Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

inDisposable: a Night at the Kenyon Collegian

Madeleine Thompson
February 11, 2014

On any given Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., there’s an office on the third floor of Peirce, all the way at the end of the hall, that’s starting to bustle. This is the office of the Kenyon Collegian, your friendly neighborhood student-run campus newspaper since 1856. I am a co-news editor of this little-publication-that-could, and I get to spend my Wednesdays with several of the hardest working people I know.

Our five sections are News, Features, Arts, Sports, and Opinions, not to mention design (they make sure there’s enough room for everything and that it looks good) and photo. I’ll be your guide today as we travel through a week in the life of the students that keep you informed. And in disposables, no less! #seewhatididthere?

Figure 1 Staffers start getting organized for production night.

Staffers getting organized for production night. 


4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. (ish): The editorial staff gathers in the office to prepare for the week’s issue. Run by our editors-in-chief and managing editor, this meeting is about several things: going over the story budget each editor submitted for their section, making sure all of the stories they budgeted are still happening, adding new stories that have arisen, and budgeting stories for the following week’s issue. We also make sure there are photos for most of the articles. During this meeting, the head designers are taking notes and figuring out roughly where everything will go.

5:30 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.: my two co-editors and I meet with our writers and assign stories from next week’s budget so they can get started. Stories for the current week’s issue should ideally be written already, but we also go over progress and problem with those. (Editors for other sections have meetings with their writers at different times.)


4:00 p.m. — ???: production night* for Features, Arts, and Opinions. 


4:00 p.m. — ???: production night for News, Sports, and anything that didn’t get finished the night before.


All day: the Collegian appears out of nowhere in Peirce, the Bookstore, the library, and most other buildings!


Editors and writers are busy with their stories for next week. On Sunday nights, editors from each section update the story budget for the upcoming week and a budget is sent out for the week after. It’s the ciiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiife!


Chief Copy Editor David Hoyt '14, looming.

*Now, you may be asking, what exactly does “production night” entail? Behold! I have made you a list of what goes down in order to get articles from the editors’ inboxes to your hands. We begin when editors arrive at the office on Tuesday or Wednesday...

  • Articles are uploaded to a shared Google Docs folder.                       

  • Articles are edited by copy editors, chief copy editor, managing editor, and editors-in-chief.

  • Final articles and their accompanying photos or graphics are placed onto pages by designers via Adobe InDesign. InDesign is a strange beast with which I am only moderately familiar, but let me tell you— our designers do some serious magic.

  • Pages are given headlines, photo captions, bylines, etc. by section editors.

  • Pages are printed and read by chief copy editor, managing editor, and editors-in-chief.

  • Necessary changes are made to pages by section editors.

  • Final pages are printed and hung on export board.    

  • Jumps (the ends and beginnings of articles that start and finish on different pages) are double-checked.

  • Pages are emailed to the Mount Vernon News office in Mount Vernon, where they are printed.

  • An editor picks up the newspapers Thursday morning and brings them to the office, where they are distributed by editors to your doorstep*. *Sort of.


On the left: the fabulous news team. My co-editor Henri Gendreau '16 lookin' sharp in the white sweater and Senior News Editor Sam Colt '14 being important behind a desk. On the right (from left to right): Managing Editor Rosie Aquila '14, Art Director Wilfred Ahrens '15, and co-Editor-in-Chief David McCabe '14 are no doubt doing some crucial deliberating.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it works. I won’t say it’s not a lot of work, but I will say that it’s the second or third best part of Kenyon for me. I joined the Collegian my freshman year and have never looked back. Thanks to the editors I’ve had and the staff I’ve worked with, journalism has become the thing I want to do with my life. The documentary about my incredibly successful life will be called “From the Hill to the Times” (hopefully).

Well that’s it for our tour, thanks for visiting. Please use the exit on your left. Or better yet, join the Collegian and see your name in lights (ink) and get to know a great group of pretty dedicated kids.

Visit us at www.kenyoncollegianonline.com or on Facebook. More photos are on my blog at www.nomadeleine.wordpress.com

                                                        The export board displays pages as they get edited.