There have been a number of campus newspapers that have served the Colorado College community since the institution was founded in 1874. Through the late 1890s, campus publications such as The Occident, The Occidental Mirror, The Pike’s Peak Echo, and The Colorado Collegian came and went, with none of them lasting for more than a few years.
Finally, in 1898, the first lasting campus publication was founded. The Tiger, named after CC’s newfound mascot, the newspaper provided news coverage to the Colorado College community for over 70 years, including through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and other major world events.
However, in 1969, an issue of the Tiger sparked controversy on the Colorado College campus. The Jan. 17 edition of the paper that predominantly provided coverage of Symposium ’69, a week-long study of “Violence” which featured numerous speakers and other events, contained a number of words and images that sparked a conversation about obscenity on campus and within the community. However, the college’s Board of Trustees were outraged by the issue of the paper, deeming it too vulgar to be allowed on campus.
The Board met with then Editor-in-Chief Bob Clabby, who had directed the issue to focus on the symposium and had written an editorial in the edition that contained and discussed much of the vulgar language surrounding the event. Some members of the Board demanded disciplinary action against the student, and many felt as if censorship or other similar action was needed in the newspaper to ensure that this issue would not come about again.
In response the Board’s call for censorship, a collection of students and faculty came together in the summer of 1969 to submit the necessary paperwork for the founding of Cutler Publications, an independent nonprofit organization that to this day ensures that no Colorado College student publication will ever risk being editorialized by the school.
To recognize the importance of becoming fully independent, and to truly begin a new era of the Colorado College student newspaper, the editorial staff at the Tiger felt as if it was time to make another landmark change. Once the next semester came, the Tiger was officially no more.
The newspaper thus took upon a new name, one that reflected its presence on campus as a catalyst to ignite informed debate among students. To this day, The Catalyst not only remains Colorado College’s only campus newspaper, but also the oldest and longest-tenured member of Cutler Publications.