Within the ivy-obscured brick walls of the Montgomery Court housing building is a piece of standard paper, printed front and back, called The Full Monty.
Its copies hang from little metal clips by every door, in every hall of the building. One article of this new underground print begins, “Congratulations! You are now a proud staff member and concept contributor of The Full Monty newspaper.”
The brainchild of a group of PSU students who moved into Montgomery Court shortly before fall term began, The Full Monty circulated for the first time on the morning of Sept. 25, the first day of fall term.
The creators of the publication tried to focus the first issue’s content on relevant issues to the residents of Montgomery: hall meetings, a stolen DVD player from the common area and a suggested code of ethical conduct. The founding members, who use pen names and requested that their real names remain unused, said they wanted to quickly foster a better sense of community with their neighbors.
”We were sitting around, bored, and wanted to meet everyone in the dorm,” said Jack Carrow.
”From its start, this has been about having fun and connecting people,” said Eliot Collins.
Residence Life staff members are supportive of the idea, and have given the newspaper staff commendation in the form of a positive incident report.
”I think it’s helping us bring a sense of community about,” said Dementro Powell, area coordinator for Residence Life. “It also lets the Res Life staff in on the concerns of the residents.”
The publication’s staff said the accessibility of information and the empowerment that results are their main goals. “Unless people are informed, they can’t make educated decisions,” Collins said. “This newspaper is just the communication branch of a much larger social movement, and information is the lifeblood of any movement.”
Everyone on staff is either editor-in-chief or staff director, with one exception: Dave fills the position of “some guy who showed up.” Dave is also the only member who does not use a pseudonym and is the writer of half the initial issue’s articles. The group said autonomy, existentialism and social responsibility seem to be fundamental ideas that steer the newspaper staff in their creative endeavors.
”We have this ongoing thread of conversation about how to pick up girls wearing a crawdad suit,” said Hans Fraulein, one of the many editor-in-chiefs.
”Just as important as the underground newspaper itself is the underground newspaper office,” Carrow said. “The office is a hub for everybody. It’s a welcoming mat for those who don’t feel like they’re welcome in the community.”
The group calls the office of the underground newspaper “the media tent.” Distinguished from other sleeper-sized units on the third floor of the Montgomery with a sign, the publication office for The Full Monty houses a few essentials for journalistic creativity. A dry-erase board hangs on the wall displaying story ideas and quotes from the staff and a small coffee maker sits on a cluttered desk, tired from constant use.