You may have noticed a new publication floating around campus: “The Quinnipiac Barnacle.” While this publication has no relation to The Chronicle, we appreciate its humor and efforts in entertaining the Quinnipiac community with their satirical, creative style.
This new student organization was recognized this semester, but started as a student-run website founded by co-editors Shane Collins and William Vessio. These students launched The Barnacle’s website last November and now have 12 members on their writing staff, according to their website.
As a student journalist, I am in full support of freedom of the press as well as freedom of expression, allowing publications the right to express their views.
Therefore, The Chronicle doesn’t have any hostile feelings toward the student organization’s approach of providing “news” to the public. Everyone loves a good laugh.
However, I’ve heard a lot of positive, and negative, feedback from students and administrators on The Barnacle. Some said their priority reading is The Chronicle, others said they appreciate The Barnacle for something to laugh at. Ultimately, people understand the point of The Barnacle.
I met with Vessio and Collins to better my understanding of The Barnacle and to hear how it came about.
The Barnacle is a play of The Chronicle, according to Collins.
“Because The Chronicle is the known newspaper, it gives us, as a parody news organization…recognition right there,” Collins said.
The co-editors describe The Barnacle as “a good outlet creatively” to make social points.
“We’re using it as a social tool too, so we can make a satirical stand and bring something to the forefront of students’ minds in the way it sticks with them,” Collins said.
While The Barnacle has complete freedom over their content, they abide by a constitution and internal codes.
“We’re not going to write something mean just for the sake of being mean,” Collins said concerning using student, faculty and staff names.
The Barnacle usually creates student names as characters; otherwise, they contact students before quoting them for their permission, promising not to use their name “in a negative, derogatory or in a legal context,” Collins said.
The Barnacle’s website and first issue even has a legal disclaimer stating: “The Quinnipiac Barnacle is a parody newspaper. No articles or media posted on this website are factual, nor should they be interpreted as such. Actual names and likenesses used in The Barnacle are used in a parodic context, and are not a reflection of any actual person, living or dead.”
“We see ourselves half as a silly organization to half as a serious one in the sense that we view what we do as an art almost,” Vessio said.
Quinnipiac hasn’t been exposed to a student organization that uses a different approach in “reporting news” on campus, but there are many well-known parody shows and papers. Just look at “The Onion,” “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” Those “news outlets” provide news to consumers but in a subjective way.
The journalistic approach of reporting the news means remaining unbiased, but the parody shows and newspapers have that ability. It provides news with a shock value that sticks with its audience, and that’s what The Barnacle aims to do.
As long as they’re not harming anyone, I support them. When I spoke with Vessio and Collins they were clear that they are not going “to be mean for the sake of being mean.” They want their issues to be revealed and their voices heard.