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Happy birthday to us



The Cascade is growing up.

We turn 25 this year. While this student paper has been around in various forms since the ‘70s, this era of The Cascade has seen incredible growth. I think, the most incredible growth.

This past year alone was a big year for The Cascade, and campus media in general: both radio and print won awards at their respective national conferences; we hosted events; we reported on serious and unique issues, breaking several of those stories.

And we’re going to keep doing just that. With several projects and surprises in the planning stages — some behind the scenes, others we just can’t not talk about — we’re jumping into 2018 with all the vigor and sense of urgency that university students make real change with.

Last year saw B.C. housing prices exceed the previous, which was already exorbitant; public transport in the Fraser Valley is abhorrently underfunded and inadequate; street drugs got scarier; and some big social issues are finally getting addressed.

Who will report about the student’s concerns like these? Independent student press like ours have an obligation to report on, talk about, and voice issues that the university community faces. And while we’re at it, we’ll keep talking about things like the disturbing idiosyncrasies at pony fan conferences, ranking UFV campus couch/chairs, the local craft beer scene, and “sheeting” the bed.

We’ll cover the new, the bold, the disturbing, and the weird.

The Cascade is almost exclusively funded by students. I hope that we as a newspaper and as an organization honour that. The Cascade has a mandate: be a forum for UFV students to voice their beliefs, and to publish their opinions and observations, and to also act as an alternative press for the Fraser Valley. We do our best at both.

We have the opportunity to fulfil a unique need because of this. Journalism is faring some growing pains — entering a renaissance of sorts — undergoing cuts to funding and jobs. While the trade shivers against the rebalancing act, itself in the tumultuous social and political spheres, it looks to come out with a new face. Faring that, perhaps communities will turn to university press for hard-hitting journalism and alternative stories. We certainly have the continued funding to facilitate it; we have the resources. What it takes is putting pen to paper, legs to the ground. I’d love to see this year’s print editions of The Cascade read throughout cafés across the Fraser Valley. I’m excited to be proud of each story printed.

My hope is that we’ll pick up more writers, designers, and thinkers along the way, and catapult our current team further than they thought possible.

Some of The Cascade’s team just got back from the Canadian University Press NASH80 conference in Toronto. What we learnt gives us a renewed excitement for the state of journalism, an excitement for The Cascade.

We are all learning a lot; I’m learning a lot. Each production cycle, we stock up on humility for next week’s blunders. Sometimes we know what we’re doing, often we just look like we do. Sometimes we’re the “stand back; hold my drink” kind of journalism, usually we’re of the “just get it done,” crushed by the impending deadline, sort. Even still, I have to note how proud I am of all of The Cascade’s team. Whether those who just joined us, or those who just left, they live what they believe, and that manifests as our content.

This is both praise for how far we’ve come, and an ambition set for the next quarter century. Whether you contribute to The Cascade, or just follow us in print or online, join us for the 25th year of constantly reimagined — and woefully over-our-heads — campus and community reporting.

We’re eager to keep talking about local politics, the insane costs students face, and issues the Fraser Valley grapples with; and we’ll be just as quick to delve into stories from the underground, out of the deviant and bizarre.

This is 25 years of The Cascade. More to come. Stay tuned.

Image: Caleb Campbell

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