ULS opens with The Onion

University Lecture Series (ULS) and students felt it was fitting for America’s syndicated news source to speak on campus today in honor of Constitution Day, said Cindy Greenwood, assistant director for the Office of Student Programs.

Representatives from The Onion will give a talk titled “A Hundred Years of Headlines: American History, according to The Onion” in the Marshall Student Center’s Oval Theatre at tonight 7 p.m., marking the start of ULS this year.

“Since they are about journalism, we thought that kind of fit in for (Constitution Day),” Greenwood said.

She said the lecture will focus on how The Onion started, what the publication is about and where it gets its information.

In spring, the ULS committee discussed possible speakers and included the campus community in a survey via e-mail and at uls.usf.edu. Greenwood said The Onion, which publishes fake satirical articles, “did well” in the voting.

“I’m hoping for at least 300 (attendees),” Greenwood said.

USF student Zachary Zimmerman, a senior majoring in fine arts, said he likes the satirical idea behind The Onion.

“I like things that point out the absurdity of things,” Zimmerman said.

It costs $10,000 plus travel and hotel accommodations for USF to host The Onion, Greenwood said. Those costs are funded by Activity and Service Fees paid by students at the time of registration, she said.

“It’s very reasonable in terms of what speakers cost,” Greenwood said.

After the lecture, attendees will be able to participate in a question and answer session lasting about 30 minutes. The lecture should be 45 minutes to one hour. The Onion books will be available for purchase after the event.