Student newspaper scheduled to hit newsstands in January
October 15, 2008 by Amy Reid
The release of Kwantlen’s first student-run newspaper has been delayed after DJ Lam, who first dreamed up the idea, was injured and left paralyzed from the neck down over the summer. After hiring an assistant and working hard since then, Lam now anticipates the first issue of the paper will be published January 2009. Â
Students having been paying for the student newspapers, at the rate of 75 cents per credit, per semester, since September.
Lam has spent the months since his injury, “crunching through numbers, putting together plans, getting a lease signed to get office space, trying to space on campus at first, and trying to put this together the best I could.
“Some of it, to be honest, would have been done a little bit sooner, but I did break my neck and I’m a quadriplegic now, so I’m half paralyzed.Â
“A lot of the work now involves just finishing up the work that we started in the summer.”
A society has been created, called Polytechnic Ink, and while a name for the paper is still being considered, the same name may be on the table.
“Built into the rules of the society, are that there have to be nine contributors, no matter what,” said Lam. “Those nine contributors are generally people that have contributed three or more stories, photos or any kind of content, within the last calendar year. In this case that will obviously be waived because everyone will be new. But amongst those contributors, they will elect amongst themselves, the first set of editors.”
Lam confirmed that staff members on the paper will be paid a salary. Contributors who have work featured on the front page, or provide the top news piece, or graphics used for the head of a section, will also receive compensation.
The new advertising director, Matt Huff, is on campuses raising awareness and talking to students. He will be recruiting the first group of contributors and, Lam said, right now is the best time to get on board.
If you can’t find Huff on your campus and want to get involved, you can contact him at by email.
The society has leased office space near, but not on, the Surrey campus. Though on-campus space was desired, none could be found. The off-campus space does have its advantages, Lam said, such as the ability to run production late into the night after campus hours. For students, this is important as production work has to fit around around class schedules.Â
Other major details have been worked out. Lam has confirmed that the publication will begin as a bi-weekly. he hopes it will eventually become a weekly, as long as “the quality can be maintained and we can put out a paper that is nice and fat, enjoyable to read and has content that makes it worth publishing.
“Quality over quantity is what its going to be at first.”
There are many advantages for students who get involved, said Lam, such as learning how to write, having an opportunity to express themselves, getting involved with the student issues, learning to edit and produce a paper, and even things like the opportunity to sell advertising, for which students will receive a commission.Â
“We want everyone to have a chance to get involved and so we need to put the message out there and say, ‘Come, see, come play a part in your campus community and learn how to edit, write, do graphic design, be published, do photography, do all those wonderful things.’
Lam looks forward to giving students, “something that’s theirs, written by their peers, and produced and photographed by their peers, that has to do with information that’s valuable to them, in their hands.”
Students will be given, as promised, an opportunity to opt-out of the newspaper fee they are currently paying to the KSA.Â
“But come January, I can guarantee people that this is something that they won’t want to opt-out of. At the end of the day, for the average student it will come out to around $6.25 per student, or damn close to it, and really, if it helps them connect in a way, or helps them realize the idea that they can have campus community and this is a tool to do it, then it’s probably better than some of the other fees they paid for other things this semester.”
(Editor’s note: The Kwantlen Chronicle, while it is produced by students, is not a student-run newspaper. The Chronicle is produced by second-year journalism students as part of their coursework. It is an independent online and print newspaper, and not connected with the university administration or any other body on campus.)