Jamie Cassels: Why do we need the Martlet?

Journalistic integrity and a free press are pillars of democratic society. On a university campus, that important role is played by the student newspaper. At the University of Victoria, students have been informed by the Martlet and its earlier incarnations for the past 70 years. Indeed, the Martlet is older than UVic itself, to its roots as a student newspaper at UVic’s forerunner, Victoria College.

By its nature, a university encourages debate, sharing of respectful opinion, and diversity of thoughts and ideas. UVic holds intellectual and ethical integrity, freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry among our fundamental values. In doing so, we support the expression of those values by our student newspaper, the Martlet and the Martlet’s role in providing a channel for student voices on campus. Over the decades, the Martlet has also provided many interested UVic students with an opportunity for experiential and hands-on learning.

While we may not always agree, a university and its student newspaper share a common goal: We are doing what we believe to be in the best interests of a shared constituency, our students.

On behalf of UVic’s campus community, I congratulate the Martlet on 70 years of serving our students with engaged journalism, lively opinion and colourful commentary on the world around us.

Jamie Cassels is the President of the University of Victoria.

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