EdBoard: About 'The Natrat'

Credit: Jennifer Bortner/ Credit: Jennifer Bortner/
Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

Satire, as an art, has been a pinnacle of media and entertainment for centuries. However, its primary function is to use humor to cushion critique of wider social issues. The word “satire” is derived from the Latin word “satur” meaning “well-fed.” One of the earliest satirical works was Aristophane’s Lysistrata written in 411 BCE in which “the protagonist Lysistrata convinces women to withhold sex from men in an effort to convince them to end the Peloponnesian War,” according to a MasterClass description. From its earliest uses, satire has critiqued major societal issues: comedy used as a mask for a scathing take on the horrific problems of the world.

Every year, The Tartan staff come together to make "The Natrat," a satirical issue of our typical newspaper. More than an April fool’s joke, The Natrat is a beloved Tartan tradition which allows writers to combine comedy and creative techniques with our penchant for journalism. We make "The Natrat" not only because it is hysterical and The Tartan staff is made up of very funny people, but also because we believe satire is a very poignant method of journalistic critique.

Carnegie Mellon is certainly not a perfect institution, with overflowing systemic issues alongside administrative errors. We certainly cannot expect these problems to be solved overnight and without being called out. That is why student action is incredibly vital. From student government platforms which aim to solve university problems (despite little jurisdiction to do so), to local protests, art exhibits, and news, the Carnegie Mellon community has the capacity to self-reflect and force the change we want to see.

"The Natrat" does this in a new format, using comedy to point out deep systemic issues not only at Carnegie Mellon but also in the world. From misogyny, to classicism, to tuition prices, to Carnegie Mellon administrative issues, this issue of The Natrat makes a point to use literary techniques in order to make people both laugh and realize the necessity for change these ridiculous issues.

We hope you enjoy The Natrat, not just because it will make you laugh but also because it will challenge you to see the flaws in our university and the world. It is up to us, the students, to get what we want out of Carnegie Mellon and if we can put a few smiles on your face in the process of getting you to take conscious control of your experience here, then we are doing something right. So, enjoy :)

The Editorial Staff