The Slant, Vanderbilt University’s humor and satire publication, was founded by an elite group of students who aimed to bring laughter and social commentary to the student body a mere 13 years after the University’s founding. Named after Cornelius Vanderbilt’s penis, this new organization recruited the brightest and tightest the campus had to offer.
The first print edition of The Slant was released and received an overwhelmingly positive reception. Students lined up around Rand, which was called Confederate Rand at the time, to try to get a copy. While the edition only featured three articles, everyone who read it knew that they were witnessing journalistic history.
The Slant continued to thrive and even began to turn a profit by charging one cent per copy of the paper. 75 percent of the earnings were given to charity, while the rest was invested into Apple stock. The Slant served as the only news source on campus, but no one seemed to care because it was reliable, unbiased and entertaining.
During the fall of 1888, a group of social outcasts met in a Confederate Rand Booth (named, of course, for John Wilkes Booth) under the cloak of darkness. After being denied positions as Slant staff writers, they made the decision to start their own rival paper. They named it The Hustler, an odd choice looking back, but one that they felt reflected their work ethic as well as the drug dealings that they used to fund the paper during the inevitably profitless first few months (which ended up lasting for 114 years).
The Hustler published its Volume 1 and received mixed reviews. Their polarizing front page featured an Op-Ed on why voting doesn’t matter to the democratic process. Several years later, their Editor-in-Chief would be quoted as saying that the article, “was a mistake that will surely not be made again in our publication.”
By the fall of 1905, the rivalry between Slant and Hustler was still as strong as ever. Both newspapers had developed a following, and neither seemed to be dominating the stands significantly more than the other. Rumors that the Editor-in-Chiefs of both publications were engaged in a romantic affair had swelled in the fall, but were quickly quelled when The Hustler Editor published a comprehensive guide to the top novels of the year, which caused readers and non-readers of the paper to realize that he certainly wasn’t having sex.
Inspired by the recently ratified 19th amendment, The Slant elected its first female Editor-in-Chief. When asked to comment on this historic moment, the Hustler Editor responded, “wait, you all have girls on your staff? How do we get girls?” While women were technically allowed in their organization according to their bylaws, no female willingly joined The Hustler staff until 2006.
In what is considered to be the only mistake in the history of their organization, The Slant chose to publicly claim Lee Harvey Oswold’s innocence after the assisination of JFK. A direct quote from the Editor at the time stated, “We really just don’t think he did it. Have you seen the Zapruder film? What about the Umbrella Man? The Babushka Lady? Something isn’t right. There really had to be a second shooter. Off the record, but I think it was The Hustler Editor. I didn’t see him in class on November 22nd.” Unfortunately, this exchange was entirely on the record and thus deemed “not integrous journalism” and “a baseless conspiracy fueled by personal beef.” While that Editor was forced to step down due to outside pressures from the University and The White House, subsequent Slant Editors have voiced support for this opinion, and the Slant staff still devotes thousands of dollars and hours yearly to proving Oswald’s innocence.
Leaked documents showed that Fidel Castro had sponsored The Hustler while Prime Minister of Cuba and into his presidency. This speaks for itself.
During the economic crisis, both The Slant and The Hustler witnessed a decline in their readership. Making a controversial move fueled by LSD and sexual angst, both Editors decided to join forces for the first time in history. They published a print edition of The Slantler, which, understandably, did not sell a single copy as most readers were confused as to what was a joke and what was not. Not to mention the writers rooms were a shit show, as one half was fueled by a BYOB policy and daddy issues, and the other by a god complex and total lack of social life. The alliance ended swiftly, and fans of both papers were so relieved that readership picked back up almost immediately.
As our timeline catches up with the present, we feel obliged to inform readers that the divide between The Slant and The Hustler has never been greater. While they may choose to ignore us, turn a blind eye and not respond to our dm’s tagging them in Instagram giveaways, we continue to be the bigger organization and stand for friendship and integrity among all Vanderbilt publications. On an unrelated note, we are officially rebranding ourselves as “The Slant: It’s like The Hustler, but for Hot People.”