Dear Current Editorial Staff of the Cascade,
As former editors and writers from both the Cascade and Toque, we would like to throw our two cents into the discussions around a possible name change to The Cascade. I myself was a writer and editor on and off for the Casade for 6 years during my time at UCFV. I think I should emphasize here that the people who founded the Toque in 2001 were the same people who were previously the staff of the Cascade before we were fired by the SUS in the summer of 2001. Those of us who were working for the Cascade from 2000-2001 and in the years before went on to become the editors and founding members of both the Toque and the newly established Cascade that became independent of the SUS in Fall 2002. This happened for very important reasons, as you have outlined already, and the creation of the Toque from 2001-2002 was a vital element in this move to assert the independence of student journalism and free speech at our fair institution.
As Mr. Ubels has already pointed out, a name change should not be taken lightly. The Cascade has proudly represented the goings on and the views of students at our school for 20 years now. It has served us well. It is neither a very exciting or intriguing moniker for a student rag. It just happens to also be the nickname for the school’s sports teams and a prominent local geographical feature. Yes, as Ms. Romund points out, it is a nice reminder of our natural environmental bounty on the West Coast. Other than that not too significant or memorable a name. Thus, a name change for the paper, while somewhat regrettable, may seem like a positive development in the evolution of our student press.
However, Ms. Romund also makes a good point about something getting old not necessarily being a bad thing. There is something to be said for the tradition—what little of it that we have at UFV—of the Cascade name. This “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” argument certainly resonates with many people, including us, the founders of the Toque/independent Cascade. We feel a name change, whether it be to the Toque or another name, may be simply unnecessary. Mr. Ubels also touched on this point as well in his previous editorial.
Back to the history of the Toque/Cascade paper/name wars. The justification behind the founding of the Toque and the adoption of that name give us a case in point. We created the Toque at the time as reaction to the unceremonious firing of almost the entire editorial board of the then Cascade by the SUS in the Fall of 2001. The name and the creation of the Toque was a very political act against the unjust actions of a political institution with no mandate for their actions and no right to do what they did. The Cascade at the time was a much more popular body at the time than the SUS and we were doing our job, the job that all media should do: telling truth to power and criticizing bad political policies. We thus founded the Toque and used it as a weapon in our bid to wrest back editorial control of the Cascade from the SUS and their puppets. The end goal was total independence for the Cascade, with students like us, who had journalism and free expression as our mantra, in control of a free press.
Yes we were quite rebellious and political at that time, and it had a lot to do with 9-11, “Gordo” Campbell, George Dubya and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars but also due to our anger at the actions of the SUS and the complacency of the UCFV administration in that whole debacle with the Cascade. It wasn’t simply for the sake of “hip and subversive badassery” that we did what we did, although there was obviously an element of that in it. We wrote about the important issues of the day and actually meant what we wrote and acted upon it, and The Toque and The Cascade of that time reflects these passions and motivations.
I guess the point of this letter, to summarise, is that the Toque was symbolic of a particular time and place in the evolution of those who once ran the Cascade and we think it should remain that way. The Cascade is a fine name, but if the current editorial board finds it insufficient for their purposes then by all means, change the name to something new and edgy that reflects your current raison d’etre. But please do it “in your own particular idiom” and do it for the right reasons. It should represent something significant and substantive in the evolution of the UFV press at this juncture. While we’re flattered by the respect given to the name of the Toque and what it represented, we feel using that name again would be inappropriate and misguided and not reflective of it’s original purpose or representative of it’s original editorial board. The Cascade staff and paper of 2013 are very different from those of 2003. On the other hand, don’t dismiss the Cascade name lightly; there are many others who came before you whose blood, sweat, tears and substance induced ramblings went into this paper over the years.
Kyle Webb (News & Features Editor, Toquescade Collective, 2000-2003)