About our name

I can’t count the number of misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding our name, our associations and our funding that I’ve heard over the years that I’ve worked at this publication. Some people think we’re a supplement to the Minnesota Daily. We’re not. Some people think we’re a spin off of The Rake. We’re not. But most of all, I get the question, “Why are you called The Wake?”

In 2001, this publication was just a glimmer in the eyes of Chris Ruen and James DeLong, two rebellious journalism students. America was preoccupied with the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. It was the last day the University of Minnesota cancelled classes, campus-wide. Suddenly, our generation faced very different challenges. Our peers were getting shipped off to war and the “Terror Alert” hovered over the minds of the nation.

Ruen and DeLong felt that the University of Minnesota needed an alternative voice. The campus media consisted of one paper: The Minnesota Daily. While they were thinking of names for this publication that tackled serious issues and prescribed serious doses of humor, all mainstream media publications kept repeating the same phrase: “In the wake of Sept. 11…” They knew that was it.

We are members of a generation that that lives in the wake of many things: a lifestyle of consumerism, an attitude of apathy, the first foreign attack on America’s soil since World War II and a war for which the motivation becomes fuzzier and less clear. We are a medium that embraces the voices of students from all walks of life on campus. We aim to achieve a dialoge about a range of issues on campus: from humorous to serious.

We embody the voice of this generation. An alternative voice. And we are called The Wake.

Kay Steiger, Editor-in-chief (2005-2006)