The Michigan Every Three Weekly
|Type||Student newspaper, News satire|
|Editor-in-chief||Seth Wolin, Samuel Spero, Marie Michels|
|Associate editor||Elizabeth Spilman, Ethan Auburn, Andrew Keating|
|Headquarters||Ann Arbor, Michigan|
The Every Three Weekly is a student publication at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor modeled after the satirical news publication The Onion. The Every Three Weekly (colloquially referred to as the E3W) contains a collection of fictional news articles that satirize local, national, and international events and public figures. Since the Every Three Weekly reports stories both real and imagined, it is not intended to be taken literally.
The Every Three Weekly derives most of its humor from presenting orthodox events in unexpected or ludicrous ways. It begins by taking often overlooked events in daily life and then inserting situational humor. Some of its headlines employ puns and other common double entendres.
The Every Three Weekly was started by a group of engineering students at the University of Michigan. In what they felt was a lack of observational humor concerning the University, they developed the newspaper in hopes that it would find like-minded readers.
In 2014 and 2015, the Every Three Weekly was named "Best Overall Literary Publication" in the University of Michigan's Arts@Michigan Accolade Awards.
In fall 2014, the "Every Three Weekly" launched its first regular spin-off format, "The Click House," which is intended as a parody of so-called clickbait sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. It is modeled after The Onion's spin-off, Clickhole.
Regular features of the publication include but are not limited to:
- National News
- Campus News
- World News
- Campus Voices
- Around the Nation
- The Click House (in the style of The Onion's Clickhole)
- The Infograph
- Backcover Story (a story or infographic that covers the back page)
Reaching out to students starting at summer orientation, the paper intends to let students connect to their campus by means of a humorous voice.
The paper is a favorite among students on campus. The majority of students, upon realizing that it is intended to entertain rather than instruct, remain loyal to the publication throughout its run. The publication has been protected by numerous Free Speech rulings in the past, noting that the University of Michigan is in fact a public institution where newspaper funding cannot be limited due to unwanted articles.
In 2014, The Every Three Weekly won the University Accolades award for "Best Overall Literary Publication". The paper was also named one of the "Best College Humor Publications" by the prestigious Sportgirlies.com.
2011 Campaign for MSA President: Vote or Die Laughing
Following years of complacency and reduced turnout for the University's student elections for the Michigan Student Assembly (or MSA), the publication decided to endorse, publish, and advertise a candidate that spoke to what students cared about most on campus. With a mostly uncontested election campaign between the MForward party (of Andrew Shirvell notoriety), and the Defend Affirmative Action Party, the paper decided to make a statement about their apathy toward student elections and promote a write-in candidate. Initially thought to be just listed as "the Candidate", the campaign quickly evolved into a double-billing of Karlos Marks for President—a spin on the philosopher Karl Marx—and Joseph Stallone (a la Joseph Stalin) for Vice President.
The Every Three Weekly's candidate began as a Facebook group of like-minded supporters who felt uplifted by Marks' message, which focused on eliminating the wage system and implementing many more yogurt stands and shops around campus. Funded entirely by personal donations that were under $5 by students on campus, along with the promise to not take money from any school organizations or lobbyists, Karlos Marks continued to gain support mostly by word of mouth and by intense flyer-ing by the students within the organization
For its issue released Monday, April 4, 2011, The Every Three Weekly ran three pages and one back page of campaign material for Karlos Marks, including information on his platform as well as a detailed chart comparing him to his opponents stances on the wage system, civil rights, suffrage, and yogurt. The paper featured a full back page that showed Karlos along with his popular slogan: "I stand for several things". Days before the polls opened online, the editors of the newspaper made an announcement via Facebook that Joseph Stallone had since dropped from the ticket, due to conflicting interests between the candidates (as well as the need for the write-in signatures to all be exactly matching if the votes are to count).
The final elections results were somewhat astounding for the fake candidate, and both the front-running MForward party and the publication was astonished at the success of the candidate. Coming in a shocking 2nd-place finish with 520 votes cast, the write-in of "Karlos Marks" was only the tip of the iceberg for the E3W, as numerous misspellings—including "Carlos Marks", "Karlos Marx", "Carlos Marx", "Karl Marx", "Karlos Marks and Joseph Stallone", "Carol Marques"—all received sizable voting blocks as well, and while they couldn't officially be attributed to the tally for Karlos, the newspaper took this as a win too. Along with this, the newspaper found it especially shocking that they outperformed the Defend Affirmation Action Party.
Along with this impressive 2nd-place finish in the main election, several complementary elections also found success for Karlos Marks. Karlos Marks received enough votes to be placed on the esteemed boards for the Business School, the Rackham Graduate School, the College of Pharmacy, as well as a first-place finish within the School of Public Health. However, since all of these organizations had rules stipulating that the candidate be an actual person and not a made-up entity, Karlos Marks had to surrender his wins to the bourgeoisie. Furthermore, Karlos Marks received a seat on the DPS (Department of Public Safety) Oversight Board, a branch of the University's own policing service. Since this particular position didn't originally have a rule in place banning fictional candidates from taking office, the original refusal to seat Karlos Marks in his rightful seat was contested, but eventually it was deemed not worth the fight and thus Karlos Marks again had to forfeit a seat he rightfully earned.
Reaction to the wins by a fake candidate on campus were swift and mostly good-humored. Students, most of whom knew little and cared even less about student government, felt that this candidate spoke for them more or less in regards to their frustration on the inabilities of the MSA organization to get much accomplished. Since the student government could neither trump the University President, nor the Board of Regents, nor any Trustees, the inaction by the organization beyond minor accomplishments spoke volumes to the degree of how Marks acted as a social commentary for the campus mood.
The Michigan Every Three Weekly has seen controversy in recent years due to the subjects that it chooses to lampoon.
A prominent event of this nature came when the paper spoofed a protest by Native American students over a campus organization called the "Michagamua Society" where the students occupied the Michagamua office for several weeks. The paper joked that a settlement between the organization and the protestors was reached by renaming the Michagamua office "Big Chief Win'um Casino." A prominent Cherokee chief named Patrick Myers organized a successful protest with other members of his tribe by famously protesting the article on horseback while threatening all writers with a crossbow. Eventually the E3W redacted the article. Despite this, one of the paper's mottos is that if it is not being threatened by litigation at least once a semester, then it is not doing its job.
In 2005, following the printing of a story about student athletes headlined "Phelps To Major In Pussy", Executive Associate Athletic Director Michael Stevenson said he felt obligated to approach the publication and the UAC executive board, which controls the newspaper's funding. Stevenson was quoted as saying, "I think that that kind of satire is unbecoming to any student at the University," Stevenson said. "It adds nothing to our campus community to have that kind of discussion." UAC President Mark Hindelang, however, had no plans to forcefully censor The Every Three Weekly, citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
As found by the 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case, "Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District" and the 2001 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit case "Kincaid v. Gibson", public schools cannot censor a student publication, reduce its funding or discipline its editors for the purpose of controlling content.
The publication found controversy in 2007 when the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan sought to silence the publication's satirical stories about their own students, the back-and-forth emails between University officials leaked to the staff of the paper. This emails were likely obtained via illegal tampering. Among the emails included one citing several black students who were offended by a fake front-page story on Proposal 2 in the magazine's November issue headlined "White Students with Black-Sounding Names Rejoice at Passage of Proposal 2." The Business School succeeded in removing all publications distributed within their own grounds, but this was halted when it was pointed out that any school paper can be handed out on campus without restriction. In the end, a spokesperson for the paper apologized to the Business School for the situation and no further actions were taken against the paper.
Among others include the recent flare-up involving the local chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, located nearby on State Street. After being clearly acknowledged in an article mocking the unhealthy living standards of their house, the fraternity claimed libel against the paper and sought to have the paper apologize for its intention. As a result of this, now all school references must be done with anonymity or must involve school figures that have entered the public domain (i.e. President Mary Sue Coleman).
Also, in the wake of the departure of beloved Professor Ralph Williams in Spring 2009, The Every Three Weekly had an article parodying his departure. The E3W printed their issue with the parodying story but mistakenly chose a photo used and owned by the Michigan Daily, one of Ralph Williams accepting flowers in class. The owner of the photo claimed infringement and stated the paper neither asked nor was granted permission to use said photo. In response, the E3W posted a public apology that can be seen on their website.
In the final issue of the Fall 2010 semester, the paper ran a story entitled, "Mall Santa Tells Child Exactly What He Wants For Christmas", a satirical piece highlighting a fictional mall Santa that had pedophiliac tendencies. While no actual expletives or direct references were used, the newspaper was met with resistance, criticism, and claims to copyright/child-rights infringement from the local mall in Ann Arbor: Briarwood Mall. This was because the paper mistakenly included the mall's name in the article, which goes against the paper's policy of not using local businesses in name. A quick Google search with the keywords "briarwood", "mall", and "santa" allowed for the E3W's article to appear as high as the third result (most likely due to the paper's connection with the University of Michigan and its ranking on Google). It is believed by the staff of the paper that this probably confused some local citizens interested in merely looking up the real, non-fictional Santa Claus, but were instead led to an article lampooning Santa. After a few tense exchanges between the paper and the Briarwood Mall, to which University officials reluctantly had to get involved to defend the paper, it was decided to keep the article online but to merely remove any references to the mall. The mall has yet to apologize for its own actions, however, as some of their actions border-lined on unfounded defamation toward the paper.
The staff, which includes writers, layout editors, and artists, occupy the 4th floor UAC office of the Michigan Union. The office serves as the staff's main think tank, as well as housing many posters from past UAC events.
- Megan Ganz, writer for Community and Modern Family
- Yoni Brenner, New Yorker author and screenwriter
- Brian Cook, MGoBlog founder.
- "Homepage". The Onion.
- "Insensitive Japanese People Asked to Leave Hawaii". The Very Three Weekly. September 14, 2010.
- "Welcome to College Confidential, the leading college-bound community on the Web!". Collegeconfirdential.com.
- http://sportgirlies.com/2013/09/19/required-reading-the-best-college-humor-publications/. Missing or empty
- "Performance of Karlos Marks". Michigan Daily.
- "Performance of Karlos Marks". Michigan Daily.
- Donn M. Fresard (March 31, 2005). "E3W content criticized". Michigan Daily.
- Jake Holmes (January 10, 2007). "B-school takes on humor mag". Michigan Daily.
- E3W (December 2010). "Mall Santa Article". Michigan Every Three Weekly.
- "Upcoming Events". University Activities Center.