Our “year in review” issue, an annual amalgamation of the school year’s top stories and moments, hits stands this week. There was so much content from this year (it certainly hasn’t been a boring 12 months) that not all of it made it into our print issue. With that in mind, here’s our list of the best and most popular long-form pieces that we’ve published this year.
Emma Partridge and David Nixon
The Ubyssey conducted a seven-month investigation on UBCO’s student union after it ran unprecedented deficits in 2015 and 2016. The union’s 2015 outgoing president, Rocky Kim, used his marketing company to run the winning campaigns of 24 of UBC Okanagan’s 31 positions in student government. He also won the contract for a SUO work subsidy initiative, which flopped with only eight students receiving grants.
Jack Hauen, Hamza Tariq, Alex McKeen and Peter Siemens
The Ubyssey led an investigation in partnership with Western University's Gazette and the University of Toronto's Varsity to determine student union executive salaries at 16 major Canadian universities. We detailed not only how much executives at different schools are paid, but also their varying responsibilities and the sizes of the student populations they represent — and where that money comes from in the first place.
The Ubyssey, for the first time, asked for submissions for this themed issue. We could not have been more overwhelmed and gratified by what we received. Our aim was to explore the concept of intimacy in its many forms, whether that be defined as physical, emotional or platonic, represented by a range of writing lengths and styles.
In this year’s “belonging” section of the Academic Experience survey, two statistics stood out: only 56 per cent felt a sense of belonging on campus and only 15 per cent felt connected to the UBC Thunderbirds. The Ubyssey took a look at why there is a lack of student engagement at sports games and the different groups that were trying to solve this quiet crisis.
With 40,000 educated — and attractive — students on campus, sex is everywhere at UBC. Options for contraception, on the other hand, may not seem so vast or accessible. The Ubyssey delved into what UBC students use, what forms are available and how experts think you should be choosing your contraceptives.
A scrappy group of UBC engineers spent years of their spare time working into the early hours of morning and through a beautiful Vancouver summer to realize a dream — sailing a robotic sailbot across the Atlantic ocean. And they almost made it. We learned about Ada, their robot and her journey from a classroom in Vancouver to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Sruthi Tadepalli and Olivia Law
We talked to students about their experience with mental health issues while on campus. While many of them had suffered from mental illnesses before coming to university, most students reported that the environment around campus was one of the main reasons problems were exacerbated. Students emphasized the gaps in services available at UBC, but above all noted the importance of a culture that is more accepting of talking about mental health and wellness.
Amidst rising dissatisfaction regarding safety and security from students on campus, we took an in-depth look at the Campus Security department at UBC. Blue phones, external cameras, wait times for Safewalk, dark areas on campus and how the RCMP interacts with Campus Security — all were explored by their benefits and downfalls.
Miguel Santa Maria
With the rise of ride-sharing/hailing app companies in North America, traditional taxi services in major cities are taking a big hit to their profits. However, such services still don't have legal permission to operate on BC streets. We took a look at what the repercussions of the rise of Uber and similar services could mean for Vancouver and UBC students themselves.
The women’s rowing team is one of the most decorated teams at UBC. The entire program boasts an incredible amount of Olympic athletes and medals — 76 athletes and a total of 46 medals. The Ubyssey explored the team’s humble origins, challenges that they faced and the effect that they had on the UBC campus.