The Bates Student

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The Bates Student
Bates Student 1877.jpg
Bates Student cover from the 1870s
TypeWeekly student newspaper
Owner(s)Bates College
Editor-in-chiefJulia Mongeau
HeadquartersLewiston, Maine

The Bates Student, established in 1873, is the newspaper of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, run entirely by students.[1] It is one of the oldest continuously-published college weeklies in the United States and claims to be the oldest co-ed college weekly in the nation.


Approximately 1,900 copies of The Student are 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 New Commons (~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, usually at the end of the year, The Student runs a spoof edition commonly known as the "Bates Spudent."


The Bates Student was founded as a combination of the college's newspaper and literary magazine and as a successor to earlier publications such as the Seminary Advocate (1855–1863) and College Courant (ca. 1864-1872).[2] The Bates Student was founded in 1873 in the years following the Civil War. It describes itself as "the nation's oldest continuously co-ed college weekly," although this assertion has been contested.[3] Since many college newspapers were founded around the same time, there have been competing claims for which one was the oldest or the first in the United States. For example, The Bowdoin Orient, founded two years earlier in 1871, claims to be the "oldest continuously-published college weekly", but Bowdoin was an all-male school; the Yale Daily News claims to be the "oldest college daily"; the Harvard Crimson, also founded in 1873, claims to "the nation's oldest continuously published daily college newspaper"; The Dartmouth began in 1843 as a monthly and tries to claim institutional continuity with a local eighteenth-century paper called the Dartmouth Gazette. Accordingly, The Bates Student has claimed that it is the oldest continuously-published weekly newspaper from a co-educational college. In the late 19th century, the paper was published on a bi-weekly basis, and in the early 20th century, it was published on a weekly basis.[4] It has been published continuously and without interruption during each academic year since 1873.[4]

Among its earliest editors and writers in the 1870s were African Americans and women.[5] The paper's was originally formatted in a smaller literary magazine layout and included literary works such as poems and fiction alongside news reports. In 1879, the literary society formed a separate publication called The Garnet, and thereafter The Student focused primarily on news.[4] In the early twentieth century, the paper abandoned the smaller literary magazine format and adopted a larger broadsheet layout.[4]

Archives are kept at the offices of The Bates Student (with issues dating back to 1873) as well as the college's library, with its Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collection Library, which has a nearly complete archive of past issues in print form. The library also has issues of the Seminary Advocate and College Courant dating back to the 1850s and 1860s.[6]

Generally the newspaper has been the primary newspaper for the college, although it had some competition when The John Galt Press was being published at Bates. In addition, the Maine College Republicans and Democrats also distributed their own college newspapers for a few brief years in the past but these have not been published in many years.[6]

Notable student writers and editors[edit]


  • Anthony, Alfred Williams, Bates College and Its Background, (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1936).
  1. ^ Note: there is occasional assistance from the college administration regarding management and budgetary issues.
  2. ^ Bates College[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Ibid. & "About the Bates Student," Bates Student website
  4. ^ a b c d Anthony, Alfred Williams, Bates College and Its Background, (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1936).
  5. ^ (Bates College Thesis 2005)Timothy Larson, "Faith By Their Works," Thesis website [1]
  6. ^ a b Bates College

External links[edit]