Go big or go home.
A bit of a cliche, I know, but it's true. Too often, looking at other publications around the state, I see newspapers and newsmags that have had, basically, the same design for five or even 10 years. And when asking them if they plan on doing a redesign for the new year, they simply say "We are just making some tweaks."
And in getting that response, these thoughts always pop into my head, "Why? Why not go big? Why not do it right?"
Realistically, do you think your student body will notice if all you do is change the body copy size to 9pt. instead of 10? Or if you change the kerning on the flag from Metrics to Optical? They may, but the likelihood is that they won't.
Now, this is not to say that just making a few small changes to a publication can't make it better; they most certainly can. But when you make such changes, you need to ask yourself if your audience, who you should be designing for anyways, is going to notice the difference. If the answer answer is no, is it really going to be worth taking the time to make "just a few tweaks?"