As I write this, it is a Tuesday, and we are producing the last issue of the Martlet for this school year. I tried to make this a quiet, uneventful day, so that we could go home early and reflect on the year that’s been. We would eat our pizza in relative calm and assemble pages one last time as a team before going our separate ways for the summer. Maybe pop some discount champagne equivalent, share some memories.
But yesterday at 8:05 p.m., we learned that an entire slate got disqualified from last month’s student election.
So much for that.
While staffers and volunteers are reporting on this developing story, the UVic Board of Governors are voting to raise residence fees by 13 per cent next year, and our news editor is sitting in, writing a last-minute report instead of doing her schoolwork. As she types, I’ll start scanning this week’s 22 articles one last time for accuracy and clarity, our illustrators will finish and digitize hand-drawn artwork, our photo editor and production co-ordinator will process images and build pages, and contributors will respond to last-minute edits. Later this evening, our paid and volunteer copy editors will pick through those 22 articles again and again for mechanical errors, replace 1s with ones and insert hair spaces on either side of every em-dash. At around 11 p.m., the bleary eyed stragglers will engage in free association, trying to create clever cover teases and bird quotes. If our wits fail us, we’ll reconvene on Wednesday morning to pace and mutter, brainstorming headlines as our printers wait for our PDFs.
Despite my best efforts, this production night is shaping up to be like every other.
Though it is the last production day of Volume 67, the next volume is just a month away. A new editor-in-chief and production co-ordinator will put their own spin on a UVic fixture, and find better ways to pepper your Facebook news feed with handy recipes, irreverent humour stories about campus wildlife, longform pieces, or, you know, news. There will probably be a few changes, but for a profession that chronicles change, it is to be expected.
If you have time, go to our staff page and read the names on the masthead — the ones responsible for the work before you. They bring their pluck, their personal experiences, and their backgrounds in political science, visual art, English, professional writing, sociology, creative writing, anthropology, history, engineering, linguistics, and art history to their work. If you see them, give them a hug or something. They deserve it. If you volunteered to write, illustrate, photograph, or proofread, know that we would have floundered without your generosity, dedication, and expertise. Finally, if you read our work from week to week or time to time, I want to thank you for sparing a moment for us during your day and for expanding our community beyond our basement office. You help us learn. You help us grow. Curiosity drives our staffers, but we know we’re not alone. If you want to know more about us and about your community, drop us a line or just say hi. Our door is always open.