Print Edition: May 22, 2013
Hello there, folks. My name is Dessa and I’ll be your captain this evening.
I’m the new editor-in-chief of The Cascade, and for the next 12 months I’ll be standing at the helm of this beautiful, unwieldy beast of a student paper.
I’ve worked at this paper for two years, first as a staff writer, then as opinion editor and finally as news editor for the last year. I’ve put more blood, sweat and tears into this publication than I can count, not to mention caffeine, beer and curly fries.
Any student involved in an extra-curricular project knows exactly what I’m talking about, be it volunteering on a political campaign, working at SUS or Student Life, or a student association like VASA or CISSA. It’s a curious mix of life-draining and inspiring work; you leave at the end of the day more exhausted than ever, but exhilarated and ready for anything. If you’re not careful, it can tear you apart – or at least end in an especially spectacular end-of-semester nervous breakdown.
At the same time, it is completely and utterly worth it. The reason is simple: I believe in what we’re doing. I like to think that every member of The Cascade team would agree. It’s the kind of work that takes over your life, but it’s work that needs to be done. We try to keep SUS open and honest about what they’re doing with their our money; we report on and sometimes criticize new university programs or budget cuts; we help you see what’s happening in the community and hopefully become more involved in that community.
As the student newspaper, our purpose is to be the student voice – a goal we sometimes reach and often fall short of. It’s impossible to accurately and fully represent the views and beliefs of 16,000 people when the only thing they all have in common is attending UFV. It would surpass my wildest dreams if even a quarter those people picked up a copy of The Cascade.
This is why I, like every editor-in-chief before me, now extend you an invitation: get involved. Tell us what you think and what you want. Tell us if you love us or hate us. Leave comments online at our website or Facebook page, or write us a letter, or send us an email, or walk into our C building offices and talk to us. We’ll do our best to listen.
And in reality, this paper is an extremely small slice of the UFV community. Even if you think The Cascade is only good for fire-starter or craft supplies, there are so many other ways to get involved. Start a radio show. Lobby for a cause you believe in. Start an intramural dodgeball team. Breathe new life into the anarchy club on campus.
University is about so much more than eventually getting a degree. I hope that when an administrator finally hands you that $25,000 piece of paper, you have an urge to hand it back to them. Paper is for kindling or paper mache the real value is in what you learned about the world and about yourself, and the experiences that prepared you for the big old world waiting outside your front door.
So I beg you: find something you believe in and throw yourself into it without looking back. Make it better than it was before – and without you even realizing it, it will return the favour.