Student staff members of The Lamron have created their own voice and a lens to the world.
By Mary-Margaret Dwyer’ 20
Larry Austin ’87 spent his years at Geneseo devoted to publishing the student-run newspaper, The Lamron, every week. Starting out as a sports writer, he moved on to sports editor as a sophomore, associate editor as a junior, and finally editor-in-chief his senior year, overseeing all production and management aspects of the newspaper. And while he treated each position like a job, he says that it never felt like one.
“People were doing it because it was fun,” says Austin, a longtime community news journalist. “I never felt like I had to cover a game, I got to cover a game. Even today, I feel like I’m getting paid to go to a game I would have bought a ticket to see.”
Austin and his team put in hours of work each week to create, lay out, print and distribute the newspaper to fellow students. And in the 1980s, says Austin, page layout was all done manually. Staff members printed articles on photographic paper, waxed the back sides of the pages, then mounted them onto heavy card stock and sent them to the printer. Wednesday production nights meant working into the early hours of the morning.
The tradition continues with the current Lamron staff, though page layout is now done digitally.
“The team is so dedicated and committed that no matter what, we print a 16-page issue each week for the college community,” says Editor-in-Chief Julia Skeval ’20.
The Lamron’s content has evolved since the paper’s beginnings in the 1920s. Articles then sometimes focused on lighter fare, like the Oh Ha Daih yearbook production or the planning of “fun parties” and campus teas. Personals were the rage in the 1980s, which served as a communication platform before social media.
Now, student writers take on more challenging opinion pieces, broader perspectives on world events and journalism probing issues affecting the community and campus. The news is “uncensored,” says Skeval, allowing students to report on what matters to their peers.
“The Lamron asks students to view issues on campus and across the world from more than one angle,” Skeval says. “We like to teach our members that issues are never one-sided, whether they are Geneseo issues or global issues.”
Self-sufficient and completely student-run, the student staff teach themselves how to be journalists. Austin says his work at The Lamron set him up for a successful journalism career right after college, with a specialty in covering sports and local government.
“You learn best by doing,” says Austin. “I learned the elements of writing, reporting, photography and design. I learned that by doing it.”