“You’ll get your degree from Binghamton University, but your education from Binghamton Review,” or so the storied campus magazine would have you believe.
Since its founding in 1987, the monthly publication has prided itself on a long tradition of being a “non-partisan, student-run periodical of conservative thought at Binghamton University,” as described in its mission statement published in every issue.
Aaron Ricks is the editor-in-chief of the Review and, like many past BR masthead mainstays, is highly involved in the Student Association. He’s next year’s SA vice president for academic affairs.
“It is our duty to expose the warped ideology of political correctness that dominates this University,” said Ricks, a junior majoring in political science. “We strive to inform, engage and perhaps even amuse our readers in carrying out this mission.”
He also notes that the Review prides itself on its “fearless defense for students’ rights and being the voice of reason in a campus that can too easily be dominated by the loudest voices.”
The “amuse our readers” part refers to the bits of satire and sarcasm throughout the Review. Ricks notes that a distinguishing feature of the Review is its assertive humor.
“We understand that most students don’t care about real issues, but if we can entertain readers while they learn something about our campus, we’ve done our job,” Ricks said.
Nate Fleming, editor-in-chief of Pipe Dream and a senior majoring in political science, believes that the Review stands out on a campus that has a few strong publications.
“Feels weird to say this, but I think the Review is a positive force on this campus, now that a few of its more nefarious editors have moved on,” Fleming said. “Overall, I really wish we had a few more magazines and newspapers on this campus with real voice.”
He also notes that under Ricks’ leadership, there is a less acerbic relationship between Pipe Dream and the Review.
“Weirdly, Aaron, even if he is a Mormon, is one of my good friends on campus, and I don’t think there’s ever been this kind of positive buddy-buddy feeling between PD and BR,” Fleming said. “I call Aaron when I need a cigarette, but also when I need a smart quote for a story.”
Melissa D’Angelo, a sophomore majoring in sociology who is unaffiliated with any campus publication, isn’t BR’s biggest fan.
“It’s good for publications to be critical of other publications,” D’Angelo said. “I don’t think the Review does it in a way that is productive.”
Ricks would cite the Review’s editorial support of Andre Massena as an example of his publication’s ability to make a positive difference.
In August 2008, Massena, then a candidate for a master’s degree in social justice, was suspended for hanging up flyers in protest of the Binghamton Housing Authority’s decision to hire Executive director David Tanenhaus as a faculty member.
“With the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Review, we were able to overturn that decision,” Ricks said.
The Review isn’t all about politics and campus issues, though. Ricks’ attraction to the publication extends further than that.
“People on the outside cannot comprehend how much fun it is to put together the Review each month,” Ricks said. “The Review is an outlet for frustrated students to voice their concerns about national politics and campus life. Although our editorial stance leans definitely toward the right, we have always prided ourselves more on valuing reason more than anything else.”
Binghamton Review is the most popular campus publication — that is, next to the one you’re reading right now. If you’re interested in becoming part of the Review, you can contact Aaron Ricks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings are usually at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Review office in the basement of the New University Union. He’ll see you there.