ND students resurrect progressive blog
By EMILY McCONVILLE | Friday, October 4, 2013
With 247 posts by several regular writers, it was, as Stanton put it, a “liberal voice on campus.” In the next few years, however, the blog declined and became almost inactive, with a total of three posts in 2012, he said.
Now, Stanton said Lefty’s, as it is often called, is back with a new staff and an updated design. The site relaunched Sept. 29 with a series of posts about the issues surrounding the recent federal government shutdown.
With the reboot, Stanton said the staff hopes to expand the scope of the blog by creating an online forum and posting events and polls as well as regular opinion pieces from a liberal perspective.
“We want to make it a resource that progressives across campus can turn to to know what’s going on, to know what’s on people’s minds,” Stanton said.
After interning in Washington D.C., Henry Vasquez, a 2010 Notre Dame graduate, started Lefty’s. It was, Vasquez said, a reflection of the large amount of support for and discussions about progressive ideas at the time.
“During those years, there was a lot going on, not just on the blog,” Vasquez said. “There were people getting together; there were social parties, tailgates, people getting involved in other activities. The line kind of blurred between other organizations on campus and Lefty’s as a separate entity. It effectively pulled all those together.”
After the first editors graduated in 2010, other staff members took over. However, Stanton, who worked as an editor briefly in 2011, said in the next two years, Lefty’s could not generate enough content to be sustainable.
“The editors that year sort of kept it alive, but they just didn’t get enough new writers and not enough people who could write on a regular basis,” he said.
In September, Stanton and his co-editor decided to revive Lefty’s in order to bring back a voice for liberal students.
“Among the Democrats, there’s definitely the feeling of not being able to speak your views, and so I think in the College [Democrats], there were some discussions about trying to start something like the blog because it had been such a great avenue for people to speak their voice and make the progressive voice heard,” Stanton said.
After reworking the site’s design and pulling together a new staff, Stanton and his co-editor, along with writers Adam Newman and Tyler Bowen, began posting regularly for the first time in nearly two years.
During its first week, Lefty’s Last Cry posted new content daily. According to Stanton, the goal is to post at least once every other day as it regains momentum. Several students have already signed up to write for the blog, and according to Bowen, the staff hopes to reach out to more writers, at Notre Dame and beyond.
“It’s not just limited to the Notre Dame community,” Bowen said. “When [the site] gets going, we could reach out to other people in other colleges.”
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