And so it goes, another year has come and gone. With that, volume 69 of the Martlet has drawn to a close, and after three volumes, I’m moving on to new endeavours and passing over the reins of this venerable institution for its next volume.
In previous years, the outgoing EiC has taken the last issue’s editorial to wax poetic about the value of student journalism, and to thank those staff and volunteers for making the Martlet what it is. I don’t think any of that can be understated: I value the contributions of every person who walked through our office doors or sent me an email asking how to get involved. I’ve watched first-time volunteers grow into regular contributors, and then into fully fledged staff who went on to break a hot story. And I found no greater satisfaction than when somebody reached out after we published something to say, “thank you for writing this.”
Of course, throughout my time as EiC, there was no shortage of detractors that took to social media to call us biased, trashy social justice warriors (a label I don’t think any of us disliked, honestly). Hell, I had to delete Yik-Yak in spring 2016 because, believe it or not, having your name smeared through the mud day in, day out can really fuck with your head.
But to the detractors, I say this: so long! So long to all my haters! So long to those who criticized our publication for being too left-wing while never writing a single story pitch themselves. So long to the ones who thought we were an embarrassment for calling out blatant racism on campus. And so long to the ones that threatened me with legal action when I refused to print their transphobic bile. (I’m still waiting on that last one.)
I mention these only to say that if being biased means imploring people to treat one another like human beings, to call out injustices when we see it, and to strive for something better, well then buddy, I guess we’re biased. You can’t please everyone, and judging by those we displeased, I’d say the Martlet did its job.
For all its quirks, though, I’ll miss this job. I’ll miss the UVic community, which has served as a second home for six years. But most of all, I’ll miss the people. None of this is possible without the writers, editors, photographers, and illustrators who voluntarily give their time to make the Martlet the best it can be every single issue. I’ve shared laughs with these people, and I’ve shed tears with them too. I’m going to echo my predecessor for a minute, and ask that you read over our masthead. Remember those names; I think they’re going on to do great things.
It can take a lot out of you, this job. I know I hit my limit on more than one occasion. But I have faith my successor will rise to the challenge, and continue the Martlet’s tradition of publishing stories that inform, infuriate, and entertain its readers. Watch this space, because the best is yet to come.
Until next time,