You Sask Confessions is a personal not-so-guilty pleasure and endless source of entertainment, and I am sure you are all familiar with how the platform sucks you in. Something about seeing that “Top Fan” badge right next to my name really makes all of the times I have spent on that page worthwhile.
Lately, I have noticed that their posts have been getting friskier and friskier, but one post caught my attention before the break.
Confession #36056 asks:
“Can we start a petition to shut down the Sheaf and open a McDonalds in their office instead?”
My reaction was a slight laugh followed by deliberation as to what prompted the original poster to submit such a question. Could the University of Saskatchewan’s aspiring journalists, writers, photographers and editors not take up some place? Why take this piece of passion and happiness away from anyone? What I am really asking is, what did we do to hurt you, OP?
My next thought was that we should shut down the Sheaf and replace it with a highly favoured fast food restaurant. Maybe OP is right. After all, what is a bundle of paper filled with words in comparison to a five dollar meal deal?
In addition to that, there’s the news blasting on the television 24/7 and social media allows users to access information in real time. Really, another school paper is simply adding more to an already saturated ground and not at all important. Or is it?
Preserving the school newspaper may be more beneficial for the student body than many would think. First, the newspaper is made for the students and is run by student volunteers and undergraduate staff members. This is a platform for students’ voices.
Not only does the paper act as a forum for discussion, it also encourages active participation and engagement between the contributors and readers. Contributors seek inspiration for topics to write about. Readers like you are aiding in keeping the paper alive by providing feedback on what is relevant and entertaining versus what is not.
Students who volunteer for their school newspaper acquire many invaluable skills that surpass the satisfaction of having their work published. From obtaining writing and workplace skills to just simply being empowered. Behind every article or piece that is put forward by an individual, there is a process of thought, creativity and risk — what will people think about this?
If you are looking for a fresh perspective or simply new ideas, reading the paper is a great place to start.
Back to the OP’s suggestion of establishing another McDick’s where the Sheaf’s office stands: personally, I don’t think it’s going to work. Finding the Sheaf’s office should not have taken me the embarrassing amount of time that it did, but hey, I made it happen. When I did find it, I was greeted with a room that welcomes a grand total of 10 people. It’s a tiny, collaborative space.
Now, let’s ask ourselves if this is feasible, given the amount of office space plus the 21,731 registered students at the U of S as potential customers. Let me add the fact that there is absolutely no room to stock the frozen patties, their world’s famous fries or any other products that this company is pushing.
Is running this fast food empire in a hole in the wall feasible and sustainable? What about the other food places on campus? Surely, business for the other eateries will decrease with this other option in mind.
Just imagine hordes of people and see it multiplying during midterms and finals season. I may not be a math whiz but the answer is clearly no. So please, kindly leave our office from this narrative because as spacious as some may think it is, it truly isn’t.
That being said, feel free to come by the Sheaf office and kick up your feet. Everyone is welcome to hang out in this space. Maybe you can learn about what goes into the paper and meet the people who make it tick.
Volunteer writers, photographers and artists are the backbone of the paper, and each year the Sheaf hires students to run the publication, creating jobs for undergraduates on campus.
The importance of the Sheaf may be lower-tier as of right now — when compared next to McDonald’s — but contributors like myself will be working twice as hard to change your view of the paper, now that we know what we are up against.
Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro
Photo: University Archives & Special Collections, ER Simpson fonds, Series I, file B.2, folder 3, image 2.