1992)
- UHD made a concerted effort, against the system, to establish a “traditional” liberal arts program here (Feb 1992)
- Maya Angelou and Carlos Fuentes both spoke here
- In an interview with one of the shuttle bus drivers, Lawrence Smith, he revealed that his own brother-in-law had been shot just weeks before as an innocent victim of the drug wars of the early ’90s
- There was a “Church under the bridge” which met every Sunday to give outdoor services to the homeless in downtown (April 1992)
- The Chinese Student Association and Vietnamese Student Association played a volleyball game at Allen Park (October 1991)
- The UHD Center, and its dormitory, closed for good, which prevented many students with disabilities from continuing their studies here at UHD (July 1991)
- On Valentine’s Day, there was a campus-wide Dating Game held; applications were solicited from the newspaper. Who ended up with whom remains one of history’s mysteries (February 1992)
While there is little of “historical record” in student newspapers as a rule, the climate of the University is visible on every page: what the students cared about, how they approached their problems and the problems of others, and the role that their classes and professors played in their everyday life.