Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Tufts Weekly, 1895-1968
|The Tufts Weekly, first published on October 8, 1895, served as a source for news, sports, and student affairs. It was transformed into the Observer in January, 1969.|
Prior to first issue of the Weekly, the monthly Tuftonian was the closest Tufts had to a campus newspaper. In early 1895, students in the Zeta Psi and Theta Delta Chi fraternities, feeling that the campus needed a weekly publication, decided to replace the Tuftonian with the Tufts Weekly. Originally, the Weekly was to include campus news and sports, and also contain literary works by students. The fraternities disagreed on the exact content of the paper, however, and it was decided that the Tuftonian should continue publication, acting as a literary magazine, whereas the Weekly would serve as a purely informational publication.
Published first by the Tufts-operated Publishing Association, the first issues of the Weekly carried sports (always on the front page), news, and alumni affairs. Students were encouraged to subscribe to the Weekly at an annual cost of $1.50, or $2.00 if they also wanted to receive the Tuftonian. Many students signed up, but, unfortunately, few paid the subscription price. Over the next fifteen years, the Weekly slowly went into debt, mainly with the Somerville Journal Company, who had inherited printing duties from the Publishing Association. After finishing Volume 16 on June 21, 1911, the Weekly was forced to stop publishing due to lack of funds.
Publication resumed on November 12, 1913, after students successfully petitioned the Trustees to subsidize the Weekly for two years. Trustees and students then solved the problem of unpaid subscription costs by including the cost of student publications as part of the College charges to enrolled students. This subsidy allowed the Weekly to continue publication without worry of debt problems with the Tufts Publishing Corporation, who now handled printing.
The Weekly continued as the newspaper of record for Tufts students. In January of 1969, the name was changed to the Observer, to reflect the new bi-weekly publishing schedule.
Source: LOH, OBS, TW