Dennis Assanis: The hole, eh, whole truth

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The University of Delaware recently named Dennis Assanis its new president.

The student newspaper, The Review, tried reporting the news as any other place would—with a standard article. Assanis came from Stony Brook. He hopes to continue with all the good work. He believes in open communication. Blah, blah, blah. Meh, meh, meh. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Twenty-one years ago, I was editor of The Review. We were a motley group of kids, always looking to stir things up, making the boring sorta funny, bringing life to the oft-dull world of academia.

In other words, there’s no way in hell we would have let the name Dennis Assanis go untouched.

Assanis? Ass-Anus? It’s a gift from the headline-writing Gods. Especially when, after accepting the job, he came to campus and posed with the school mascot, a Blue Hen. Which, truly, is a giant cock (if you believe the mascot to be a boy, which most do. Even though, technically, it’s called a hen). So here you have Assanis, standing alongside a big blue cock. Priceless gold.

Back in the day, we did stuff one doesn’t do. And probably shouldn’t do. There was a peeper running around campus one time. We wrote a standard headline, with the subhead, HE COMES BY DAY, HE COMES BY NIGHT. We did an April Fool’s issue with the lead story, SNOOP EXCITED TO ADDRESS BITCHES AT COMMENCEMENT. We mocked the university president incessantly—for his dull demeanor, for his love of bricks.

Was it professional? No. But it’s what student newspapers are supposed to be. Irreverent. Funky. Off the cuff.

Assanis? I’m jealous.

1 thought on “Dennis Assanis: The hole, eh, whole truth”

  1. > Was it professional? No. But it’s what student newspapers are supposed to be. Irreverent. Funky. Off the cuff.

    I think it’s what *one particular type* of student newspaper is supposed to be. And The Black Sheep and other indie student newspapers still bring you that kind of content.

    But the shift to a more staid, professional Review, which started out in fits and starts around the time I graduated in the early ’00s, and which has really accelerated in the past five years, probably has something to do with the dearth of available journalism jobs.

    Think about it: You need knock-their-socks-off clips these days just to have a shot, and so if you’re going to take risks — and you should — it’s no longer tenable to take them in the direction of being too immature. If anything, you’re going to go in the opposite direction and write like you’re writing for the Gray Lady, rather than your rinky-dink student newspaper.

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