As I wrap up my time as culture editor at the Ubyssey and hand over the reigns to the very talented Angela O’Donnell, I feel the need to write a final “so long” note. It’s hard to pen a goodbye that doesn’t sound downright cheesy, but I’m going to try my best.
At the beginning of the term, I wrote my first Letter from the Editor, in which I begged you — students, faculty, staff, whoever is taking the time to read the culture section of this mighty little publication — to step out of your cultural comfort zone. I explained how you don’t need to necessarily understand art to enjoy it and how art should be for everyone.
Writers for this section took that challenge and ran with it. Over the course of the term, I’ve had the indescribable opportunity to edit and publish work by a plethora of talented wordsmiths about the amazing things happening on and around this campus. From community members speaking out on their experiences of racism and the importance of identity, to students serving their communities to the abundance of art, music, theatre, food and more to consume, the articles I had the privilege of publishing this year went above and beyond my own expectations — and hopefully yours as well.
But I’m not here to just lament the finality of my time at this paper. I’m here to issue you one last challenge before I leave: join us.
If you read one article this year that touched you, made you laugh, made you curious, inspired you or even filled you with rage — I know, how DARE we disrespect Blue Chip’s weird espresso concoction — stop by the Ubyssey. Email the (new) editor. Take the time to think about what you would like to read and then write it. The Ubyssey is only as good as the writers who take their time to put out content, and we need more voices. We need Indigenous voices, POC voices, LGBTQIA2S+ voices, disabled voices and immigrant voices. We need old voices and young voices, voices of students who are housing or food insecure, grappling with tough finances and struggling to keep up with the harsh academic grind. We need international voices, who bring perspectives from around the world. We need new voices. We need diverse voices.
We need your voice.
Walking into any new club and introducing yourself to a new group of people is absolutely terrifying. Will they like you? Will you fit in? Will you find one, or two or ten new friends? I can’t make any absolute promises, but would bet the house that the answer will be yes. And amidst making these new friends and finding a new spot to hang out, you will do something so, so important: you will contribute your voice to a place that genuinely wants to amplify it and you will help to make this paper the place it is. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s a hell of a special place.
Much love to all of my buddies and pals, thanks for having me.