Unlike the majority of masthead’s experience, my entrance to The Varsity was somewhat unconventional. I wasn’t an associate, a columnist, or even a regular passerby at the office for most of my time at U of T. It wasn’t until the very end of my third year that I realized I was drawn to journalism in a capacity greater than just writing the odd article.

After hastily making a decision to run for photo editor at the last minute, I soon found myself on the inside of an entity I had otherwise only known quite ambiguously. If you’re wondering, yes, it was a voluntary recipe for imposter syndrome. Yet, despite not having years of acquaintance with the people or the newspaper, I felt at home — due to the company of the knowledgeable, witty, and welcoming people I worked with each week; the quirky but slightly messy office; and by connecting with numerous dedicated contributors in the photo section.

Thank you to our exceptional editor-in-chief, Jadine, for seeing potential in me as a visuals editor and for her calmness during the busier, overwhelming weeks. The visuals behind over 600 articles for this volume would not have been possible without the extremely talented photo associates I worked with — thank you to Nicholas Tam, Augustine Wong, and Zeynep Poyanli. Whether it was running around the city for the perfect shot or spending hours formatting jpeg files on Photoshop, you were ready to take it on. 

Reflecting on the year

Coming into the role, I was very certain I wanted to expand the editorial aspect of the photo section. This volume, photographers captured — and wrote — on protests, perceptions of ‘home’ and what it means to them, fashion and the style of U of T students, hidden parts of U of T, and even life inside of The Varsity’s own office at 21 Sussex Ave. We wrapped up Volume 143 with one of my favourite pieces to date — “2022–2023 in student photos” — a collection of the works of multiple photographers across all three U of T campuses.

The philosophy of photography

Capturing is powerful. By clicking a photo, we hold the ability to freeze historic moments, to express emotions we may not have words for, and to ignite connections between people that go beyond the boundaries of language. 

Thank you to The Varsity for granting me the opportunity to capture and help others capture. 

— Vurjeet Madan, Photo Editor, Volume CXLIII