Decade team: Lindsay Green, Emily Oliver, Carrie Rosman, Hwajung Song, Kyle Williams and Aaron Butzen (captain).

The Student of the 1930s read more like a detailed bulletin board than like a newspaper.  Initially published every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the Student seemed to know of and report on every event and occurrence that went on at Iowa State, from sporting events to small group meetings to fraternity parties. However, stories concerning major news events were noticeably absent from the paper during the 1930s.

If the editors of The Student didn’t try to keep their readers well informed, they at least tried to keep them literate. In addition to the regular essays published in the paper and a sporadic section of student literary works called “The Undergraduate Portfolio,” The Student also occasionally contained a supplement titled The Literary Student.  This supplement was printed on smaller newsprint than the newspaper itself and contained works of poetry and prose.

Although many current events of the time weren’t reflected in The Student, social attitudes were. In pictures of Iowa State sports teams from the 1930s, every player on every team is white, and the paper often made a distinction when a subject of the story was a minority, such as the following quote from 1931: “Jerry Hayes, a popular colored band of Des Moines, furnished the music.”

The paper also reflects different, almost condescending attitudes towards women, such as in a 1938 headline that reads: “Sage Predicts 1850 New Undergrads: Nice School, Nice Girls – Freshmen.”  An article from the same year is entirely about how Michigan State debaters think the girls are better looking at Iowa State – an absurd newspaper topic today.  A quote from a source in the story reads: “Take that precious creation in pink over there – I’ve never seen anything of the sort at Ann Arbor.”

The Student changed its name to The Iowa State Daily Student in 1938 and for the first time began publishing five times a week, excluding Sundays and Mondays.  The paper also underwent design changes in this same year.





About this Project Iowa State Daily Greenlee School Iowa State University Centennial Site