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The Setonian's rival papers

“It is indeed unfortunate that the Setonian is not a free voice,” Know S***, a previous rival newspaper of the Setonian, wrote in their Oct. 31, 1974 edition. 

This year celebrates 100 years of the award-winning Setonian newspaper. During these past 100 years however, the paper has had its fair share of competitors. 

Know S*** is only one of several newspapers that have tried to overrule the Setonian. Despite all of their attempts, the Setonian has been the only Seton Hall newspaper to survive. 

The multitude of “underground” papers that have had short lifetimes have worked to be the voice of the students and report on issues students felt were important. The mission of these papers was to reveal information about the Setonian

“The purpose of the paper is to bring about constructive change at Seton Hall,” The Campus Other wrote in their Jan. 6, 1969 edition. 

This paper wrote about several different issues the editors and writers found within Seton Hall. Their article titled, “Small Sports: A Problem?” discussed the lack of attention smaller varsity sports at Seton Hall received.

“The athletes are forced to submit to the consequences of inferior coaching and lack of responsibility on the part of the coaching staff,” written in their March 3, 1969 issue. 

The article informed readers that the varsity athletes who were not part of the football or basketball teams did not receive fair treatment. Several years would pass before the teams would obtain new equipment or improvement to the coaching staff. 

The opposed writer detailed that the 1969 fencing team had a 9-3 record, the best in seven years, with no thanks to the coaching staff or the school. The individual fencers with the best records did not attend team practices, but rather went to outside organizations for training. 

Another rival that wrote about student issues in 1969 was Change, whose motto was “to serve and protect.” 

“Our purpose is to provide Seton Hall students with some of the real news and facts concerning this school, its students and the administration that runs us,” written in Change’s first issue.

This paper was published by the Students for Democratic Setonia group and aimed to make a change within the Seton Hall community by speaking directly to students and the administration. 

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In their fourth issue, the “Fat and Cat Company” article was published in which Change exposed the lack of community within the Seton Hall Board of Trustees. 

It was revealed that the board was made up of 19 men and zero women. It was listed that the board members were the president of Hunter College, a dean from Columbia University, Seton Hall’s Bishop Dougherty, as well as six men that held other Catholic church duties and 10 men from the business and financial worlds. It was also written that out of the 19 members, 16 came to campus only four times a year for the board meetings.

“Four times a year!” the article said. “What a farce! Here are the big policy makers deciding important issues for us and they’re not even on campus long enough to know any of us.”

Taking an opinionated, conversational approach, the editors and writers of Change speak directly to the students to inform them of issues they may not be aware of. 

Similarly, Know S*** addresses issues that the Setonian did not cover. 

“Whereas the Setonian is keeping things quiet, we have only students to answer to and will print everything which concerns the students,” Know S*** wrote in their Oct. 31, 1974 issue. 

When the Setonian did not publish any articles covering the bout of food poisoning that approximately 100 Boland residents faced in Oct. 1974, Know S*** took it upon themselves to inform their readers. 

“We of Know S*** will do our best to drag some facts from the Food Service and the Board of Health, but the responsibility of finding out rests with us all,” C.R. wrote. 

This paper encouraged students to send in their own articles addressing issues they felt present. Though they could not guarantee they would be published, Know S*** could “guarantee no cover-ups and no censorship” as they were the self-proclaimed “free press.”

Know S*** was part of a larger group, The Community House, that worked to make students and the administration aware of issues students faced at Seton Hall. 

“The Community House was established in 1970 as an alternative place on campus for all those tired of the paranoia and bureaucracy of the institution and for all those frustrated by a sterile academic experience,” the editors wrote. 

Know S*** took an openly vulgar approach to writing, using words the Setonian did not allow. Even in their name, this newspaper broke the status quo.

However, it is because of this vulgarity that this paper changed their name to Seton Over Haul in 1976. After receiving feedback from readers that the vulgarity in their name and writing may be sending the wrong message, the editors decided it would be best to make a change. 

Seton Over Haul continued the mission of Know S*** and worked to “assume a critical perspective – criticizing not to condemn but to correct.”

When Seton Hall president, Monsignor Fahy, was hospitalized and John Cole took over, Seton Over Haul took it in their own hands to address the complaints made about Cole. 

In their issue, Seton Over Haul provided a form letter addressed to Bishop Dougherty in which students could demand Cole’s removal.

While this newspaper was unable to outlive the Setonian, The Community House obtained several achievements during its time. As it approached its fifth anniversary, The Community House had accomplished providing draft counseling services for the Vietnam War, establishing a community recycling center and hosting the Free School Conference of New Jersey amongst several others. 

Countless other “underground” newspapers have attempted to overrule the Setonian in the past century. While all these papers had their supporters, none of them were able  to continue past only a few years. 

As it celebrates its 100th anniversary, the Setonian continues to deliver its readers news with integrity, honesty and urgency. 

Megan Brush is a writer for the Setonian’s News section. She can be reached at


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