Making a newspaper is an exhausting process. The hours are late, the work is meticulous, and the pay is nothing to envy. But thankfully, with hard-working individuals at the helm, the job appears less cumbersome and the obstacles more surmountable.
This year, The Varsity was lucky enough to have an abundance of hard-working individuals contributing to the paper. With their work in mind, I’m happy for my final letter of Volume CXXXVIII to be a positive one.
Amid declining ad revenue and an ever-shaky media landscape, The Varsity has seen considerable expansion over the past 11 months. In late March we surpassed 1.2 million page views — a 16.5 per cent increase over the previous year — and as of Issue 24 we have published over 1,000 articles. We’ve brought in over 400 contributors, over 100 of whom are staff.
The results of our levy referendum, held earlier in the semester, indicate that The Varsity will expand its membership to full-time graduate students, a body of over 17,000 people, while the introduction of a translated Chinese edition of our website, brought to us by an ambitious new group on campus called The Listeners, has increased our accessibility to thousands of students. As we move forward, future mastheads will be tasked with considering how best to cater to the students whose primary concerns lie beyond our colloquial coverage and whose campuses lie beyond the downtown core. We have the resources necessary to expand — it’s simply a matter of how best to do it.
There’s a magnitude of work that goes into each issue — work to which you, the reader, are not often privy. Every paper is made possible by a dedicated group of writers, editors, designers, illustrators, and photographers, all of whom work tirelessly and passionately to deliver a presentable final product.
In the final weeks of my tenure, I couldn’t be more grateful to these individuals for their efforts. Thanks is owed to a zealous masthead, as well as to all the volunteers and staff members who made this volume possible.
To the Board of Directors: thank you for playing an integral, if often overlooked, role in our broader ambitions. To Kary Cozens: thank you for running one of the most reliable business teams we’ve had in years. To the late-night Sunday production crew — Elham Numan, Tom Yun, Blythe Hunter, and Michael Teoh — thank you for sticking around well past reasonable work hours. To former editor Alex McKeen: thank you for your endless wisdom and your willingness to share it.
As this volume draws to a close, I feel especially confident in the The Varsity’s future. My capable successor, Jack Denton, has laid out a bold vision for the paper, one that will surely serve to broaden this institution’s horizons. While the future of print media is uncertain, I have no doubt that future mastheads will develop new ways of navigating it.
I think we sometimes forget, in the chaos of the day-to-day newsroom, that our role as the press is not only to deliver the daily news, but — as a former publisher of The Washington Post once put it — to write the first rough drafts of history. To be a newspaper of record, as we habitually call ourselves, is to situate the events of the day in a greater context, so that future generations can understand their place in the students’ history of the university.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s rough draft; it’s been a pleasure bringing it to you.
— Jacob Lorinc, Editor-in-Chief
2017–2018, Vol. CXXXVIII