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The Rival: Creating a New Space





The Rival: Creating a New Space

A message to our readers from Josh Strupp, COO

Josh Strupp


For all those that know who I am, hi mom! For those new to The Rival, welcome. My name is Josh. The Rival is my brainchild. Our goal is to create content that is by and for students at your school. Our principal focus is on locality, producing thought-provoking content, and, simply put, discussing what you actually care about.

During the summer of 2015, we changed our brand, site, and standards significantly, and I want to take this opportunity to share what our plan is.


I started The Rival as an undergraduate with the intention of exposing smart, honest, and diverse student voices. I wanted to create the voice of a generation. I wanted to prove that every publication was doing it wrong.

The result was a beautiful, beautiful clusterfuck.

I'll explain. To me, agency was everything. College students are ambitious, smart, and opinionated individuals, and when working together, can help shape the identity of their respective campuses.

That became our mission at The Rival. We wanted students to pursue and write about their passions and interests without interference from any institution.

Fast forward two years, The Rival expanded to ten additional schools with 300 of the hardest working writers, editors, and directors from the Bronx down to South Beach. They're brilliant beyond their years.

Our experiment proved to be – for lack of a better term – confusing.

"Creative." "Trashy." "Appalling." "Exciting." "Brilliant." "WTF ARE YOU!?" These were just some of the reactions from readers. Rightfully so. We lacked consistency. We were this dizzying combination of popular websites like The Onion, Elite Daily, Slate, Vox, and a traditional college publication.

I'm writing this to say we want to be better for you. I want The Rival to be the place to go for quality content at every college campus across the country.

Before I explain exactly how we plan to do that, I want to clarify a few important points.

We are not here to displace your traditional campus publications. We're not even here to compete with The Odyssey Online or The Tab. We don't claim that everything we produce is journalism. Instead, we’re bringing together a community of diverse minds to meet and speak in an authentic manner on subjects they actually care about.
We're trying to create a new space.


For the past seven months, we've redesigned everything.

The Rival is opinion, commentary, and satire tailored to your school and your school only. We have worked hard on a new formula that ensures content is relevant and includes a tangible takeaway. It's called ART form, which stands for Action, Relevance, and Takeaway. We require that authors obtain quotes, utilize data and analytics, and use original media. We've created a position that exists only to bring in editorials from members of the community and faculty.

Oh, and our new website ain't half bad either.

I think you’ll really love the changes we’re making. If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments to improve your experience, drop me a line at

Josh Strupp, COO & Co-Founder at The Rival, LLC

Special thanks to Adam Goldberg, Daniel Landsman, Raman Mama, Lizzy Raben, Greg LaMotte, Sam Parker, and Myles Field for their feedback with this piece.