The headquarters of The Insurgent wouldn’t be noticeable unless you were looking for it, and perhaps not even then. It’s off to the side of the Women’s Center in the Erb Memorial Union, at the end of a hallway in a small room called the ROAR Center — or the Radical Organizing Activist Resource Center.
The Insurgent is the University of Oregon’s leftist newsgroup, which has usually released a news magazine with 40 high-gloss pages of artwork, poetry and articles each term.
But if you haven’t seen copies of The Insurgent in the last year or so, that’s because the paper was essentially on hiatus for the 2018-19 school year, when almost all of the paper’s nine-person staff graduated or otherwise left — except for Laurabell Young, who struggled and could not release the editions of the then-news magazine each term. But now, Young and her staff plan for the paper to return to campus in full force.
It will now publish an 8-page tabloid-sized newspaper each month, returning to the format that the paper originally released itself as in 1989, said Young, who is now The Insurgent’s editor-in-chief.
“Before, we were less of a news source and more of a leftist content [source] on campus,” Young, a fifth-year history student, said. “But we want to be a leftist news source.”
The first issue of The Insurgent from September includes an article calling for the democratization of the UO board of trustees, a review of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” by Mark Bray and an illustrated map of logging proposals in Lane County.
Eric Howanietz, The Insurgent’s assistant editor, described the format shift from a magazine to a tabloid newspaper as part of an effort to stay on top of current events, such as campus labor unions, far-right extremism and organizing of antifa, an umbrella term for far-left groups that fight white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
“I want to have The Insurgent be its own research apparatus for insurgent ideas,” Howanietz said. “We're involved in insurgent politics. We're not going to shy away from politics, but we're not going to go with the mainstream, either.”
This return comes as the paper celebrates the 30-year anniversary of its inception in September 1989.
Though The Insurgent will be focusing more on its monthly newspapers this year, Young still wants to include artwork, which has traditionally been one of the focuses of its news magazine.
“We also value putting out artwork and poetry and kind of more artistic and more graphic things,” Young said.
At the moment, The Insurgent has between three to seven members on staff, Howanietz said, and is looking for news reporters, arts and culture writers and copy editors.
“UO should be a place for ideas,” Howanietz said. “You've got to look at that. What are the radical ideas that UO is producing? That's one of the things I want to bring forward.”
The Insurgent plans to release monthly newspapers and two magazines over the course of the school year, in magazine racks by McKenzie Hall, outside the ROAR Center and the rest of the EMU.
“We will be struggling with bureaucratic bullshit over the next few months, so stick with us even if things are a little messy at first,” Young wrote in the September 2019 edition’s editor’s note. “Fingers crossed we get our budget, staffing, and distribution sorted out smoothly.”
The Insurgent meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the ROAR Center and accepts submissions from UO students, community members and prisoners, to whom The Insurgent mails subscriptions for free.
“We wanted to offer an alternative to mainstream campus news sources,” Young said.
This story was updated on Oct. 27 to correct The Insurgent's meeting day. The meetings are at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, not Thursdays.