A serious institution like the LSESU deserves a properly named paper. Quite aside from sounding like the subtitle for a low-effort 80’s era porno, ‘The Beaver’ as a name has image problems. It is, perhaps, a fitting metaphor for an LSE student: an industrious yet slightly awkward creature. That aside, beaver imagery is inextricably linked to its dam. We imagine a freely flowing stream stifled in its bed, prevented from going further by a massive wall (constructed by our school paper), forming a still stagnant pool that floods a locale previously dry, drowning plants, evicting wildlife. Should our paper be in the position of damming or enabling the free flow of information from the school and the world at large to our students? Is the Beaver nature’s own engineer, or nature’s obstructive and censorious press secretary? And yeah, the porn thing.
Instead of ‘The Beaver’, might I recommend literally anything else? There are uncountably finite better names for our paper, names that are specific to its purpose and our school, sound nice, have character, and aren’t slang for genitals in any known language. There are scores of go-to newspaper names, there are new metaphors ripe for the mixing, there are local institutions to be punned and repurposed. Importantly, any of these would allow us to mention the name of our paper to friends, family, and the odd interviewer without following up with a sheepish explanation of how we know it sounds odd but really no one’s gotten around to changing it yet, and yes actually I would consider myself a self-starter, why do you ask? We may be steeped in quantitative degrees, but surely there is some hand of creative genius ready to harvest from the ripe tree of images in the showing, telling, informing, and discussing. These names would lack tradition, it’s true, but tradition has always been the last defence of the hopelessly outdated.
A few suggestions: The Stentor, Sundial, Consul, Times, Portal, Vista, Window, Spyglass, Observer, Herald, Bullhorn, Foghorn, Leghorn, French Horn, Flugelhorn, Bugle, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Euphonium, Banner, Pennant, Forum, Marketplace. The Bar Dropper, The Lakatos Ledger, Karl Popper’s Verse Hopper, Sheikh Zayed’s Shining Zingers, The Houghton Street Howler or The Word of Penguin and Elephant. The Student’s Feed, The Stoned Philosopher, The Saw Swee Heckler, the Old Building’s New Paper, the 32 Leaf Informer, The Peacock’s Feather, Portugal Street Gazette, NAB (News, Articles, Briefings), Minouche’s Monitor, the Shaw Library Spectator, Biweekly BNOC Bulletin. Goldman’s Gazer, Deloitte Delivery Digest, McKinsey Mirror, Theresa May’s Telltale Tattoo. The White Horse’ Feedbag, Whispers From Shakespeare’s Head, Dear George III, Three Things from Three Tuns, Hare Krishna Guy’s Hot Takes, Paper McPaperface. The Lucky Paper, the Chronicle of Causes, the Broken Dam. Go bland and call it the LSE Journal, go weird and call it the Lincoln’s Inn Crop Circle, be super pompous, give it a Latin name. I know we can be better than Oxbridge and come up with a better name than the Student. There are so many good names for our school paper, but please, not The Beaver.