So what is the University Journal, anyway?

For years, the University Journal has been a source of news for the SUU community — but where did it all begin?

SUU’s student-run media began before the school was even called SUU. The original student newspaper, labeled “The Student,” was written and produced in the 1920s by the college yearbook staff. Back then, SUU was the Branch Agricultural College, or BAC. The acronym prompted the newspaper’s second name in the 1940s: “The Bacian.” When the school became the College of Southern Utah and adopted a new mascot, the newspaper renamed itself to “The Thunderbird.” 

Finally, in 1992, the school was granted university status and officially became Southern Utah University, and the University Journal was born. The then newspaper was printed every Monday and Thursday of the academic year.

“This is a paper for everyone at SUU,” wrote Vale White, the University Journal’s editor back in 2006. “Although we welcome input and opinion from the community, this is an SUU newspaper first. Your voice is encouraged and welcome here.”

Then, on Sept. 6, 2017, was launched. The world was moving online, so the University Journal followed. Beginning that school year, daily stories were posted online and shared to social media, and the University Journal transitioned to a monthly magazine rather than a newspaper.

Today, the University Journal is a printed publication written, edited and designed entirely by undergraduate students at SUU News twice per semester. The student journalists still write and publish digital articles on the SUU News website, but University Journal stories are longer and focus on specific students, faculty or organizations at SUU. Reporters have also covered more heavy-hitting topics such as sexual assault, student wage rates and Cedar City’s housing crisis.

“At SUU News and the University Journal, we expect all to approach the duties of this trust with fervor,” says the SUU News mission statement. “We expect all to carry forth the banner of truth and the willingness to let all the people know it. While doing so, we expect the staff to seek excellence at all times: excellence in writing, in design, in photography, in reporting truth.

Take a look at some of the University Journal statistics this year:

2022 UNIVERSITY JOURNAL STATS (subheading: end-of-year statistics for the University Journal)

  • 18 undergraduate staff contributors
  • 4 issues published
  • 45 stories written
  • Over 100 photos taken
  • Over 200 interviews recorded
  • Over 5,000 magazines printed and distributed

SUU NEWS STATS (subheading: statistics since the website’s launch in 2017)

  • 3,000 followers on Instagram
  • 1,900 followers on Facebook
  • 2,800 followers on Twitter
  • 3 regular weekly podcasts
  • 22,000 website hits per month
  • 3,200 digital stories published

Article and Photos by Aspen English

This article was originally published in the December 2022 edition of the University Journal. Pick up a free copy at any of the stands on SUU campus.