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Archive Dive: The News of May 1, 1984

By Henry Fisher | May 6, 2024

Last edition of Archive Dive focused on one of the earliest editions of the Albany Student Press (ASP), back when it was still called the State College News. The State College News eventually shifted into the ASP, complete with a slew of logos and many more editions. By 1984, it was clear a new pattern had been set with two editions per week: Tuesday and Friday. 

Welcome to the second Archive Dive, and welcome to Albany Student Press Volume 71, Number 22 from May 1, 1984. 

Albany Student Press, Vol. 71, No. 22. Dated for May 1, 1984.

The headline, “Top SA executives take pay cuts in new budget,” by Jon Willmott, caught my eye as it reminded me of an article I had written last year on the Student Association’s (SA) budget. In the 1984 headliner, the President, Vice President, Controller and Central Council Chair reduced their stipend to $2,000. In 2023, the SA president, Jalen Rose, reduced his stipend to $8,500 from $9,609.60. It is interesting to compare the two stipends, especially since inflation makes $1 in 1984 worth $3.01 today.

Throughout the paper there was a lot of focus on gay rights, which makes sense given the time. Just below the headline is “SUNYA gets $5,000 grant to fight homophobia,” by Aileen Brown. In addition, page 18 has a full ad sponsored by SA that says “It’s great to be gay!” and encourages UAlbany students to wear blue jeans on May 2, 1984 in celebration of Gay and Lesbian Awareness Week, the date of which seems to have shifted since 1984.

I also noticed an ad on page seven for the Chinese Students Association, now the Chinese Student Association (CSA), noting the upcoming elections and general meeting. What struck me was that 1984 was only six years after the club’s founding, and that the club at this time either already had the budget to or made a deal with the ASP to get the ad in place. It also reminded me, as someone who grew up with cell phones abound, how valuable a newspaper could be in organizing people. 

Starting on page 4 is a sports story, “Six Great Danes find success in Sweden,” by Marc Schwarz. The article highlighted six men’s basketball players who found success in playing or coaching in Sweden – something Schwarz dubs “The Stockholm Pipeline.” It made me think about the women’s basketball team and Helene Haegerstrand, a Swedish basketball player who played for UAlbany for five years. This year marked her last year with the program.

In a fascinating reversal, instead of Great Danes going abroad to Sweden, Swedish players have become a consistent part of the women’s basketball program under head coach Colleen Mullen, according to Christian Hince’s earlier ASP article on Haegerstrand’s departure

A larger item I found interesting was the length of the paper – 24 pages – which is doubly impressive given that this was one of two weekly editions. It shows how passionate the student journalists of UAlbany were at the time, but it also shows how much space was taken up by advertising. Pages 18 and 19 have full page advertisements, while page 14 has “Classified,” a section that had small ads for housing, jobs, insurance, and personal messages. 

I particularly liked this personal message addressed “To the most beautiful rose,” by a certain “Little Prince,” which reads “Live well. It’s life’s greatest revenge.” It is very similar to a quote by English poet George Herbert: “Living well is the best revenge,” though the aforementioned “Little Prince” has added their own little twist. 

My last note is for the comic, “Otis,” by R.A. Hayes, which made me chuckle.


“Otis” comic by R.A. Hayes in Albany Student Press, Vol. 71, No. 22.

Going from 1917 to 1984 was quite the jump, and it is fascinating to see just how much things have changed from then to now. Part of me hopes that 1984 alumni will see this (a much more likely alternative than the 1917 alumni) and be reminded of days gone by. Thank you for reading, and keep an eye out for the next one, coming some time in Fall 2024.

Writer’s Note: “Archive Dive” is a series perfect for the curious historians among us. Each new release will focus on a date in UAlbany’s history that has been recorded by the Albany Student Press (and its previous incarnations) going all the way back to 1916. The hope is to resurface these snapshots of UAlbany’s culture and history and look back with a modern perspective.


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