Ram Republic raises voice

Oct 082007
Authors: Aaron Hedge

Citing a need for more balanced coverage of political and social issues in the media, a CSU student has started publishing an independent, right-leaning news publication, which saw its first printing Monday.

Bobby Carson, editor in chief of the new monthly student publication The Ram Republic, transferred to CSU from the University of Minnesota, where he said the idea of a conservative student-run publication took root.

“It’s not something you see every day, especially on a college campus,” Carson said.

The first issue is an opinion-based newsletter and featured columns by several student columnists, former Congress Republican Bob Beauprez, state house representative Jerry Sonnenberg (Fort Collins) and Larimer County GOP Chairman Ed Haynes.

Carson, a senior political science major from Fort Collins, said there has been overwhelming support for the Republic since it debuted on campus.

“I’ve been inundated with emails today” from prospective writers, Carson said. “We’ve received a ton . of tangible and intangible support.”

The first issue was funded by advertising dollars and Carson’s own pocket. Carson paid for about 35 percent of the first printing.

But the publication will be receiving a $750 grant from the Leadership Institute, a higher education group that supports conservative efforts among college students. The institute’s support will help pay for the next few printings of the Republic.

Carson said that the institute, based out of Arlington, VA., sees what he calls a liberal bias in the media as a worldwide problem.

The publication is in the process of organizing enough advertisers to start paying staff writers. Eventually he sees the Republic going bimonthly and including hard news stories. The next issue will contain some sports coverage, Carson said.

Carson said he began the publication because he felt that conservative ideas were not properly represented on campus. The idea for the publication had been in the works since the beginning of the semester and a recent editorial in the Collegian exemplified the need for “a way to express conservative ideals,” Carson said.

He referred to Collegian Editor in Chief J. David McSwane’s decision to print an editorial that included a profane reference to President Bush as confirmation that there is a liberal media bias at CSU.

“It confirmed what we had already known,” he said.

Some students support Carson’s efforts.

“It’s refreshing to see something else on the other side of the political spectrum,” said Rachael Hassa, natural resources senior from Lyons.

“The Collegian is very much liberally slanted,” said human development senior Melissa Klaer of Aurora. “It would be nice if the Republic was more mainstream.”

But one student questioned if we needed the Republic as an answer to liberal media bias on campus.

“Is there a Ram Democracy?” asked civil engineering junior Jared Van Tassel of Colorado Springs. He said that if there is self-identifying right-wing publication, there should be a self-identifying left-wing publication to balance it out.

Staff writer Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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