A Hystorical Look Back
Operating as a student run organization since 1975, the Spoke has undergone a series of transformations. Its origins go back to 1941 when a group of anonymous students published gossip and what many regarded as tasteless sex humor. Nonetheless it engaged the student body through its humor, provocativeness, and secrecy. The publication disbanded for over thirty years until sophomore Marc A. Stang was inspired to continue the legacy of distributing humor, but this time with a face.
Stang started the Emory Spittoon, an unofficial publication that he put out based on daily occurrences on campus. It was an Emory tell all that didn't hold back anything, however, without a loyal staff backing him up, the Spitoon died upon Stang's graduation in 1975.
The following year, a group of students finally banded together to provide satire to Emory. And since then the magic found a place on campus permanently! The first issue, published in April of 1976 is not available in the archives, but records indicate that it shocked much of Emory’s campus with its issue title: “I Told Her to go Fuck Herself.”
Since then the Spoke has parodied magazines like Rolling Stone, Time, Cosmopolitan, GQ, People, Playboy, National Geographic , etc, as well as notable newspapers, including a staff favorite- The Emory Wheel.
With a notable history and various transformations from a gossip column with crude sex jokes to a slick and smart magazine to a nationally recognized magazine in the early 90s, to a mediocre yet anticipated publication currently, the Spoke has kept it fresh. According to some of the staff, it's interesting to read old issues and see what was funny then verus now, because a lot of the time it's different, but it's still surprising what stays the same.
For example, the Spoke added pranks under its belt in the late 1980s, although it is unclear of the extent of these pranks. In the past such jokes have included changing the music playing at the clock tower in Cox Hall, sending out prank letters to the student body, and attempting to create one more mascot for Emory (the Spoke Baby is the Spoke's official mascot).
The latest addition, as of two years ago is the "Weekly Flush", which is a flyer that displays random content spurred by the events surrounding the distribution. Basically the goings on around Emory or in the news get twisted into a humor that is entertainment while you are defacating in the bathroom.
Nonetheless, even with it's strong history of humiliating various characters and organizations at Emory, (“You name ‘em, we might have pissed them off") the Spoke still draws the line at some point, however fine. The staff has failed in three attempts to put out a "People of Emory Pin-up Calendar". The first attempt in 1979 was as a joke to photograph nude students and replace their faces with those of the staff. Since then though, the staff hasn't wanted to distribute a malicious calendar, and yet if there is anything the Spoke has learned from its past it is that "Emory students just don't like taking off their clothes...for publication."
Coverart-Straight from the Archive that Might Not Even Exist!