Monday Morning Blues (newspaper)


Monday Morning Blues (newspaper)

The College of San Mateo Monday Morning Blues was a creation of the Associated Students of the College of San Mateo, first published in 1980. It was normally printed on a weekly basis, each new issue appearing on the titular Monday morning, boasting itself as a cure for the Monday morning blues. Its first editor was J.D. Hildebrand. It led a fitful first few years of life until the mid-1980s, when it became a semi-independent publication: funded by the associated Students but editorial and artistic staff operating independently. As a result, the publication went from a semi-humorous tool under direct editorial and creative control of the Associated Students to a publication given a greater degree of independence and exhibiting a greater artistic and editorial content.

Contents

History

Early history

After the first half of the 1980s, leading towards the 1990s, the publication had an uncomfortable relationship with its funding body. As the publication's staff was steady and not subject to election cycles as was the Associated Student Senate (new editors, however, were subject to senate confirmation as they had begun to receive a stipend by the mid 1980s), the Monday Morning Blues (or 'Blues or MMB) was able to maintain a steady schedule of publication... usually one issue a week, and one summer issue during summer session (often a "best-of" issue). Many staff members of the paper had a background or interest in writing, arts, or graphic design, which led to an overall improvement in the look and presentation of the paper over the years.

Publication Policy and Associated Student Friction

Conflicts often arose between the paper's staff and its funding body, with the first issue of a given semester going to press weeks before the paper's budget being approved. Given the semi-independent nature of the paper's staff and its open editorial policy ("All The News That Fits, We Print," it was often summed up as: a play on the famous New York Times policy "All The News That's Fit To Print"), stories or articles critical of the Associated Student Senate would appear. The population of the College of San Mateo is made up mostly of commuter students (physically, the college is atop a hill, and so people must drive up Highway 92 to reach it). Because of this, student apathy was a major problem, and while the Associated Student Senate often mandated publication of Associated Student-friendly articles, and/or advertising of Student Senate events, those responsible for providing said material often failed to follow through, leading to friction. Because of the weekly nature of the Associated Student organization (that is, meeting only once a week) committees were often formed to serve in an oversight role, but because production of the paper was a daily process, little oversight was actually possible. Committees were often formed and then abandoned, especially when faced with the late hours and frequent deadlines required by the publication schedule. This led to additional friction. Additional controversy was caused by the use of the title “Publisher” in the staff listings to refer to the individual on the ‘Blues staff responsible for supplies and seeing to the printing of the individual issues. The friction arose from the gap between the crew responsible for the creation of each issue, and the Associated Student’s growing distance from the process. In 1986 the “ASCSM” was removed from the old logo, which was replaced by an updated version (see volume 12, issue 5 cover). In spite of their lack of involvement in the paper’s production, the Associated Student Senate saw itself as the “publisher,” being as they were the authorizing body and funder of the paper. The individual most directly responsible for the publication of the paper held various titles, including “People’s Advocate,” but eventually the position eventually came to be called one or another variation on “publisher,” such as “Publisher/Free Roaming Vapor.” Friction was eased by the inclusion of the Associated Student Senate logo within each issue, in a “presented by” gesture, but the title of “Publisher” remained with the individual.

Activities

The ‘Blues saw its greatest popularity when the publishing staff began to hand out issues directly to passing students on Monday mornings, a policy that was halted as handing-out of materials on campus was disallowed. The ‘Blues staff also provided daily movies (funded by the Associated Students and presented by the ‘Blues staff), the movies provided by a local video store subject to availability, and accompanied by popcorn and butter-like substance. Often a theme was picked out for a week, but owing to lack of availability the films advertized were seldom actually screened. For example, “Just Say No to Propaganda” week, a reaction the “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign of Nancy Reagan, was a popular theme but Cheech and Chong films were seldom available. Though not directly responsible for the planning of many campus events, the pages of the ‘Blues provided advertizing space for many Associated Student-sponsored events, and the staff provided copy work for the events. The staff of the ‘Blues often advertized weekly Associated Student Senate meetings (“Feel the glory!”). On occasion the artists working for the ‘Blues provided artwork for campus activities.

Revised Publication Policy - Jubal Early Controversy

The open publication policy continued until the late 1980s when an article was published by a person writing under the pseudonym "Jubal Early" on the subject of why he hated Asian-Americans. In short, the article claimed a relationship with an Asian-American girlfriend had ended badly, and as a result the experience had colored his perception of Asian Americans negatively. It was later learned that the submiter was not a student or staff member of the college, and that the name was that of a confederate officer who opposed succession but still fought for the south. There was an immediate uproar over the publication of the article that lasted about a week, and thereafter the policy was modified so that authors were checked to assure they were writing under their real names and were registered students.

Decline

The era of continuous publication of the MMB came to an end in the early 1990s as the last of a long line of individuals who had been involved in the publication graduated and moved on. Long-simmering animosities between the Associated Students and the staff of the Blues may have contributed to the decline, as well as the inability to directly hand out issues to students on Monday Mornings. Paper dispensors (painted blue) had been acquired for distribution of the publication and placed in locations around the campus, but these were often commandeered for other purposes. However, the MMB continued for years in a number of forms and formats.

Format

The traditional format of the 'Blues was as a tabloid publication: 7.5 x 14 paper, folded in half, photocopied (and for some years printed on an offset press) on both sides. Average size could be 8 pages (2 sheets printed both sides). Some were as big as 12 pages, some as small as 4. Usually, the paper was printed on blue paper, though when blue ran out another color could be substituted (resulting in the occasional issue of the Monday Morning Greens or Monday Morning Goldenrods). The title font was a narrow Cooper, though this was replaced by Cooper Black, and by the mid-1980s and modified Cooper and Cooper outline. By the late 1980s the font had been changes to a boxed techno font. Though hand-typed on a variety of IBM Selectric typewriters at the Student Activities office the first few years, computers gradually entered the picture and for many years the Associated Students office’s Apple IIc was the workhorse (and when it’s performance would begin to suffer, a common remedy was to pry the CPU from the motherboard and clean the contacts with an eraser, before returning it to its socket). The use of the computer allowed the introduction, in 1986, of standardized column width of 11 picas (standard width for American newspapers... this allowed advertising space to be sold using the same terms at commercial newspapers). As the Apple IIc began its death spiral, IBM computers were used to format and print columns, and on occasion one could find a single issue with a variety of fonts, depending on which computer/printer combination was used to print the materials. It was standard for a single page to have 3 columns of type. Physical cut-and-paste methods were still used.

Modern History

Currently known as "Bulldog Blues/Monday Morning Blues."

Numbering Conventions

The numbering of volumes and issues were strictly non-standardized. Ideally, the first year of publication would mark Volume 1, the first week issue 1, and so on. However, publication during the first few years was spotty at best. Sometimes each semester was counted as a volume, sometimes it was the entire year. If a given year ended at a certain volume, say volume 3, and production ceased for a year, the year following that might see the new volume either numbered volume 4 (resuming the numbering from where it last left off) or volume 5 (including the missing run). Sometimes a new staff would retroactively correct the number of their volume, altering it to bring it in line with whatever numbering system was seen as most logical.

External links

  • [1] Student Activities Office, College of San Mateo, mention of Bulldog Blues.
  • [2] Gallery of 1990s MMB covers.

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