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Bates Student cover from the 1870s

The Bates Student, established in 1873 is the student-run newspaper of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. The Student is run entirely by students and the administration does not interfere with the paper's operations. The Student is the one of the oldest continuously-published college weeklies in the United States, and the oldest co-ed college weekly in the country.[1]


Circulation and Distribution

Approximately 1,900 copies of The Student printed every week and distributed to hundreds of alumni, parents, and other friends of the College. The paper is published each Tuesday while classes are in session and is distributed to Chase Hall (~1,000 copies), the Chase Hall Post Office (~400), the newsroom in Chase Hall (~100), the Lane Hall mail room (~300, to be sent to trustees, alumni, subscribers and students studying abroad), Ladd Library (~25), and Pettengill Hall (~75).

The Student has been intermittently online since the late 1990s. Once a year The Student runs a spoof edition commonly known as the "Bates Spudent."


Coram Library

The Bates Student was one of many college newspapers founded shortly after the Civil War and describes itself as "the nation's oldest continuously co-ed college weekly," although this fact is hotly contested among other college newspapers.[2]

The Bates Student, founded in 1873, was originally a newspaper and literary magazine, as a successor to the Seminary Advocate (1855-1863) and College Courant (ca. 1864-1872).[3] Among its earliest editors and writers in the 1870s were African Americans and women.[4] Originally issued bi-weekly, it has been a weekly since the early twentieth century. [5 ] It is one of the oldest continuously-published college weeklies in the U.S., which means that it has been in publication every academic year that Bates has been in session since it began publishing weekly.[5 ]

The Student was originally laid out in a smaller literary magazine format and included literary material such as poems and fiction alongside its news. In 1879, the literary society formed its own publication, The Garnet, and The Student has primarily focused on reporting news. [5 ] In the early twentieth century, the Student abandoned the literary magazine format and moved to a larger broadsheet layout in keeping with the times. [5 ]

The Student office has its own archives, with issues dating back to 1873. The Muskie Archives and Special Collection Library at Bates College has a nearly complete archive of past Student issues in print. The library also has issues of the Seminary Advocate and College Courant dating back to the 1850s and 1860s.[6]

The Student endured some short-lived competition when "The John Galt Press" was being published at Bates, but The Student is currently the college's only campus publication. The Maine College Republicans and Democrats also distributed their college newspapers briefly at Bates but have not done so in quite some time.[6]

Notable Student Writers and Editors


  • Anthony, Alfred Williams, Bates College and Its Background, (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1936).
  1. ^ Because many college newspapers were founded at almost the same time, there is scope for many competing claims of being oldest or first. The Bowdoin Orient (Bowdoin was an all male school), founded in 1871, also claims to be the "oldest continuously-published college weekly in the United States". The Yale Daily News claims to be the "Oldest College Daily" in the United States. The Harvard Crimson also founded in 1873 claims to "the nation's oldest continuously published daily college newspaper." The Columbia Daily Spectator , founded in 1877, claims to be the second-oldest college daily. The Cornell Daily Sun, launched in 1880, claims to be the "oldest independent college newspaper." The Dartmouth of Dartmouth College, which opened in 1843 as a monthly, calls itself the oldest college newspaper, though not the oldest daily, and makes a claim to institutional continuity with a local eighteenth-century paper called the Dartmouth Gazette.
  2. ^ Ibid. & "About the Bates Student," Bates Student website
  3. ^
  4. ^ (Bates College Thesis 2005)Timothy Larson, "Faith By Their Works," Thesis website[1]
  5. ^ a b c d Anthony, Alfred Williams, Bates College and Its Background, (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1936).
  6. ^ a b

External links



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