Perceiving Need, Students Planning First-Ever Campus Humor Magazine

Complaining that the current so-called campus humor magazine fails to capture "the irony of Harvard life," an Eliot House junior and several of his friends have set out to do just that in a magazine of their own.

The new magazine, Claritas, was conceived by Alexander B. Gove '87 as a sardonic commentary on day-to-day life at Harvard. Unlike most other Harvard publications, Claritas will open its pages to contributions from any undergraduate, Gove said.

"One of the most interesting things about our magazine is its accessibility," Gove said.

If all goes according to plan, Claritas should be available for campus yuks sometime in April, after which it would be published monthly, Gove said.

To finance the first issue, Gove and the three other officers on the magazine's staff--Paul H. Arnett '87, Ian D. Highet '88, and Sean A. Cote '87--applied for a $2000 grant from the Undergraduate Council, Gove said. Gove said that they hope to pay for subsequent issues with advertisements.

The magazine will not solicit stories from students until it has received funding, Gove said. Although the university has recognized Claritas as an official organization and a publisher has been lined up, Gove said that until enough money has been secured to print the first issue, "it's still just an idea."

No Competition

Claritas will not be in competition with Harvard's traditional humor magazine, the Harvard Lampoon, Gove said, because it will focus specifically on Harvard subjects. The Lampoon, occasionally published by a semi-secret, humor-oriented society, "is not a campus organization per se but addresses college life in general," Gove said.

"We want to capture the spirit of Harvard life in the way that The New Yorker captures New York life," Gove said. Like The New Yorker, Claritas will dedicate its main body to essays and will have a short introductory section and a concluding entertainment section, Gove said.