From the editor's desk
When I first set foot on the Capilano University campus back in 2008, there were still Capilano College signs everywhere. Greg Lee was president. There was a flat patch of grass where the Bosa Centre stands today. I had initially intended on completing a Jazz Studies degree and getting the hell out of here. I didn’t know the Capilano Courier even existed.
But alas, I’ve come to my final article as its editor-in-chief, after two years at the helm and five years in total with the paper. I never expected to be here this long. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I expected to be here at all. The plan was to write one story, take the $30 and run – as in run away, not run the paper.
Life is funny, isn’t it?
Not a day goes by where I don’t stop to think how lucky I’ve been to have had this opportunity. Sure, it can be an absolute gopher hole of weekly deadlines and daily predicaments, but I’m going to miss it so much when I finally do pass the torch once and for all. There will be a week of relief, followed by another where I’m pretty much a vessel for restless leg syndrome – and then, finally, a period of grieving when I realize what I’ve left behind.
So much of my life these past two years has been devoted to the newspaper cycle – pitching, writing, editing, production, distribution. To be able to do it week in/week out with some of my closest friends has been a complete joy. To be able to learn about the business of print and online media, in conjunction with all of the other things one learns during their post-secondary journey, has been the cherry on top of my educational experience at CapU.
I entered this university fresh out of high school with a “take” mentality. School spirit was never my strong suit and group projects were my least favourite thing about life. I’ll admit that I was even a little sheepish to tell people I was going here, rather than the much larger and prestigious UBC or SFU. But somewhere along the way, I fell in love with this place. I began to get involved. Before I knew it, I’d become the coordinator of one of the biggest group projects this campus has to offer: its newspaper.
The Courier has provided me with a chance to give back, but also to make amends for how truly apathetic I was at the height of my studies here. So many of us trudge through our respective programs as if they’re the only things that matter or exist. And while this isn’t incorrect per se, there’s a great deal more that a lot of us could be doing for our school, and for each other. I know that for me personally, I may have passed my classes, but I certainly failed my university in many ways.
If I could start my CapU experience all over again, I would have gotten involved sooner. I would have watched a few more varsity sports games, supported a few more fundraisers, attended a few more concerts, screened a few more films. There are literally dozens of things happening on this campus each week that I only know about because I work for the newspaper. That’s as concerning as it is validating.
People keep on insisting that CapU needs a pub and residences in order to facilitate some kind of school spirit, and although I agree to an extent, I also recognize that those are just two more places to hide out in (or, at best, to host small gatherings of people.) What we need is people. We need more students to enroll here, and we need the students who have enrolled here to be proud of the choice that they’ve made. Most of all, we need them to sign up not just for classes, but for those periods of community that exist between them.
In my own experience, and in talking to others, it appears as though CapU President Paul Dangerfield has a very good understanding of this. The Courier staff and I have seen that man literally everywhere, from off-campus events to the stands of the Sportsplex. I’ve never spoken to him about it, but I think he’d agree that leadership is about the farthest thing you can get from a nine-to-five job. It’s about being the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. It’s about cheering the loudest and the longest. It’s about being involved and staying involved, regardless of who might be around to notice or whether or not the cameras are rolling. Will he adhere to those values long-term? I’d like to believe so.
That’s the kind of administrator this university needs, and it’s the kind of administrator this newspaper needs. My advice for the next Capilano Courier editor-in-chief is the same as it would be for anyone else on this campus: Embrace your community. Support your fellow students. Leave the place a little better than it was when you got here.
I sincerely hope I’ve done the same.
Campus Life Editor
Community Relations Manager
Arts and Culture Editor