Colin Slark | Editor in Chief
I don’t feel quite like the Roman emperor Augustus, who is reported to have said “I found Rome a city of bricks, I left it a city of marble.” I don’t believe I did anything revolutionary during my tenure as Editor In Chief. I am not leaving Over The Edge the gleaming center of the universe, as Romans must have felt their city was during the Empire’s heyday. However, I do think I’m leaving Over The Edge better off than I found it.
I took the reins of the paper during a year where we had an almost total turnover of staff and board members. This was not the fault of our predecessors, people graduate and move on to bigger things than a student newspaper – but it meant that we were left without experience to draw from and we had too small a team to produce content properly. Through my stumbling towards progress, I found reliable volunteers who would consistently write things for me, and coworkers who I could rely on as team members. We have a mix of new and returning team members set up to work for the society next academic year, and I believe that with the structures I have helped put in place, with the experience of our returning team members, and with the determination of our new team members, next year has all the ingredients to make 2017/18 a banner year for the newspaper.
I’d like to thank several people who were pleasures to work with that made it possible for me to explore student journalism from the editor’s desk. Hannah Rizun was a conscientious coworker that did an admirable job of adapting to anything that was thrown her way, and it was a pleasure to have her on my team. I’m happy to hear that she’ll be coming back next year as Publisher, which will mark the fourth year in a row that Hannah has been involved with Over The Edge. Tierney Watkinson consistently wrote some great pieces, and has become one of the most reliable people I’ve ever known. I’m sure she’ll do a fantastic job as next year’s news editor. Sam Wall came in with the ambition and drive to learn and improve, and has become a terrific reporter. I have no doubts that they’ll be an Editor In Chief that will make sure that UNBC receives the kind of student journalism that it deserves. Monique Gendron’s creativity has always impressed me, and I’m excited as a reader to see what kind of experimentation she’ll do with layouts next year as the returning Production Coordinator. Multimedia Coordinator Ann Duong won’t be returning next year, and I wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
I don’t have the space to thank everyone that worked on the paper, but if you had something printed in our pages or did volunteer work for us during my tenure, know that you were greatly appreciated. To our returning team members, and to new team members Alexandra Tuttosi and Emmanuel Drame, I wish you the best of luck at Over The Edge.
Sam Wall | Future Editor in Chief
It is with great excitement that I announce that I have been selected for the position of Editor-in-Chief for the upcoming 2017-2018 year! After spending my first year at Over The Edge as News Editor, I am slowly learning the ropes from current Editor In Chief, Colin Slark. Please join me in wishing Colin good luck into the future, as he graduates this Spring, and goes on to study Journalism in the Fall.
This past year, I have spent much of my time with Over the Edge as a reporter, working on bringing our readers the best and most concise information on current events around UNBC and the wider Prince George community. Some of my first and favorite work was in the Fall, covering the unveiling of a new UNBC sign written in Carrier, the translation of which had been negotiated between the university and the Lheidli T’enneh band. That day also included the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding between UNBC and the Lheidli T’enneh. From there I wrote an update about the work of a steering committee to improve UNBC’s sexual violence policy and procedures, the draft of which has recently been displayed in the Wintergarden for students to provide feedback on. I also had the opportunity to attend many events in the UNBC and Prince George community, such as the Backyard BBQ, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Uniting with the Unist’ot’en Camp, and various local burlesque shows. Earlier in the academic year, I covered the NUGSS AGM, and was able to follow up that story by covering the recent EGM. Much of my work allowed me to explore my interests in feminist activism, such as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, the Sisters in Spirit Vigil, Prince George’s Sister March to the Women’s March on Washington, and the Women’s Memorial March on Valentine’s Day for missing and murdered Indigenous women. Some of these stories were more difficult to cover, but that made them all the more worth it.
I also had the opportunity to attend NASH, the national student journalism conference, which took place in Fredericton, New Brunswick this year. At NASH I learned more about journalism overall, while being able to explore more specific writing interests with industry professionals. Being born and raised in Prince George, and coming to UNBC to major in Environmental Studies, I am excited to continue exploring my environmental and social justice interests, while working to connect with the university community and hear your diverse views. I imagine this newspaper as an ongoing communicative process, and I would love to connect with you as we work to build a modern news source. Here’s to our wonderful team of new and returning staff, and a productive and insightful future for Over The Edge!