The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The history of The Scoffayette

“The Laff-a-lot” was the first-ever satirical version of The Lafayette. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette College Archives)

Since 1984, The Lafayette has celebrated April Fools’ Day by publishing an edition consisting of satirical articles now known as The Scoffayette.

The first April Fools’ edition of The Lafayette was published on April 1, 1984 under the moniker of The Laff-a-lot. The entire issue featured articles utilizing outrageous situations, with headlines like “Gates Disappears As Campus Sleeps,” while other articles mocked lower-quality aspects of campus life, such as “Marquis Food Earns Five Stars.”

The editorial board declared its intent in a disclaimer titled “Don’t Take Reality Too Seriously.”

“The real message we wish to bring across to our readers is that through humor we can sometimes get a better perspective on ourselves, and our world,” the statement read. “By laughing at ourselves, we don’t take ourselves so seriously. Our intent was not to offend anyone, and we sincerely hope this proves to be the case.”

The Laff-a-lot was retitled The Scoffayette in 1998 and featured half satirical articles and half traditional news. Additionally, its intent changed as the years went on, with some articles more political and others light-hearted.

“I mean, I always thought it was fun when it ruffled some feathers to be honest,” said former Editor-in-Chief Claire Grunewald ‘20. “It’s a good way to kind of write about stuff that you think could be potentially controversial, but then you’re like, ‘we kind of want to make a point about something.’”

Former Editor-In-Chief Lucie Lagodich ’22 emphasized that keeping the content relevant makes The Scoffayette so popular. She still raves about a 2022 article entitled “Episode LXIX: Return of the Quent,” which provided playful commentary on a large tent placed on the Quad.

“That was a phenomenal article, that was a lot of fun in The Scoffayette,” Lagodich said. “Things like that, it still is relevant and because it’s relatable, it can be very fun, but it is still apolitical. So, it’s not necessarily crossing boundaries or upsetting people, but still relevant to current events if that makes sense.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the newspaper went online and only four Scoffayette articles were released digitally. However, in 2021, The Scoffayette returned to print with a four-page standalone edition, breaking from the tradition of including the Scoffayette as an insert.

“It was well-known that that was one of our most popular issues, even before we transitioned to having a standalone issue,” said former Editor-in-Chief Ben Fuller ’21.

“It was really nice to be able to have a week that was just dedicated to fun stuff and take a break from more serious journalism and have a good time,” Lagodich added. “So, we decided to establish it as the normal way going forward.”

Looking towards the future, former editors hope The Scoffayette packs a comedic punch and draws readers in.

“I remember people on campus from all walks of life would talk about that edition because it was just very funny and creative and always very relevant and it talked about things that were happening on campus, but also beyond,” said former arts editor Anastasia Gayol Cintron ‘17.

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Kristen Vincent, Assistant Culture Editor

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