Four dollars per semester is not a latte

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Our Volunteer Coordinator, Gabrielle Myers (left), welcoming new volunteers at the Imprint office.

Students can pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 in ancillary fees on their tuition. At the University of Waterloo some $4.35 goes to Imprint. It helps us print your weekly newspaper; it helps us pay your fellow students who work diligently to provide you with the news that matters to you.

It’s not perfect. Imprint is often criticized for its typos, mistakes, and sometimes poorly constructed crossword puzzles, but this is, above all, a student newspaper. It’s a place for students to learn how to write, how to use InDesign, Photoshop, make graphics, make comics, and more.

There is no journalism program at UW. Our students are coming in with little to no experience and we are teaching them to build new skills, helping them think critically, and question authority. Even if you don’t care about the news you should care about your fellow students who are building real world skills.

We have students from every walk of life and from many different countries that help build our paper, but also help inform and shape each other. Some turn the skills they learn here into careers, some use them as side hustles, some learn to hate news, but they all learn something about the university, the world, and themselves.

Isn’t that worth $4.35 to you? This semester we have had more than 400 people come into the office asking for their refund and although I understand student life is hard (I’m still paying back my own OSAP), I also believe in helping others. I think having someone to watch the watchers is more important than a latte.

The price of one latte a semester pays for 15 staff members and 12 newspapers painstakingly made by people just like you, who care about your university and your community, even if you don’t.