Editor’s Note: Despite Columbia’s changes over the years, the Chronicle presses on

By Noah Jennings, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As we turn our 2022 calendars to their final page, we begin to look ahead to a new year.

At the Chronicle, we’re feeling extra anticipation this time around, as 2023 will mark a big milestone year.

In 1973, the CC Writer published its first issue, representing a monumental breakthrough for an on-campus student publication. Five years later, the Writer would change its name to The Columbia Chronicle that we know today.

In 2023 we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of student journalism at Columbia, the 50th anniversary of students informing the campus community of what they need to know and the 50th anniversary of students coming together to hold the administration accountable.

With this in mind, we’ve been spending the past several weeks looking back at the Chronicle and CC Writer’s history to enlighten us more on how we became the publication we are today.

As I looked back through the archives of our issues, courtesy of Columbia’s Digital Commons, the first thing I picked up on was some of the obvious differences in design.

The first issue released of the CC Writer was just four pages long and was in black and white. While the Chronicle would eventually dabble in color on its covers in the ’80s and ’90s, the first issue printed fully in color wasn’t published until 2007.

But beyond the immediate look of the pages lies the heart of any Chronicle newspaper: the stories shared.

The very first story featured in the CC Writer was about an accreditation organization visiting the school and observing its functions. It was a topic that students may not have been informed on, and granted, it is a topic that is not easy to explain.

But the CC Writer staff pushed through. They recognized that although it may not represent anything flashy and could be considered a dull topic, it was their duty to inform and educate the Columbia community on what was happening.

This is something we continue to strive to do to this day. There may be stories out there for us to cover that are littered with collegiate jargon, potentially icing out students from holding interest. But the students of this college pay thousands of dollars at a tuition rate that is continuously increasing to attend this school. It is our job to ensure that they are educated and informed of the actions and decisions being made by this institution.

Looking back at the archives, it was also interesting to see how some things have remained the same through the years, especially when it comes to the student body.

One trend is the role the 600 S. Michigan Ave. building has played in student protests. That building, long seen as the central hub of Columbia due in part to the fact that many administration offices reside there, has been the site of student protests for decades.

Whether it be students and faculty protesting apartheid in 1985 or students protesting tuition increases in 2020, 600 S. Michigan Ave. has seen it all.

On the flip side, there have been plenty of structural changes to Columbia since 1973. The college once even owned and operated buildings on Lake Shore Drive and on the Near North Side of Chicago.

But even through the shifting of Columbia’s campus, the Chronicle has remained and continued to pursue the news.

The Chronicle has been around for four Columbia presidents and has existed longer than many key institutions within the Columbia community, such as the Student Government Association, the part-time faculty union, or CFAC, and the United Staff of Columbia College.

Through all of these and more monumental changes throughout Columbia’s history, the Chronicle was there, and we intend to stay here.

We look forward to looking back at more of our history in the coming year, but more importantly, the Chronicle looks forward to covering the next 50 years of Columbia’s history, no matter what changes may come.