Goodbye Trebuchet?

Kelly Levering and Hannah Karr

This year a once loved, student-led news piece has been restored, but bigger, better and with a wider fan base. Students as well as administration have once again fallen in love with this news piece as it takes everyday happenings and turn them into enjoyable satire. The Trebuchet has captured the interest of all students here at Liberty.

The main draw to this publication is due to the fact that the authors have kept their real identities hidden. The authors have worked hard all year to keep their real names anonymous, creating a mysterious pen name for themselves. The authors are known just by their pen names: Frederick Durst, Lilian Pumpernickel, Richard Dastardly, and Seymour Bhutts.

The senior class of 2015 started the original satire article called The Howitzer, centered more around politics than school events. Being inspired by The Howitzer, the new authors wanted to replicate this beloved piece of satire. “We just went to Burtch and we were like ‘hey what did these guys do that we can kind of make our own?’ And we just kind of ran with it,” said Tyler Pfriem.

In the search for their own type of satire, The Trebuchet landed on more school centered issues. As Aidan Swede explains “We wanted to make sure that our focus isn’t on politics and we didn’t want it to bleed into it (The Trebuchet). And I feel like as a result we’ve gained a wider appreciation than what the Howitzer had.”

The staff’s writing process is extraneous as well. Swede explains that one issue can take up to one week of continuous writing. “In general we’ll just sit down on typically a Wednesday night, but this week started early, on Monday and Tuesday, but then we defaulted back to Wednesday. It’s mostly about trying to be as involved as you can and it’s this weird mindset you’re in where after I started writing it, every time something happens I immediately think about how I can write about it.”

But this tiring process definitely pays off as the staff is involved in many school events. Swede states, “We have a pretty broad reach in terms of people in our group; we have people in a lot of different things. We have people in band and sports so we try to use that as an advantage. We have group chats and we try to communicate what is going on.”

Following the production of the article comes the vital proofreading done by English teacher, Derek Burtch. As stated by Ethan Deep, “Our main goal is Burtch, and he’ll read it like once over and if there’s anything seriously wrong he’ll let us know. Otherwise we just go our own way.”

Attempting to avoid Burtch finding problems within their articles, the boys have constructed some boundaries to be sensitive to the readers, “The beginning was all about testing boundaries. Now we kind of know what we can do and what we can’t,” said Swede.

Although the staff has grown to be cautious when writing their articles, they still aim to develop satirical pieces. “The motto we try to go by, and Burtch kind of verbalized this when we first started… its comfort be afflicted and afflict the comfortable. So it’s all about thinking about whoever you’re making fun of, make sure that people will be able to look up at them instead of looking down at people who don’t need to be made fun of.”

This student-led newspaper has grabbed the hearts of students and staff alike. It’s popularity continues to persist, as Swede said, “our only goal was to by the end of the year be somewhere near where the Howitzer was in terms of its notoriety. And I think we’ve definitely surpassed that. It’s definitely been more than expected.”

Liberty’s student body has been left wondering whether or not they will see the return of the Trebuchet this upcoming school year.  “No (we aren’t planning on passing it down) but I mean we’ve talked about if the junior class decides to step up and take it (the Trebuchet) they can come up with their own name and own stuff. We’re not going to select juniors to take our spots,” said Deep.

If anyone is interested satirical culture at Liberty, the Trebuchet staff has explicitly supported the rise of a new piece. “We encourage people to pick it up and start a new one but it should be a new one with a new name and structure it totally differently. I’ve heard a lot of our readers want to pick it up, just cause they’re excited by it.” Nagel told us.

As this next school year approaches, Liberty keeps the Trebuchet in their hearts and stays hopeful about the rise of a new piece.