The Horizon former advisers recall triumphs, gaffes

By Erin Walden

NEW ALBANY — Ron Allman knows his favorite edition of Indiana University Southeast’s student publication The Horizon – volume 56, edition 13.

The four-word headline on the front page, above the fold, is short but represents a lot to Allman. “Dump cleaned, questions remain” it read.

That edition, along with 60 years worth of others, is immortalized in a digital library online and, therefore, Allman has a copy of it on his phone now, which "shows the magic of what the library, the Horseshoe Foundation, the volunteers did.”

Allman told his story to a crowded room at the IU Southeast Library on Monday afternoon during a celebration of the student papers being digitized.

What happened in that edition was this: During Allman’s 13-and-a-half years as adviser for the paper, the university was cited for illegal dumping. In pursuit of a “second day” story, or a wrap-up of what readers missed and what it meant, they discovered more illegal dumps on the campus than had been formally cited. Allman and his student editor took to the woods to investigate and discovered trash in piles throughout the woods – an old water heater, a stack of tires, rebar.

“I didn’t have tenure yet, that was the scary part. I had only been here three years and I’m like ‘Can we do this, can we not do this?’” Allman said. Eventually, he and the student editor met with administration and head of the police department and, as Allman put it, “as they were telling us (to hold off on the story) you could see them pushing carts … taking the stuff out of the woods!”

Powers of the press in action, he said.

Another past adviser, Jim St. Clair, also spoke of his 25 years leading the paper.

“You make a lot of mistakes when you publish a newspaper and you don’t see them until they come out. Then it’s like they have flashing red lights around the mistake,” he joked.

St. Clair recalled a headline intended to read “Colonels Start to Jell” that printed as “Colonels Start to Jail” and an instance where cutlines for a comic strip and a photo were inadvertently swapped.

Most of all, he recalled the work went into the publication.

"There's a lot of blood in the newspaper. A lot of blood and sweat that goes into the production of the newspaper, even though it was a weekly,” he said.

The product of those years of hard work is now available at for anyone to access.

According to Melanie Hughes, coordinator of automation and technical services for the IU Southeast library, work is still being done and eventually the collection will be searchable by subject and keyword. Digitizing the publications was made possible by grants from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County and the IU Bicentennial. Each edition is available online save for six, which the team is hoping will resurface.

Read the story in the News and Tribune