The Long Beach Union is one of two newspapers that circulate on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. It is funded by the Associated Students and is not governed by any specific department or organization on campus, other than the AS Publications Board. The other paper on campus is the Daily 49er, which is produced by the Journalism Department and is subject to much stricter rules of conduct than the Union is.

This makes things rather fun for the staff of the Union.

In the paper's 29-year history, it has been a constant source of controversy and a true voice of the student population on campus. It was shut down three times (in 1998, most recently) and then promptly allowed to resume business thanks to certain acts made by congress forbidding such action by goverment agencies, which includes school governments.

By far, the most popular and the most notorious part of the paper has always been its satire page, The Grunion. It is traditionally printed upside-down on the last page of the paper, and has been the cause of all three shut-downs of the paper for various reasons. The most recent shut-down was in response to a rather tart satire piece about fraternities and sororities that, in all fairness, did step over the line when the author referred to sorority girls as disease infested snatches.

What gives the paper so much respect on campus is that unlike the Daily 49er, which feeds useless bits of campus propaganda to students, the Union actually forces people who read it to think, sometimes laugh. It is the paper where issues are raised, discussed, and decided upon. Anyone can write for it, as long as they go to Long Beach State. You don't have to be in a specific department, or have a certain view on things to be accepted there. Originality and chaos rule the newsroom.

You might see two girls kissing on the cover one week. Or you may see a front page dedicated to drug use. Perhaps you'll see a politically correct issue that mocks the very system in which we are struggling to learn so much about. But that is what makes this paper what it is, a true voice of the campus community.

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