Old News

A look back at The Spectator’s past

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

(Editor’s note: Old News is a biweekly column featuring articles in The Spectator from the past. These are brief summaries of past articles.)

This week …

Twenty years ago – April 8, 1999 Issue

‘Rugby team’s future unclear’

The men’s club rugby team could be suspended for a year from competition as a result of drinking-related incidents involving team members after a tournament in Platteville on Saturday.

Associate Dean of Students Bob Shaw said he is discussing the proposed punishment with officers from the team and expects to make a final decision early next week.

Two members of the team — Robert Zellmer, a first-year student, and Mark Peterson, a fourth-year student — were arrested Saturday at the Best Western Governor Inn in Platteville.

Zellmer was arrested for underage consumption and possession of alcohol, and Peterson for disorderly conduct. Both were released and issued citations.

The hotel and several of its customers have written letters to the university complaining about the team’s conduct.

Shaw issued a proposal that would require the team to meet several requirements before its suspension is lifted.

These requirements include writing rules and procedures regarding alcoholic beverages during rugby team activities, 200 hours of community service, attendance at all sports club meetings during the year and financial compensation to the Governor Inn for refunds issued to customers.

Forty years ago – April 5, 1979 Issue

‘Editor’s Note: Ouch! The truth hurts’

We retract last week’s story regarding the recreational basketball league’s championship game. The CC Slammers won by default over Peaches and Cream, as opposed to what was originally printed. An explanation follows.

A sports reporter was assigned to cover the championship recreation department basketball game on March 26. Because of a night class, the reporter was unable to go to the game, so he asked Vic Johnson, of the recreation department, for the results of the game.

Johnson gave the reporter the score of the semi-final game, complete with statistics and the name of the winning team.

The championship game was never played. Not enough players from Peaches and Cream were back to school from spring break in time to play. Hence, the CC Slammers were the rec basketball champions by forfeit.

No Spectator staff questioned the innocuous five-inch story that resulted from the interview. It was not until after the story was published when several rec basketball players set the story straight.

We later found that Johnson, in an effort to keep the department from appearing in a bad light, lied to the reporter. He evidently didn’t stop to think how the rec department would look when the truth came out.

We also learned we fell prey to something we have been warned about in almost every journalism class. We accepted a one-source story without question. We took one man’s word for something, when we should have double checked.

It is a horrible feeling — hearing you’ve printed a bogus story. But it took reality to remind us of what we’ve been taught in books and lectures. It will not happen again.

Sixty years ago – April 9, 1959 Issue

‘Ugly Man’s Dance to Be Held Tonight’

The tenth annual Alpha Phi Omega Ugly Man’s Dance will be held tonight at 8 p.m. in the college union. Music will be provided by Chuck Mehls and his orchestra.

The dance is centered around a contest in which the student body will select the ugliest man on campus from representatives of various campus organizations.

Votes for the ugly man were sold at a penny a piece with all proceeds going to charity. A trophy will be awarded at the dance tonight to the organization sponsoring the candidate selected as the ugliest man on campus.

Tonight’s dance will also feature an auction, where also proceeds will also go to charity.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected].