The Ticker : History of the Baruch College Newspaper

War and Peace: The Ticker in the 1940s

     What was Ticker? Why it was the 17"x 12" four page newspaper, six sheets when we could afford them, published by and for the undergraduates at CCNY-23rd Street. It was the sign for the majority of those housed at the college that a new week was beginning. It was the central nervous system for extra-curricular life. For a minute minority it was the "object" into which hours of care and labor were poured Thursday, Friday, Saturday - together on the ninth floor or down in the Village at hours when even cafe society was sleeping. It was the "something" that made Thursday nights seem endless and when they ended, seem exhilaratingly fruitful. It was the "thing" that gave local color to the ninth floor typewriters endlessly tapping, oaths growing more wicked as the hours advanced, squabbling about which story would be the righthand [sic] lead, last minute search for space fillers, varied opinion as to what this week's edit should gripe about, "Come on gang let's finish," and "Want to stop for some coffee?"

     This was Ticker, little scarred by a second world war except in the forfeiting of dusk to dawn crap games and forced approval of women's rights. It was the same Ticker that pledged in 1934 to give the student body of the School of Business and Civic Administration a liberal, sensible newspaper - to courageously champion the principle of academic freedom - to fight against unnecessary and unjust encroachments upon the rights of students to free, unbridled exercise of their lasting liberties. Such was the pledge and so it was fulfilled. (Lexicon, 1945)

   
  Ticker Staff Members
Lexicon, 1940
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     The Ticker entered a new decade with greater independence and an increasingly active staff. It was instrumental in organizing the first sports rallies and protests against the dismissals of popular lecturers.

 
 
 
Tickerites in Action
Lexicon, 1941
"U" Books Ad
The Ticker, February 6, 1941, 4
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
(The Ticker Newspaper Archive)
 
 

     The old problem of financing the paper was never far from the forefront. Appeals for students to buy U-books, which later became U-cards once the war brought about paper shortages, had mixed results.

 
 
 
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1942
A Ticker Staffer
Lexicon, 1943
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     When the United States entered World War II in 1941, The Ticker was instrumental in mobilizing the college for the war effort. Under editor Ray Cowen it issued its war credo:

     We take as our guide and objective the statement of the Four Freedoms [freedom of expression and speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom from fear], applied locally to student government and translated nationally and internationally. We stand proudly in defense of the oppressed and will strive for total student mobilization in defeat of the Axis on the world front and in rout of the enemies of democracy at home. (Lexicon, 1943)

 
 
 
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1944
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1944
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     In 1943, a large installment of the male population was called up. The Ticker, affected like the rest of the school, "bounced from editor to editor as one by one they were swallowed by the draft." (Lexicon, 1945)

     This newspaper is faced with the same problems as other student organizations, namely a shortage of experienced and enthusiastic workers. At the conclusion of this term, it will lose a number of its staff members and the entire managing board, with the exception of the two recently appointed members. To these two, who incidentally are girls, falls the task of organizing a staff to perpetuate this paper and its traditions. It will of necessity consist mainly of other members of the fair sex.
We feel confident that they can and will do a good job. If one student organization can carry on as before, why not all others?
(The Ticker, May 24, 1943, 2)

     By 1944 the majority population of the business school was female for the first time. Most of the positions on The Ticker were taken up by coeds.

 
 
 
Ticker Mailings Help Ad
The Ticker, February 14, 1944, 1
Ticker Mailings
Lexicon, 1945
 
 
(The Ticker Newspaper Archive)
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     With the departure of a vast number of the student body, the Sigma Alpha society got the idea to supply the men with Tickers to ensure that they would always be able to keep abreast of news at their alma mater. While initially small, the program eventually reached nearly two thousand servicemen stationed all over the world.

     On Friday afternoons, volunteers gathered in Miss Rosenfeld's office and filled the mail sack despite "sleet, hail or gloom of night." But as the files swelled with addresses brought in by students and sent in by the servicemen themselves, Ticker Mailing became an all day, every day job.

     Letters received from men in the armed forces were deemed worthy of being shared with other City servicemen and Ticker Tape, a newsletter containing excerpts and comments from these letters, joined The Ticker on its way to City men all over the world.

     In the fall of 1943, Ticker Mailing came into its own and moved into 920L, the cubbyhole office off the back stairway. By fall of 1944, Sigma Alpha recognized the fact that Ticker Mailing had grown up and turned it over to Student Council. (Lexicon, 1945)

     According to some responses from the soldiers, issues of The Ticker came in handy, not just in supplying information to former School of Business students, but also for various other purposes, from teaching English to the natives in New Caledonia, to conversion into hula skirts in Hawaii and shoe-lining by Inuits in Alaska.

   
  Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1941
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     When the war broke out, The Ticker finances, never in ideal shape, went from bad to worse. In 1942, the paper almost went under due to lack of funds and at times could only release an issue once every two weeks. The expense of sending Tickers to two thousand students serving in the war increased the strain even more.

     Just as in every society, in school organizations money is the lubricant which keeps the mechanism working smoothly. Today in the face of rising prices, lowered attendance and more expenses, all clubs and intramural activities are faced with serious curtailment unless ways and means of raising money are found. U-Cards are the obvious answer.

     The case of the Ticker is an excellent example, of how much organizations depend upon your U-Card purchases. If things remain as they are, The Ticker will appear only five more times this term. This means we will appear only once every two weeks.

     If you are reading some one else's Ticker, today, you are shirking your duty. If you use the ninth floor lounge, and you haven't got a U-Card, you are sponging off your fellow students. If you participate in intramurals, without paying your 50 cents, you are not being fair to your school, your fellow students or yourself.

     Dig down and come up with that fifty cents! It's your school, your paper, your activities.

Notice

     Due to lack of funds, The Ticker will not appear next week. (The Ticker, February 22, 1943, 2)

 
 
 
Ticker Movie Revival Ad
The Ticker, April 25, 1944, 4
Ticker Movie Revival Ad
The Ticker, May 2, 1944, 4
 
 
(The Ticker Newspaper Archive)
(The Ticker Newspaper Archive)
 

     Once the college began losing men to the war effort, the sale of U-cards plummeted, and The Ticker could no longer raise the necessary funds from their sale. The Ticker Movie Revival was so successful in 1939 that the TMR became an annual, large-scale event at the school eagerly anticipated by the student body.

   
  Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1945
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     Like the rest of the country, The Ticker celebrated the end of the war in Europe:

     It was just another Monday morning - May 7 at about 9:50. We had dropped into The Ticker office for that "between classes" cigarette. Odd behavior is not unusual in the office so the solid block of student bodies standing on chairs and hanging out of the windows evoked no comment or interest. We then noticed that Tickers were being torn up and thrown out of the window, but that might just have been an ingenious method of increasing our circulation.

     We soon found however that Tickerites were joining the nation in celebrating the announcement that the war in the European theatre was over. (The Ticker, May 20, 1945, 4)

 
 
 
Fee Expenditure Chart
The Ticker, October 6, 1948, 6
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1946
 
 
(The Ticker Newspaper Archive)
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     The end of the war also brought the end of The Ticker Movie Revival. Discussion of a mandatory activity fee to replace the highly unreliable and voluntary U-Books and U-Cards was finally acted upon. In the fall semester of 1945 the fee was instituted. Ticker could rely on the lion's share of the total funds. Much of the financial uncertainty of the previous few years faded.

 
 
 
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1947
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1947
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     Following the end of the war, the wave of returning veterans enrolling in the college reestablished numerical male dominance on campus. Later, when describing those veterans, The Ticker stated: Never in the College's long history has there been a group of students so thirsty for knowledge, so definite in purpose, so politically awake, or so intent upon success. (The Ticker, February 21, 1949, 2)

     Irwin Baskin became the first veteran editor in The Ticker's history in the fall of 1946. The editorship of The Ticker was dominated by veterans until 1949, when a non-veteran became editor for the first time since the end of the war. (Lexicon, 1949)

 
 
 
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1948
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1948
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     Throughout the 1940s, The Ticker continued to gather more awards. In addition to its first-class honor rating, it was now awarded the much desired All-American title by the Associated Collegiate Press.

 
 
 
Ticker Staff
Lexicon, 1949
Ralph Ginsburg, Ticker Editor, Presenting a Scroll to Bernard Baruch, Making Him an Honorary Editor
The Ticker, January 3, 1958, S-4
 
 
(Baruch College Archives)
(Baruch College Archives)
 

     The Ticker ended the decade on a high note. The periodical was able to come out in eight-page editions. This time the change was permanent. Bernard Baruch, an illustrious alumni, was made an honorary editor in 1949, bringing him even closer to a college which would be renamed after him in the next decade. People outside the campus began to read and learn of the existence of the paper, resulting in an increase in circulation. The students who worked on The Ticker themselves reflected on their accomplishments:

     If we have informed and amused the student body; if we have occasionally needled and playfully prodded the faculty; if, in short, we have given a part of ourselves to others, then we deem our years at school successful ones. For we have learned, if nothing else, that giving is, in a sense, getting. Not a very commercially practical concept, we admit, but then, neither is day-dream. It is a concept as tangible as an idea, as useful as a pair of hands and as old as man himself. It has become our code, our philosophy of life. It will, in future years, be our pathway to a rich and full life and aid us to be better citizens in a better world. (Lexicon, 1947)

 
The Golden Age: The Ticker in the 1950s