Editorial: Our 104th masthead's mission

We’re The Ubyssey — UBC’s student newspaper since 1918, independent since 1995.

We’re the only active newspaper on campus. That means we’re responsible for keeping you and the community informed about all things UBC.

Whether that’s governance, sports or other campus happenings, we want to be covering things you care about with nuance and accuracy. And we also want to be the number one sudoku provider in all of Vancouver.

This year, our editorial wanted to share our mission and goals so you know what we stand for and can hold us to it.

Accessibility, education and diverse voices

As a newspaper, we’re continuing our commitment to covering diverse stories. We are working to make our space — the Ubyssey office in room 2208 in the Nest — as welcoming as possible. Students are welcome to view our budget in our business office, room 2209 of the Nest. We have also published our key policies on our website and welcome students to ask about our finances. We will publish our financial update in our September 13 issue and online.

This year, our news section will host workshops on reporting on marginalized communities like 2SLGBTQIA+ and disabled groups to better equip our contributors with skills on how to approach stories and experiences respectfully and through a trauma-informed lens.

Our culture section will focus on centring the creativity and joy of marginalized communities, and decentring the patriarchal eurocentrism that has historically dominated arts writing. After two turbulent and isolated years, we’re dedicated to connecting students to the arts and to each other — on campus, off campus and online.

Our features section, which focuses on longform journalism, will use longer articles to dig deep into the nuances of the issues that impact UBC students. Features is about bringing human faces to systemic issues and policy and we do this with the utmost care. We will tell the stories of UBC community members ethically and engagingly.

The opinion section is looking to further establish columns that amplify the voices of marginalized communities through the Black Voices at UBC and NDNs at UBC columns. Do you want to get involved with either column? Send an email to opinion@ubyssey.ca.

Our funny friends at the paper, the blog, want to make jokes to make this harsh world more bearable — while always using our satire to challenge the status quo. At our weekly section meetings, we’ll make humour writing accessible through workshops where you’ll learn how to turn your shower-thought jokes into polished pieces of satire. The blog is dedicated to platforming those traditionally left out of comedy circles like BIPOC, women and 2SLGBTQIA+ people. Blog also wants to produce a spoof issue that breaks the internet just as much as last year’s Girlbossmopolitan did.

The science section strives to decolonize its reporting by prioritizing the voices of Indigenous researchers. We also want to make peer-reviewed research more accessible to students to spotlight and interrogate the groundbreaking research UBC produces.

Our photo section wants to foster a diverse and welcoming community that facilitates access to the photojournalism industry and inspires a general interest in photography. The photo section also wants to include those traditionally underrepresented in visual narratives to increase both breadth and depth of coverage for those communities. We are committed to ethical and engaging visual reporting and hopes to provide guidance by hosting workshops and guest speakers .

The visuals section — the paper’s graphic design and illustration team — wants to create a welcoming environment for students by holding workshops that focus on design fundamentals and providing a space for students’ art and creativity to flourish. Visuals will also be providing education on the Adobe Creative Suite, what we use to make our beautiful bi-weekly print issues.

Holding power to account

As the only newspaper that covers what’s going on at UBC down to a ‘T,’ we have an obligation to hold the power on our campus to account.

Our news section is working to demystify governance, whether that’s about the University Neighbourhoods Association and how it impacts students, or our continued coverage of the AMS, Board of Governors (BoG) and Senate.

And our news, features and sports sections are continuing their commitment to hold campus institutions — like the BoG and UBC Athletics — accountable through investigative pieces.

Like the news section, opinion is looking to demystify governance by re-establishing guest written columns that relate to student governance, as well as holding institutions on campus accountable for their sustainability promises through Unwreck the Beach, The Ubyssey’s sustainability column.

Keep us accountable

These are our goals for the next year and we ask that you hold us to them. With you keeping us accountable while we keep the institutions around us accountable, we’ll become better students and journalists, one article at a time.

If you have feedback, contact us at feedback@ubyssey.ca.