CAMPUS AND CULTURE
Gazette Alumni speak
A story behind the stories
History in print
The UBC prank: breaking and entering
Champagne with an old friend
From Pam to Parliament Hill and beyond
Tories, snow and free beer
An anti-country club
An anti-country club
Then: Editor-in-Chief 1988-1989
Now: Assignment Editor at The Toronto Star
It's been twelve years since my Gazette days and most memories from this far out are a mental slide show of a diverse bunch of talented and driven people, who would rather put out a newspaper our newspaper than be in class.
I imagine this sentiment spans past the 95 years of Gazette publication.
We seemed to huddle together, an enclave of misfits seeking refuge from the frat boys, sorority girls and other Polo clad preppies that gave Western its country club image in the 1980s.
For myself, despite years of playing team sports, The Gazette was where I felt most accepted.
I felt like I was home.
I'm sure the experience of our crew has the same ring as previous and past generations: long hours that were truly a labour of love; the joy of writing your first good lead, of whittling down the time it takes to write a story from six hours to three and then three hours to one. The camaraderie of working cheek by jowl at 3 a.m. with the usual ragtag group that couldn't finish their pages on time.
Each story was a gem, each lead could be better, each headline needed just the right touch.
On many occasions, it seemed there was no way a section could ever possibly be closed on time. One editor, as the sun was creeping toward dawn, buried his head in his hands, deflated of hope and cried: "My life is garbage." It became a mantra of sorts for us that year.
But through the agony, there was much more fun and juvenile levity, which we knew we'd have to leave behind when we entered the real world.
One year, we had a silly competition between entertainment, sports and graphics. Entertainment tried to get photos or references to jazz greats Wynton or Branford Marsalis in the paper and graphics tried to publish as many illustrations of zombies as was possible. For reasons too long to explain here, sports tried to get All-Canadian cross-country running and track star Sandra Anshuetz. I can't recall who won, I think the zombies. Damn you, Dean Tweed!
Despite the parties, jokes and hijinks, we took publishing The Gazette very seriously. Too seriously, I think, in hindsight.
For me, great friends, great fun and the exhilaration of learning were the hallmarks of Gazette life isn't that what university should be about?