History of our Newspaper
The Promethean student newspaper has been the student voice for Siena College students in Loudonville, New York since 1938.
The Promethean is the oldest student-run club on Siena’s campus, pre-dating even the school’s Student Senate. It was established as The Chevalier in 1938 and has undergone numerous name changes, including Siena News and The Indian. In 1989 the newspaper’s name was officially changed to its current title, The Promethean. It continues to be the student voice for Siena College students today.
The Promethean Student Newspaper is a bi-weekly publication, which produces fourteen issues per academic year.
Single copies of The Promethean are available free of charge from authorized distribution points on the Siena College campus.
Select articles from our latest issue also appear on this website.
To request a back issue of our print publication, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
History of Siena’s Student Newspaper
By Christopher Hannmann, former editor-in-chief
Siena’s first student newspaper was born on October 17, 1938. A year after the college’s founding, The Chevalier premiered on Siena’s campus. The newspaper, which at the time cost five cents, was little more than a type-written newsletter. Its contents were minimal, but its message was important; Siena College was here to stay. The issue was christened with a letter from President Cypran Mensing who stated, “Without a doubt the new college (Siena) should be considered a successful venture.” These words not only gave hope to the school’s ninety-seven students, but also ensured the survival of the student newspaper.
Within a few short months, The Chevalier took on the new name Siena News, a name that would remain with the newspaper for 27 years. Under this name, the newspaper saw rapid developments and maturation. Its pages were filled with many articles, cartoons, letters to the editor, photographs, advice columns, and more. Siena News, which was released on a weekly basis, saw many of the college’s earliest years unfold before its very pages.
By 1965 the editors of the newspaper felt the need to transform its’ name yet again, and on November 19, 1965 the name Siena News was replaced with The Indian. Named after the school’s mascot, the switch was done in an effort to separate the newspaper from the college. The Editorial Board justified the switch by stating “Its name (Siena News) too often has been identified with Siena College itself and not distinctly enough with the college’s students.” The Indian, which lasted 24 years, would go through many format and layout changes before the newspaper changed its name one final time.
The most recent name switch came in 1989 as a result of different moral reasons associated with the name, The Indian. The newspaper’s Editorial Board decided that the name of a Native American as the paper’s title was both morally ambiguous and journalistically unstable. The switch was also influenced by the replacement of Siena’s Indian mascot.
On February 10, 1989 the name The Promethean could be read from the pages of the school’s newspaper for the very first time. A name that has been attached to the paper ever since, it was selected for its distinctive meaning and origin. Based on the Greek mythological hero Prometheus, promethean is a word that means creative, bold and original. Joseph Gilday, who was Editor-in-Chief at the time of the switch stated “It’s (The Promethean) classy yet catchy. The imagery associated with the name is perfect for a newspaper, too.”
While the names have changed over the years, the school’s newspaper continues to provide students with information about Siena and beyond. The newspaper has always adapted to the needs of students, and the name changes have been part of defining and shaping what Siena was, is, and will be. Is yet another name change in store for Siena’s newspaper? Only time will tell.
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