Print Edition: March 18, 2014
Journalism is not marketing
Once I was cornered at an event by the leader of a non-profit organization and bombarded with reasons why their campaigning would make “a great article.” I kept saying non-committal things like, “Yeah, maybe,” and, “Oh, cool.” But when it finally got down to not being able to change the subject, I began to explain a simple concept about journalism: it is not marketing.
Journalism is not here so your company or organization can gain “free exposure.” Journalism is about documenting what is happening in front of you, keeping those in power accountable, and asking questions for those who don’t have voices. News is when something is new or out of the ordinary; you can’t just write about something existing. A non-profit organization helping people is not news, as that’s what they normally do. It would be news if such an organization was undergoing a major change, but this isn’t what I find. Usually, these organizations, out of the goodness of their hearts, want to spread the love. I say, spread the love! I suggest using WordPress or social media.
“Nothing ever happens at UFV, man.”
This is a sentiment that many of us have heard on many occasions. While I’m sure SUS and other student groups at UFV are itching to let you know that “actually, there are many events at UFV; here’s a list of the 45 events happening next week,” the truth of the matter is that there is very little student involvement at UFV. Apathy isn’t the way to create new events and organizations. If you want to do something (even something as ludicrous as starting a Trampoline Enthusiasts’ Organization), talk to SUS, talk to other students, and, most importantly, participate!
“Nothing ever happens at UFV” is wrong. What you should be saying is, “I never do anything at UFV.” Get involved, do something, talk to like-minded people, and start a club. And stop complaining.
Dice and vice
“We built this city. We built this city on rock and wool.”
Sure, that’s not how you actually build a city. Cities are built with rock and wheat. But it is more than fun to reinterpret those 1980s Starship lyrics for the magical game called Settlers of Catan.
My burning addiction to Settlers has been growing for the past few months. But it was only in these last three weeks that I have seen what this game truly is — an insatiable construct that invades lives and turns friendships into conquests. Always wanting more. More wheat. More ore. More wood. More brick. More sheep. More …
This game has become a way of life for me and those around me. Having initially discovered the game and introduced my friends, there is nothing else left for us. It’s all Catan. After receiving the six-player extension for my birthday, six of us sat down for eight hours of Settlers last Saturday. Hours passed by in seconds.
What I’m getting at is if you don’t want your life receding into the shadows of dice and vice, never touch this game. Once you do, there is no turning back.
There’s a lovely plaque in front of the new and nearly complete Student Union Building. Among the central purposes of the SUB it lists is the following: “To support its students, staff, and alumni in their pursuit of the essential values of intellectual integrity, freedom of inquiry and the exchange of ideas, and the equal dignity of all persons.” But there is no acknowledgement of the building being built on unceded Stó:l? land. Considering that the university is working so hard to indigenize, and as a student who supported and helped pay for this building, I find this upsetting. It falls in line with Canada’s continued avoidance of a brutal history and cowardly present. The relationship between First Nations people and the government isn’t healthy. Canadians don’t know enough about our history, and that makes it easy for the government to avoid making First Nations welfare and rights a priority. It’s this little thing — not acknowledging unceded land — that brings up a huge, ugly problem. It would only be a gesture, and maybe that’s not much, but why is there no acknowledgement?