Note: This is the fifth in a five-part occasional series on LSU’s official and unofficial student newspapers, yearbooks, magazines, and literary journals.
The Civilian | 1970-1987, 1998, 2001-2003, 2004-present
Law Library (ask at reference desk)
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — EL 60.7/6: & EDU-SL ZLSU-LC S93313 C5828:
The LSU Student Bar Association gave a nod to Louisiana’s unique civil law tradition when it inaugurated The Civilian, the law school’s student newspaper, in 1970. Issued five or six times each year as a fully-fledged newspaper, it was filled with school news, interviews with professors, details of the moot court, examinations of bar exam passage rates, announcements of postgraduate employment, advice on interviewing with law firms, tension-relieving cartoons, and other accounts of life at the law school. It began to die down in the mid-1980s, ultimately defeating the news editor’s hopes “to revivify the lifeless corpse known as The Civilian” with better articles on legal theory and practice.
The paper experienced two brief gasps for air in 1998 and 2001-2003, but these weak efforts to return in the form of a photocopied newsletter were always doomed to failure. The Civilian resurged again in 2004 as a glossy magazine with more law school news and student commentaries on legal issues. Apparently, the fourth time was the charm, as The Civilian continues to appear once a month, four times a semester.
Borborygmi | 1975-1983
Veterinary Medicine Library (ask at reference desk)
Ah, vet students! Who else would name their student newsletter after the rumbling and gurgling noises made by the movement of fluid and gas in the intestines? Borborygmi, the School of Veterinary Medicine’s somewhat irregular student periodical, disseminated news of social events and intramural sports, profiles of faculty, debates on the usefulness of the American Veterinary Medical Association student chapter, details of the care and condition of Mike the Tiger circa 1975, and varied opinions on the peculiarities of life at the vet school. It also doubled as a humorous outlet for budding veterinarians, with cartoons, an unabashed dictionary, and quotable quotes heard from professors (e.g., “If you don’t die of rabies, you die of other causes” and “The easiest way to get milk from a dairy cow is to get her pregnant”).
Law Library ARCHIVES– KFL70 .A96
Hill Memorial Library LLMVC — KF292 .L833 A3
L’Avocat was just like the Gumbo except for the photos of strange law student customs, rituals, and galas you’ve probably never heard of. The Law School’s almost-every-year yearbook was conceived in the fall of 1975 “with the intent to begin a tradition that in these years of expansion and drifting relationships would create a bond to link us to our first days with the Law, and to each other.” It succeeded in its aim for nearly three decades, failing to appear only three times. All twenty-seven editions of L’Avocat are available online through the Digital Commons at the LSU Law Center.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LD3119.5 .V45 C45
Veterinary Medicine Library Stacks — SF756.36 .L62 L67
Ads for pet food and veterinary pharmaceutical companies were the only fundamental difference between Cenobium, the yearbook of the School of Veterinary Medicine, and the better known Gumbo. Lasting for a little over a decade, all fourteen editions of Cenobium are available online through the LSU Digital Commons.
New Delta Review | 1984-present
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 D42
A broad-based literary journal returned to campus in 1984 with New Delta Review, the first successor to the venerated Delta. Publishing literature from far and wide, New Delta Review ceased as a print journal in 2010 when it began a new series and became a web-only publication. It published a printed Best of the Web anthology in 2013 and a few anthologies and chapbooks in recent years.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 G85
Middleton Library Stacks — LH1 .L55 G85
Legacy | 1994-present
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 G852
Middleton Library Stacks — LH1 .L55 G852
The magazine format reemerged in the fall of 1989 with Gumbo Magazine, a triannual issued by the Department of Student Media. It expanded to quarterly frequency in the fall of 1992 after the Gumbo yearbook was discontinued for lack of funding. For the next two years, Gumbo Magazine took up the task of recording an historical account of the year as the yearbook had done, while continuing much of its traditional magazine feature content. The Gumbo yearbook returned in the 1994/95 academic year, freeing the magazine to return to its former practice of covering interesting people and subjects on campus. It commemorated the historic shift by polling the student body for a new name, ultimately opting for Legacy, which it still retains.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 D4
Middleton Library Stacks — LH1 .L55 D4
The Delta name returned again in 1995, this time as an exclusively undergraduate annual literary journal. Unlike its older brother, Delta remains a print publication. Manchac Magazine, an online magazine of culture and the arts in Baton Rouge, briefly was attached to Delta beginning in 2010, but it does not appear to have survived its natal year.
Hill Memorial Library UARCHIVES — LH1 .L55 M67
Mosaic was conceived as a weekly features magazine from the Office of Student Media in the spring of 1998. Although starting strong, it endured numerous scheduling problems, eventually reemerging as a slick, biweekly magazine in the fall of 1998. It lasted through the spring of 1999, by which time it was billed as only a supplement to the Reveille. Ultimately, Mosaic ended its year-and-a-half lifespan as merely an inferior version of Legacy magazine.
One Last Word:
You probably noticed that I did a disgracefully small amount of research on each of these serials, passing judgment over each one after barely skimming its contents. If you’re disgusted by an old man’s casual dismissal of the work of so many young people (as you should be), please visit one of our libraries, scrutinize a title, and post a review more informed than mine to this blog.
Regardless, I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk through LSU’s student literary history. If I’ve missed a publication that you remember from your student days, if you have a living memory of any of these periodicals and want to set the record straight, or if you own copies of any of these papers and would be willing to donate them or allow the library to copy them, do let us know.
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