Chronicle soldiers on with new staff

HAMDEN — The Quinnipiac Chronicle published its first issue of the school year on Wednesday — and the Quad News made only a single appearance.

After a year of back-and-forth with the university’s administration that resulted in a mass exodus of editors and the creation of the new online student newspaper, the campus’ main newspaper, the Chronicle, is finally up and running again. The paper’s content, though, certainly does not reflect the turmoil that has overtaken student media at the institution. The Quad News saga is referenced only in a note from the Chronicle’s editor in chief in which she wished the Quad News luck and assured readers that there are “no hard feelings” between the two student publications.

Instead, the Chronicle reported on subjects ranging from the suspension of senior varsity lacrosse players to a lifestyles column on yoga.

But despite the role the administration played in hand-picking the leadership of this year’s Chronicle, campus news editor and Quinnipiac sophomore Joe Pelletier said the paper has — like other publications — been getting the run-around from university officials.

“Yes, the Chronicle is having troubles with the administration,” he said. “ They’re channeling us through public affairs. It’s difficult; it’s not easy.”

On top of that, the paper seems to be facing tough critics in the student body. Of the 74 students interviewed on campus Wednesday, only 14 said they had picked up the Chronicle’s first issue that day. Over half of these students said the issue was of lower quality than previous ones; most of the rest said that the first issue’s quality was about the same as in the past.

For now, though, regardless of the “stressful” national controversy in which they are embroiled, editor in chief Stacey Kinnier said her staff is focusing exclusively on producing a good newspaper.

“We’re still a staff,” Pelletier said Sunday. “We have a journalistic zeal.”

COMPETITION

In the 19 articles of the first issue, perhaps the most controversial story published in the Chronicle was about six suspensions of senior members on the varsity lacrosse team.

According to the article, written by Pelletier and junior Andrew Gau, the six players will face a suspension of at least one term for hosting a party where they provided alcohol to minors.

Vice President for Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell declined to comment to the Chronicle for the article because the issue was a “student disciplinary matter.”

The first issue did not — and, according to a schedule posted in the Chronicle office on Wednesday, the second issue will not — cover the Quinnipiac administration’s tussle with the Quad News last week, a conflict that led administrators last week to threaten to ban the school chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for supporting the news site.

The newspaper did, however, publish a letter by Kinnier that addressed the Quad News battle briefly, saying that the newspaper wished the Quad News “the best of luck.” She also stressed that she would like for “any controversy, false beliefs and hard feelings that surrounded The Chronicle” from the battle to “be put aside.”

In an e-mail, Chronicle publisher and senior business major Griffin McGrath said he is sure that the added “competition” will lead to “improved quality” of the paper.

Quad News editor in chief Jason Braff said this week that he also wished the Chronicle editors well.

IT’S NOT EASY

The Chronicle still has much to work out in terms of their members. While last year’s board included mostly juniors and seniors, the current Chronicle has only four editorial posts filled by upperclassmen. The other 11 spots are filled by sophomores and freshmen; the newspaper’s managing editor is a freshman.

But the Chronicle staff said it hopes to improve all-around in the coming weeks and months. In the office, among a coffee maker, stacks of yearbooks — the office also serves as the headquarters for “The Summit” — and a row of new Apple computers is the schedule for next issue, which aims to tackle construction problems in Quinnipiac and profiling New Haven pizzerias. Production for that issue will take place next Monday.

“We have an entirely new staff that is trying to concentrate on creating a new and improved Chronicle,” McGrath wrote in an e-mail. “We have been trying to keep our goal, and we are hoping that others can focus on that as well.”

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