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The Last Open Stall

March 20, 2012 by admin

A Column
by Mary Grace Garis

     There is always that awkward question that comes when I say I write for the school newspaper. That is, aside from the awkward question of “Brookdale has a school newspaper?” No, the awkward question follows up when I specify that yes, we have a school newspaper, it’s called “The Stall.”
     “‘The Stall?’ Like a bathroom stall?” All the time, like clockwork.
     To cut to the chase, yes, we have literally the worst school newspaper title ever. Even if the bathroom homonym isn’t the first image to pop up – though 98 percent of the time it is – other associations include images of a car stalling, of a person at a standstill in their life. Though less offensive, these are not exceptionally flattering descriptions.   
     So where, in fact, does the name come from? The Brookdale campus used to be a thriving horse farm. The title is supposed to be an allusion to the horse stalls. And this is somehow a great idea because students in 2012 are so up-to-date on Brookdale’s history, and that would be their first guess.
     Students have, a few semesters back, appealed to change the name to the newspaper to the definitively fierce title of “The Rebel.” The administration was not keen on this name and threatened to cut funding. They felt that such a title was, perhaps, a bit too provocative, and they wanted to continue paying homage to Brookdale’s origins.
     First of all, I understand the nostalgia factor, but that should only apply when your newspaper has a good name.
     Second of all, I sincerely doubt that name would turn the student body into raging anarchists. The word isn’t meant to be a radical statement. From my perspective, we’re all little rebels, and there’s something admirable about that. Brookdale shows us that we don’t have to go to a four-year school, that you’re free to change your major and your mind, and that you’re never too old to learn. That aside, people would read a newspaper called “The Rebel.” Honestly, how cool does that sound?
     A stall is where people excrete waste. Nobody is going to respect a newspaper with that title.
     To be perfectly honest, there is an unfair negative stigma that comes with going to Brookdale. The term “community college” turns people very condescending very fast. So on top of that, you have this group of talented writers trying to put together this newspaper every two weeks, and the title is one huge joke. We are very capable journalists, and we have the right to write under a title that demands respect.
     Bearing in mind that I’ll be graduating in May, I invite anyone to fight the good fight on this once more. If the press does nothing to change the minds of its readers, or at least get them thinking, then we really are solidifying the claim that we are irrelevant. And I think it’s these little fights for power, these small steps we take to be taken seriously, that are worth rebellion.

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