The Loquitur, Cabrini College’s nationally award-winning newspaper, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. From the beginning, the Loquitur has dedicated itself to providing in-depth and unbiased coverage of campus, local and national news. Despite varying staff sizes and unexpected technical blips on the radar, Loquitur has never strayed from its original purpose- to serve a community of readers.
“We were in the unique position of chronicling not only the history of Cabrini, but the history of our world,” Vince DeFruscio, 2002-2003 news editor, said.
The Loquitur’s fi rst issue was published in 1959, two years after the College was founded by Mother Ursula Infante.
Originally, the paper came out quarterly, then monthly, bi-weekly and eventually weekly in the early 1980s. For the past 38 years, the Loquitur has been under the direction of Dr. Jerry Zurek, chair of the communications department, who, upon his arrival in 1972, established the yearlong journalism course, a preparatory course for staff writers and editors.
Although Zurek has always taught the course, the student-run newspaper leaves the selection, editing and layout of stories to editors. This infamous layout process, although daunting for editors, has led to fond memories for past and present staff members.
“I remember the long nights of layout. Sometimes I would be walking back to my apartment at 2 a.m. and thinking ‘Why the heck did I get myself into this?’ But in the end, I felt very fulfilled by all the work we were getting done,” Kristen Catalanotto, 2004-2005 news editor, said.
For Zurek, it is the dedication that editors like Catalanotto have exhibited throughout the years that stands out.
“Loquitur has never, ever missed a deadline in my 38 years and that in itself is outstanding. But that so many people work so hard to do excellent work week in and week out is really inspiring to me and to a lot of people,” Zurek said.
In those 38 years, staff writers and editors have reported on a number of current events that have since become recognized as national history, including the O.J. Simpson sentencing and the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Not only were these milestones in American history, but also for the Loquitur editors who covered them.
“I remember the stories we did. It was such an interesting and important time, or at least it felt that way. We were between the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq,” DeFruscio said.
“One of my favorite memories was when we covered a Nazi rally being held at Valley Forge Park. It was pretty intense to see real news happening right in front of me. I remember Dr. Zurek being very proud of us not being afraid to get right in the middle of the action,” Catalanatto said.
Amongst the news coverage and tedious production behind producing a paper, Loquitur editors of past and present have learned valuable lessons during their time on the staff.
Whether to use their time as a reporter, refining their professional mannerisms or understanding the importance of a deadline, Loquitur members have taken the lessons they have learned with them into their lives after college.
“Dr. Zurek was a great teacher and a real positive influence. He really sparked an interest in journalism for me,” Paul Moser, 1997-1999 sports editor, said. “I really enjoyed putting out the paper with my fellow editors and the instant gratification of seeing the finished product on the newsstands that week.”
“The biggest lesson I learned was how to work on deadline and that you can always get everything done as long as you focus and you know the end goal you want to reach,” Catalanotto said,.
“I learned how to interact in a more professional way. I learned how to handle the responsibility that comes with leadership and deadlines. I learned how to craft a news story to fit your audience. I’m absolutely certain there are so many things I don’t even realize that I’ve learned. I just know that, at the end of the day, I’m a much better journalist because of my time at Loquitur,” DeFruscio said.