Collegiate Commons Inc.

Collegiate Commons Inc., the publisher of The Indiana Commons, is a 501(c)(3) news and educational organization dedicated to preserving the Christian intellectual and social tradition, while promoting civic virtue in the next generation.

Our logo emphasizes our belief that the two are inherently tied. The torch on Indiana’s flag, which represents the civic virtues of liberty and enlightenment, is carried by a pelican, which represents the Christian virtue of self-sacrifice.

Both provide life and spirit to the local community, which part of our name, the commons – land historically shared by the community and utilized for the common good – points towards.

As journalists, not by trade, but by passion, we view it as our highest duty to share this light far and wide. To truly understand the world around us, we have to understand the local community, and to understand the local community, we often have to shine a light on its darkest corners.

“Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.” (Luke 12:2-3)

Our History

The Indiana Commons began as The Collegiate Commons in the Summer of 2023. It took on the legacy of a long history of student journalism at IUPUI.

Downtown Indianapolis

IUPUI’s first student paper, The Sagamore, which had replaced the IU Onomatopoeia and the Purdue Component, served an important role in giving students a voice and helping to unite a newly formed campus. However, it was impacted by societal changes such as the development of internet that ultimately led to the demise of local journalism. It lost its independence, became a class, and died around 2009. In 2011, The Campus Citizen appeared to take up its mantle.

While our founding editor was an editor of that paper, he was a firm believer in the liberal tradition and in the important role that neutral journalism played in local communities. Over time, it became clear, however, that there was a serious problem facing that publication and the industry as a whole.

Journalism exists in a bubble and has lost its connection to the local community, as it has largely become beholden to corporate interests, credentialism, and cultural institutions that have lost their way. As a result, it has marginalized community members from the vast portions of our state who value their faith in God, family, and love their local communities.

After consulting with several local community members, some politically minded students at multiple Indianapolis universities, journalists from The Chicago Civic Update, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, The Collegiate Commons was born in the Fall of 2023. The time was ripe, as Indiana University’s ambitions were growing in the city, and Indiana University-Indianapolis and Purdue in Indianapolis would be born less than a year later.

We recognized, however, that the issue is much bigger than one institution. Local communities as a whole are dying, and local journalism with them. The death of the local community – along with the death of the local church – is directly tied with many of the issues that college students and Americans as a whole face today. Homeownership and a stable family life – once hallmarks of the American Dream – appear further and further away for the average person.

The Collegiate Commons formed a partnership with The American Commons, a national publication founded in 2021, that led to a partial merger in the summer of 2023, and the creation of a new publication, The Indiana Commons, to better address these issues.

Our focus

None of the founding writers of The Collegiate Commons were looking to go into journalism as a career. They wrote, and they continue to write, because they care about their campuses and their communities.

Because of its commitment to independence and remaining non-partisan, it does not lobby, nor does it take political-party funding. This gives it the freedom to report honestly about the issues and events that matter most to students.

Despite our editors and contributors coming from a variety of political perspectives and faith traditions, The Indiana Commons editorial focus is staunchly pro-family, pro-community, and pro-student, with an emphasis on human dignity at all stages of life and in every vocation of life.