Students plan to start conservative newspaper to increase political debate

According to the Princeton Review, the College has been ranked one of the least politically active colleges in the nation for the second year in a row. In an effort to raise political awareness and activism, Eric Pasternack and Tom Sales, both junior political science majors, have decided to create a conservative campus newspaper.

Pasternack, editor in chief, and Sales, senior editor, teamed up to put into action an idea that they say has been circulating around the College for several years. At present, Pasternack and Sales are working with 10 staff members in the production of the biweekly paper. They plan on recruiting extensively pending Student Government Association (SGA) approval sometime next month.

Pasternack stressed that newspaper, The Minority Report, is in no way affiliated with the Republican Party.

“It is a conservative newspaper. As such, our writers will sometimes agree with the Republican Party, but there will also be times when our (ideas) may differ.”

Matt Civiletti, president of the College Democrats, acknowledged that if the paper is indeed “moderately conservative” and not extremely right-wing, it could recruit a large audience. Though it has not yet been discussed, he said that a progressive newspaper is also always a possibility. “I tend to think that the Republicans must realize they’re outnumbered at (the College), in our state and even across the country,” Civiletti said. “This paper might be a response to the overwhelming support of progressive values, especially here in New Jersey.”

From the opposite standpoint, Tony DeCarlo, vice-chair of the College Republicans, warmly supports the new publication. He admitted that, although the organization itself is not directly involved, many members are taking part in its production.

“As the College Republicans welcome all viewpoints into the public square, we naturally support the editors’ endeavor and are confident (they) will be successful,” he said.

The editors plan on offering advertising space to raise revenue. In addition, they will be seeking a new club budget from the Student Finance Board. However, Pasternack and Sales expect that the majority of their funding will come from outside organizations such as the Young America’s Foundation and the Collegiate Network.

The Collegiate Network provides financial and technical assistance for conservative publications around the country, and the Young America’s Foundation strives to “ensure that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise and traditional values,” according to the groups’ mission statements.

“College is supposed to be the time and place where intellectuals are presented with diverse viewpoints and have their values challenged,” S. Lee Whitesell, president of Students for Academic Freedom, said. On behalf of his organization, Whitesell expressed hope that The Minority Report will present “a perspective often overlooked or actively ignored in the (academic world).”

Pasternack wants his paper to do just that.

“I hope that everyone on campus chooses to read this newspaper, regardless of their political leaning,” he said.

“I want this paper to increase intellectual debate on campus.”

Pasternack wants to provide the outlet for that debate. He intends to host a discussion of the topics presented in The Minority Report after each issue published. Every publication is intended to reach out to students who have political tendencies that they rarely pursue.

“While I vote and consider myself Republican, I’m not politically active,” Stephanie Trstensky, sophomore nursing major, said. “But I do think that there are a number of conservative students on this campus.”

Pasternack and Sales intend to cover local, state and campus news. They will also include opinions, editorials and letters to the editor.