Craig Battle: Why do we need the Martlet?

As part of the Martlet 70 Fundraiser, we’ve asked former Martlet staff to answer an important question: why do we need the Martlet?

Well, first off, if we didn’t have the Martlet, what would Victorians do with all their stained brown loveseats? They need homes, too, you know, just like all the random students who walk through the office door in similarly disheveled fashion. When I got to UVic in 1998, I knew I wanted to sign up for the school newspaper, but I didn’t know what to expect. I have a vague recollection of everyone seeming cool and put-together upon walking through the door for the first time, which in retrospect strikes me as awfully funny. They were talented, wonderful people, but intimidating? No. The Martlet welcomed me and let me try things. No, forced me to try things. I wrote my name on a volunteer sheet, I went to a meeting, I got an assignment, I ran out onto a soccer field with a brand-new note pad to ask Bruce Wilson how he felt about his team’s tie versus UBC. Within a week I went from wannabe writer to published writer.

And while I get that there are a wider variety of ways to publish and promote one’s thoughts and ideas now than when I was first at UVic, there remains a vast difference between self-publishing and actually handing something to an editor and, later, seeing it appear. And the Martlet provides that. It provided that for me. (An aside: I remember walking into the newsroom one day in 1998 and asking the then-sports editor how he was doing. He looked up with bloodshot eyes, and said, “I’m in the middle of a 10-day bender.” I asked him why he didn’t, you know, stop bendering, and he looked at me like I was speaking a different language.) As a final gift, the Martlet provided me the opportunity to be that editor for others.

I learned a lot in classes at UVic. But I learned far more at the Martlet.

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