Sarah Petrescu: 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?

I walked into the cavernous SUB office of the Martlet newspaper in the summer of 2003 and spent the rest of my university undergrad there. The place was empty at the time save for a barefoot fellow who appeared to be homeless and checking his email. I soon found out his name was Peter Verin and that his living situation was mysterious but he did push a loaded shopping cart around at all hours, with various bush stashes, and started the school’s recycling program. He soon became a good friend.

The Martlet, more than anything, became a place to make and be among friends. I started as an arts editor and then became a news editor – both plum part-time paid jobs. I went to the Martlet everyday as soon as I arrived on campus, in between every class and stayed late most nights. In fact, I stopped going to many classes all together unless there was a particular need. I learned way more at the Martlet. We took our gig seriously, covering issues-based stories, crime, student union controversy and more. We went to the provincial budget lock-up, had the university president go through the school financials and interviewed many up-and-coming musicians at downtown clubs and halls. I will forever be thankful to Tegan and Sara for alerting me to the then little known fiction hero Harry Potter.

I went to university to become an English and Art Education teacher but left a journalist and later spent 12 great years as a reporter at the Times Colonist. We need the Martlet for many reasons but the one I’ll choose now is because journalism needs young people with the freedom to redefine it.


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