Scoping Out The Scope

By: Kira Paley  |  October 2, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-9-11-56-pmThe rise of news satire being produced through countless websites and blogs, combined with Yeshiva University’s (YU) plethora of ever-changing policies, events, students, and general phenomena, is a formula destined for its own satirical news publication. While Purim issues of The Observer feature humorous pieces about the school, there is enough satirize-able material at YU to last the whole year.

Last semester four Yeshiva College (YC) upperclassmen decided to capitalize on this abundance of material, and published the first issue of The Scope. The Scope originated in MTA (YU’s brother high school) as a political publication (all four of its creators attended the high school together), and went on to become the school’s primary satirical news source. In March 2016, the four students published their first college issue of The Scope, broadening the publication to represent YU news from the undergraduate perspective.

The Scope continued for various reasons, one of them being to entertain its readers. Even more so, the publication’s goal of bringing people together through comedy is the central force propelling the development of the magazine. “I think that comedy and the ability to laugh at things that may sometimes seem frustrating is a good way to bring people together, and allow everyone at YU to feel a part of the same community,” said Devir Kahan, one of the four students who started The Scope.   

Some of the topics The Scope has covered thus far include security, the campus’s physical appearance, and the annual genetic screening event. This material, along with The Scope’s other topics, serve to entertain while aiming to start a larger conversation about the institution through the frame of satire.

It is our intention to make people laugh, but our publication intends to accomplish something a little deeper than that,” said Zach Sterman, another one of The Scope’s founders and writers. “While delivered humorously, the discussions we raise are relevant and real. That is the distinction between satire and comedy.”

This rang true during YU’s “#IamYU” fundraising campaign which raised over six million dollars for YU. The Scope posted a short blurb to their Facebook page at the start of the campaign, both poking fun at the event by roasting President Joel and encouraging readers to contribute to the campaign. A prime example of The Scope’s dual purpose, this post exemplifies how the publication makes people laugh while simultaneously using its influence to benefit a good cause.

Many topics that The Scope covers can be understood and enjoyed by students from both the Beren and Wilf campuses. This semester, though, it is seeking to appeal to more Beren campus students, as its last issue was mostly distributed to and read by students on the uptown campus. To help accomplish this goal, it has added its first Stern College student to its writing staff.

Another change for The Scope this semester is its official club status. The university was previously hesitant to grant it this status, citing discomfort at sponsoring something that could be potentially offensive.

For the most part, though, response to the publication has been positive. “Thankfully, we think we’ve managed to write quality comedy while offending very few,” said Daniel Goldstein, a third founder and writer. “Obviously when writing a comedy paper,” Goldstein continued,  “it can be very hard to not offend somebody.” To accomplish this, The Scope’s writers stay away from covering material that is explicitly controversial.

The Scope’s second issue will be out in November. In the meantime, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@ScopeYU), or visit their website at