Letter from the editors: It’s time to look back


Left: Cheyanne Kramer, right: Shelby Tankersley

Hey readers,

Welcome to the Looking Back Issue. Looking Back has been Cheyanne’s baby for a little over a year now. But for those of you who are unfamiliar with the column, here’s what it’s all about:

Looking Back is the section each week where we dig through our archives and find the most interesting stories from the past to retell and narrate to you, our readers. In 2016, the Editor-in-Chief at the time encouraged the creation of the project after Cheyanne spent the summer organizing the archives.

Two weeks ago, we ran a Looking Back piece called “Students Seize Oakland,” telling a tale about students rebelling in North Foundation Hall. This was a satire piece written in the late 1960s, which even some of our staff were fooled into believing today. We hope you were tricked too.

The student newspaper has a wild and crazy history with Oakland University. While our main purpose has always been to report on campus news, some will argue that student media should be an outlet for student expression as well.

That being said, Oakland’s student newspaper has worn many different hats during its 58 years of being printed. According to the university, the only three official student newspapers were The Oakland Observer, The Oakland Sail and The Oakland Post. But, many other independently-published newspaper have called Oakland their home.

So now, we’re happy to bring you this special edition of The Oakland Post.

Back when we were The Observer, which got its start it 1959, we began chronicling some of the most influential events over the course of Oakland’s lifespan.

We celebrated with Matilda Dodge Wilson on her birthday each year and we broke the coverage of her death. We shared stories of student success and of professors being fired for their political beliefs.

By the end of the 1960s, we were known for outlandish, politically-charged stories. Students were unhappy with the Vietnam War at the forefront of their minds, so the student media became their outlet. No longer were we just covering campus events and profiling students, we were serving as way for students to make political statements.

After being defunded, renamed and rebuilt, the staff of The Oakland Sail, and now The Oakland Post, have done a lot of growing up. Today, our staff prides itself on being able to break campus news in an accurate and efficient way while also having the time of our lives putting the physical issue together every week.

One of the best things about working in the news is that no two days are ever the same. Times are constantly changing. So, in the making of this issue we decided to look back to the people and events that have brought us where we are today.

We got to talk with the creator of our Mouthing Off section, which has evolved into the Satire section you see every week.

In 1996, there was a feasibility study done by the city of Auburn Hills about whether or not Oakland would be able to house an NCAA Division I hockey team. Sound familiar? We took a look at how that study differs from the NHL study Oakland was recently chosen for.

Jane Briggs-Bunting met with us to reminisce about her time as our advisor. She’s infamous among us Posties for having sued the university countless times on our behalf.

We look back more recently to 2010, where an Oakland University student committed suicide on campus following coming out. We can now say we’re the most LGBT friendly campus in the state.

And we dug into our archives once more, looking at our collection of remaining Focus: Oakland issues. Focus: Oakland was created in opposition to the politically-charged Observer.

Last but not least, we got to interview the infamous Lee Elbinger, the alum who rose to fame for stripping down naked in the Barn Theater and reading poetry. David Black, an editor at the Observer during it’s decline, also sat down with us to talk about his time in the newsroom.

We have had a fantastic time this week telling some of the old stories to our staff and watching some of them dig into the archives for the first time. Turns out, it’s always been eventful to work in the basement of the Oakland Center and report on campus shenanigans.


Shelby and Cheyanne