Writing for The Varsity is one of the cheapest thrills on campus. It means becoming an instant expert on all kinds of issues, being one of the most well-informed students on campus, and putting your perfectly-honed research skills to work informing the 70,000-odd members of the U of T community on everything from Hart House to human rights.
We have six sections, and they’re always looking for writers. In addition, we’re also constantly on the hunt for photographers, illustrators, designers, videographers, and copy editors. Once you’ve figured out how you would like to contribute, just get in touch with that specific editor by email or by dropping into their office hours. Feel free to email more than one editor. Unless otherwise specified, office hours take place in our office at 21 Sussex Ave. in the newsroom on the second floor.
We also have a Facebook group where we post volunteer opportunities, section meetings, and important updates. Feel free to join to stay informed.
Answers to several frequently asked questions can be found on our FAQ page.
Visit our writing tips page if you are not familiar with how writing for newspapers differs from writing an essay. We have gathered a list of the most common mistakes and misconceptions. More extensive tips can be found in our Contributors’ Handbook.
Writers and copy-editors should also refer to The Varsity‘s Style Guide.
Got a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the masthead!
Office hours: Tuesdays, 7–9 pm (in the news office, on the second floor)
Are you interested in journalism? Conducting interviews? Improving your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills? Consider joining The Varsity’s news team. The news team consists of volunteer reporters and researchers from UTSG, UTM, and UTSC. Since 1880, the largest student newspaper in Canada has set the agenda on campus for students, staff, faculty, and administrators. Readers look to The Varsity’s news team for insights and updates on all things U of T, including profiles on student-run entrepreneurial ventures, analysis of university finances, debriefings on campus elections, and insight on student issues. The news team brings our readers stories that matter. For our most dedicated reporters and budding journalists, there are also opportunities to conduct investigative fieldwork, and take on leadership roles. No previous experience is required — all you need is a passion for writing. Training and editorial support is available for all interested contributors.
Office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2–3 pm
Do you have opinions? Are your friends sick of listening to them? Then the comment section is the place for you! Comment offers you the opportunity to share your opinions on the issues that matter to you. Comment writers take a position in their articles and then argue for their point of view. Topics range from news analysis to more conceptual opinion pieces on student life at U of T and beyond. Our goal is to provide U of T with commentary and opinions on relevant issues. So send in pitches — we want to know what you think.
Office hours: Thursdays, 11 am–1 pm
Features is looking for talented, creative writers ready for a bigger stage. If you’ve got an idea for an article that requires space for development — whether it’s long-form writing or a visual-based piece, or want to write a feature but are lacking inspiration — get in touch! The articles in the features section can be connected to The Varsity’s other sections, but also include writing on topics that avoid easy categorization, yet are relevant to U of T’s students and community. The section provides contributors with the unique opportunity to create in-depth articles and to be involved in each stage of production from pitching to visual design. The Features section also includes The Varsity’s magazine editions, published once each semester, which are inspired by a central theme and provide an opportunity for contributors to showcase their skills with comprehensive writing and innovative design.
Arts & Culture Editor
Office hours: Wednesdays and Fridays, 4–5 pm
U of T is situated within one of Canada’s largest artistic cities. If you’re interested in exploring the cultural and creative offerings of your city and your campus, then this is the section to write for. Coverage spans from weekly reviews of music, film, and events, to festivals like TIFF, Riot Fest, and The Word on the Street. You’ll have the chance to interview up-and-coming artists and to attend events all over the city. The section also features articles that take an in-depth look at the different communities that exist within our own campus, as well as living arts pieces where writers tackle activities from student cooking to spoken word poetry. Dedication and a willingness to learn are the only things necessary to write for Arts, and guidance is available for every step of the writing and editing process.
Office hours: Tuesdays, 1–3 pm
The Science section is looking for enthusiastic and committed student writers interested in covering a wide variety of topics related to science and technology. The section includes current U of T research, interviews with professors, aspects of undergraduate science and engineering life, and technology news. We are also interested in creating video content such as grad student interviews or lab tours. U of T is one of the world’s best research institutions and The Varsity’s Science section brings news straight from the test tubes of great researchers to our readers on all three campuses.
Office hours: Wednesdays, 1–3 pm
The Sports section of The Varsity reports on the Varsity Blues and other U of T athletics, athletics in the community that affect U of T students, and general health and fitness topics. Potential writers do not need to have experience writing about sports, health, or fitness, and do not need an in-depth knowledge of all sports covered in The Varsity. Rather, writers must have a desire to constantly learn and develop the journalistic skills that are involved in sports writing. Writers will work on game recaps, player profiles, creative features, and much more.
Office hours: Wednesdays, 1–3 pm (in the photo office on the third floor)
Are you interested in photography? More importantly, are you interested in immortalizing events and people? Get involved with The Varsity by shooting for us. Little to no experience? That’s ok — your photo department is here to help. Come at me, shutterbugs!
Kawmadie Karunanayake & Mari Zhou
Kawmadie: Fridays, 5–7 pm (in the design office on the third floor)
Mari: Fridays, 1 am–3 pm (in the design office on the third floor)
Do you want to be a layout wizard? A magical master of margins? The design section of The Varsity is right up your alley. Come in, learn about newspaper layout, and help design the finest piece of media on campus.
Senior Copy Editors
Lucy Genua & Rose Tornabene
Lucy: Wednesdays, 11 am–1 pm
Rose: Wednesdays, 12–2 pm
The goal of the copy editing team is to publish a paper free of errors, grammatical or factual, and to ensure that The Varsity’s style is consistent in each article. Copy editing is done with reference to The Varsity‘s Style Guide, which outlines how The Varsity uses language and punctuation to create our signature tone and style. The copy editing team is also responsible for fact-checking, which means verifying that quotes, facts, and figures reported in an article are true by confirming with reliable sources. Volunteers are needed for in-office production Saturdays and Sundays, as well as for online copy editing during the week.
Office hours: Mondays, 4–6 pm
Let “heading back to the drawing board” be a good thing! Join The Varsity’s illustrations team to draw visuals for articles and have your work distributed online, in print, or both. Varied styles are welcome!
Office hours: Mondays, 2–4 pm (in the video office on the second floor)
If you love watching videos and think you’d like to make them too, then Video is the section for you. Video at The Varsity covers a range of topics — from news, to science, to arts and more — both on campus and in the wider scope of the city and all it has to offer. If you’ve ever wanted to share your experiences and interests through the wonderful format of videography, send me an email and we’ll make some movie magic together!
Catherine Virelli (email@example.com)
Managing Online Editor
Shaquilla Singh (firstname.lastname@example.org)