Imprint is changing — but not entirely.
The most noticeable change is that the weekly paper will be gone. Starting this fall term, instead of weekly (or biweekly) papers, Imprint will be publishing a monthly magazine. Our weekly format was no longer providing what this campus needed – it wasn’t frequent enough to provide the most up-to-date news, but it also didn’t give our team enough time to do more in-depth stories. Both are incredibly important in their own way – getting the facts right when something important happens is just as vital as understanding the hows and whys behind its occurrence in the first place. The magazine will make it so that in-depth investigations on the issues that matter to you, like addressing campus accessibility and issues within WUSA’s bureaucracy, are the norm, not the exception. While that solves the issue of insufficient depth in the weekly paper, it doesn’t address the growing need to cover breaking news when it breaks, which is where our website comes in.
Rather than publishing news that is (more often than not) a week late, our website will publish faster coverage, talk about the issues in our community as they are happening and provide the facts necessary for you to be up-to-date and help tamper even the most infectious misinformation. Our goal for the website is to be the go-to for anything impacting students at UW and the broader campus community.
What’s not going to change is the space Imprint provides for students to learn new skills, perfect for resumes, co-op employers, and the world beyond WaterlooWorks. People of any experience level in writing, photography and graphic design could walk into the office and, if they wanted to, leave with substantial experience they could include on their portfolios and resumes. And that isn’t changing. Students are still more than welcome to walk into our office, which will remain in SLC 0137, beside the Used Bookstore, and contribute to the editorial and creative teams (and get paid for it now!).
We don’t claim to have the largest presence on campus — the focus groups last summer and community feedback over the years have made that clear. But that’s also why this change is important. Students deserve to know about what’s going on at UW, both on the surface and below. If this is the format students want, and what they think will be more effective, then we’ll take it.
Imprint has been a part of this campus for 45 years, and before that, there were several other student-run campus newspapers going all the way back to the founding of UW. Looking back there have been many different formats, all reflecting what the campus needed at that time. Now, when we are asking ourselves how to build more community on campus, being able to tell the stories of success, hardship, accomplishment, perseverance, and joy on our campus is something we believe to be important. This change will allow us to do justice to these stories and to tell them not just with our writing, but also with photos, sketches, and graphic design. With greater emphasis on the artistic alongside the editorial, your voice will be present no matter what medium you prefer.
Imprint is an organization defined by change — from the staff that appear on the masthead, to the content on the front page and the stylistic edits that come and go with each executive editor. If anything, it’s taught us that we can handle whatever comes our way, and that we always end up alright. This time, the change is because we want to expand our presence on campus and improve in the way that best suits your needs. We can’t be certain of the future, but we can promise that we’ll put our best foot forward, just as we always have. Thank you for your trust in us all these years, and we’ll see you next term.