[PAST EVENT] "A Century of Student Voices"

May 5, 2011 - November 7, 2011
Swem Library, Read & Relax Area-First Floor
400 Landrum Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Swem Library at the College of William and Mary presents the exhibit "A Century of Student Voices" opening on May 5th.

The first issue of The Flat Hat was printed on October 3, 1911. Its name was derived from a secret society, dating back to 1750, nicknamed the "Flat Hat Club." This club claimed Thomas Jefferson as a member and predates Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society. The Flat Hat has been published weekly (except for the fall semester of 1918) up until 2007 when it began publishing twice weekly. With such a legacy, The Flat Hat is often considered the "official" student newspaper for the College of William & Mary.

In this exhibit, we celebrate 100 years of The Flat Hat. We hoped to address two questions: "What voice did The Flat Hat contribute to the William & Mary community?" and "How has the voice changed (or not) over the years?"

The exhibit begins with how The Flat Hat covered major news events by looking at the College during times of "War and Peace." Although student reactions to war vary over time, the display about social events shows that when looking at opinions about fraternity housing to Homecoming queens "Some Things Never Change." "Sticking with Traditions" reveals the lost traditions of freshmen wearing beanies and seniors carrying "swagger sticks" as well as long-standing traditions such as the Yule Log and seniors ringing the Wren bell. Many of these traditions and events were captured in images proving that "A Picture is Worth a Hundred Years." The Flat Hat moved from primarily printed words to including more photographs, cartoons, and advertisements. Finally, "Time to Get Taboo: A Retrospective of Race and Sex in The Flat Hat," confirms that although The Flat Hat has the longest history among campus publications, it has represented diverse student voices throughout the century.

This exhibit was curated by students in Prof. Sharon Zuber's "Constructing the News: Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies class (LCST 201) and the Special Collections Research Center staff.

[[acschi, Amy Schindler]]