The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

An open letter to readers of student newspapers

By in Opinions
The Sheaf office is located in the Memorial Union Building.
The Sheaf office is located in the Memorial Union Building.

Campus newspapers like the Sheaf are written by students, for students and about  students. However, every student is different, so chances are you’re going absolutely hate some of the articles published throughout your time at our glorious institution — and that’s okay.

The Sheaf is part of The Canadian University Press, a national, non-profit, co-operatively owned and operated student newspaper organization.

I was inspired to write this article after reading “Freedom of press means exactly that,” which appeared in an issue of the Muse, the newspaper from Memorial University in Newfoundland. The article acted as a kind of disclaimer to all students about the university paper, what it stands for and who it’s for.

I felt compelled to write something of a similar nature to shed some light on what exactly it is that we do at the Sheaf and why we’re here in the first place. Student fees help fund our paper, so it seems fair that student readers know what’s going on.

The student newspaper is here to inform the university population with the happenings of the University of Saskatchewan campus, and we’re not politically aligned with any group, nor do we censor articles from coming in.

In saying that, please remember that this university paper is not out to get you either — to force you to have sex, to make you believe in equality, to love feminism, to care about sports, to give any shits about culture in Saskatoon or to care about what the hell it is that’s going on around our campus.

The world is a dynamic place because we all have differing opinions or takes on news, culture and sports. Disagreeing with something any paper publishes is a recurring event because we all have different worldviews. Think about that the next time you read something you absolutely hate — no matter the news source in which you read it.

On that note, it’s crucial to keep in mind the idea that if you read something you disagree with, your mind has actually become engaged with the subject matter. As a result, you may go home and tell your friends and family about the topic, creating a discussion that otherwise may not have happened. Isn’t that the point of newspapers: to create a discussion about current events?

That’s my understanding of news, and that’s why I’ve always loved reading the paper every morning. I often disagree with how some things are reported, but I more often than not become aware of world issues that I had no prior knowledge of.

The Sheaf, as a paper with its body of editors, works hard to cover a variety of topics from a variety of perspectives. That being said, we often don’t hear the voices of those who aren’t from a primarily arts background, which is a great loss. Because many of our articles come from volunteer contributors, their interests drive our content. Hence, if you’re interested in something we’re not writing about, get in touch with us.

The only reason I started writing for the Sheaf was because the previous Opinions Editor had written an article about sexting that I absolutely hated. I went in to bitch out the editorial team and ended up leaving the office with my first assignment.

Regardless of whether you’re interested in news, sports, culture or opinions, your student newspaper is here to cover issues you’re concerned about.

Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor

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