A Beginner’s Guide on How to Get Into Every Spectator Department

The Spectator provides a guide on getting into The Spectator.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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By Yaqi Zeng

With The Spectator’s recruitments coming up, we know all about the incoming surge of ambitious freshmen (and non-freshmen) waiting at the gates of the sacred department applications. However, how to surpass that gate and be accepted into the divine sanctuary called “Spec” isn’t an easy answer. Students of all ages have often wondered—just what is the secret, the key, to getting into your most desired Spec department? Well, after much consideration, three wise writers and editors of The Spectator have decided to provide you with a convenient guide for getting into every department so that you can live your dreams of being a journalist and writing news, or perhaps a fake journalist writing fake news, and so that we can have a batch of fresh meat to work with. Without further ado, here are some must-haves on your application to guarantee acceptance into the Spectator department of your choice.


Ah yes, the News department. This department gets the front page on almost every issue, so their standards are quite high. In order to prove that you’re with the times, list every single news outlet out there, whether it’s The Onion, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Trump’s campaign ads, and, of course, Fox News. Anything except for The New York Times, though. Also, be sure to brag about your 300 words per minute typing speed. It’ll actually come to use with the 10 hours of transcribing you’ll have to do for every article.


The Features department specializes in telling the secret stories of Stuyvesant, whether it be an article involving a demon panda or another talking about the beauty of young love in quarantine (and, of course, reminding you of how lonely you are). To ace their application, simply mention that you love storytelling, your favorite story is from “The Duck Song,” and that you have an apt for posting in the Dear Incoming Facebook groups many times. More importantly, however, you LOVE Stuy. Like, you have a shrine-at-home-worshipping-all-the-teachers-and-students kind of “love” and will go to the ends of the Earth to resurrect our God, bless his name, Peter Stuyvesant himself.


The Opinions department officially endorses the Humor department, so you must make sure that your opinions are as tasteful as theirs. Please transcribe the entire presidential election debate out of passion for the subject while annotating it as you would on Perusall. When asked to write a sample Opinions article, record the entirety of your history Socratic seminar and transcribe it while, of course, injecting your own overdeveloped opinions.


The Science department keeps us STEM-addicted Stuyvesant students sane. To get into the Science department, all you have to do is have a keen understanding of the sciences, such as knowing that the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, the Earth is flat, vaccines are fake, and climate change is a hoax. Or, you can win the Genes In Space competition. No pressure.

Arts and Entertainment

The A&E (that’s what the cool kids call it) department is responsible for keeping the uncultured Stuy students up to date on everything from the latest fashion trends to food. Remember to extensively mention in your application your exquisite novelty crew socks collection, how your favorite movie was the live adaptation of CATS, and how your entire Spotify playlist consists of various remixes of “Sexyback” by Justin Timberlake, “Baby” by Justin Bieber, and “Mine Diamonds” by Mcap Steve (you should probably link the playlist as well). You might also consider showing off your legwarmers and digging into your closet to find those clear plastic jeans to show your devotion to keeping up with those trends.


Make sure to start off your application with UwU or OwO. It helps if you exchange all the r’s in your application with “w” and that you add a blushing emoji (like so: >///<) every few sentences. It also might help if you’re funny.


As the Sports department has the honor of having the back page of almost every issue; the first order of business is accepting that no one will probably ever read your articles, but that’s okay! As the department is looking to diversify the number of different sports their writers play, it is recommended that you write croquet, lawn mowing, or fishing as your choice of sport. They’ll have no other option except to accept you.


If you can draw Peppa Pig with a tail in its mouth, you’re set.


Have a camera, at least. Can be on a flip phone, preferably Nokia. We recommend you ask your grandparents for a crash course on this modern technology. Maybe they’ll pull out their Kodaks.


The Copy department takes care of all the grammar errors that our incompetent writers make, so if you like the grammar section in the SAT, this one's for you. Make sure to subtly slip into your application that you have a strong hatred for passive voice and that your favorite punctuation mark is the interrobang, and you will basically be given a free pass into the department. Extra points if you name-drop the percontation point and the beloved Oxford comma. Remember to dot your t’s and cross your i’s before you submit.


The Layout department is in charge of putting all the articles in the right places in the paper. Just remember that paragraphs should be bolded and in all caps, the writers’ names printed in size 50 font in Comic Sans, and the title italicized and put neatly under the last sentence of the article. Of course, all ads belong in the Humor section. Oh, and if you already have and can pay for the rest of the department’s Adobe InDesign, that would be great. It’s only $20.99 a month.


The Web department runs the website Remember to hyperlink your own fandom Wiki and your many Wix websites at least once in every sentence of your application to prove that you are adept with your computer and website creation skills. Though it is recommended that you take Advanced Placement Computer Science, your Scratch skills will also suffice.


The Business department is responsible for funding our newspaper. To put it simply, please consider applying if you are stinking rich or have the means to become stinking rich. Burglary skills are also appreciated, as there will be monthly trips to infiltrate the Student Union treasury. Embezzlement is also condoned. Not to mention, if you happen to be the CEO of your own startup company or are investing in stocks for Norwegian cruise lines (and can offer some free trip tickets), you will be highly considered.

With all these insider tips, there’s no way you’ll fail to be accepted into your dream department. We wish you well on your endeavors, and remember to please credit us for your success!

P.S. From all of us here at Spec, we are excited to meet you! See you all at recruitments :)