Don't Laugh at Us: Why Bennington Needs the BFP Back

The last time the Bennington Free Press saw the grit and grime of the printing room was over a year ago. Perhaps for most of you, that isn’t a big deal. For many of you the BFP hasn’t even been around for your short time here at Bennington. And perhaps ‘grit and grime’ is trying too hard. However, there is something vital and essential in having a student-run newspaper; there’s nothing quite like the BFP on campus, because it’s a publication by—and for—Bennington students.

Above all else, a newspaper increases communication. We all have complaints, petty or legitimate, and we deserve a platform through which they can be expressed; on the flip side, our campus is brimming with things to be excited about and proud of, and that should be shared. The newspaper is a way to unite students around common issues, further communication with the administration, and highlight the individual talents and personalities that make up the Bennington College community.

Additionally, in bringing the BFP back to campus we hope to create a bridge between what goes on here at campus and the town of Bennington itself. We gain nothing by being isolated and detached from the town that we live in: there’s a lot we can learn from the true Benningtonians, and a lot to be gained from increased communication between the two parties.

We hope our fellow students will feel that this publication unites students across disciplines, houses, and dining hall tables by sharing the multitude of projects and events occurring around us. While our community is small and made up of familiar faces, it is easy to get stuck in a kind of social rut; it’s amazing how many complex, unique, and vibrant people we share a space with. The BFP can serve as a portal into the lives of the people around us, sharing the diverse philosophies and interests of the Bennington community.

The BFP is also an opportunity to improve writing and media skills. Bennington does not have a journalism program, or really anything close to it. This is a way to practice journalism  and create a product of the time.

However, none of this can be done without your support and interest. We now extend the invitation to the entire student body to write and submit anything one chooses, big or small-- whether it’s a biting critique, an anecdotal comment on the mint ice cream on the dining hall, or a bunch of mock horoscopes.