By Christopher Poon [Media Editor]
Well ladies and gents, it’s been a full year since the Runner began churning out those magnificent issues which you almost certainly eagerly await each week. I know that sleep has been lost on our account; you have certainly spent countless Monday nights excitedly counting down the hours before the next issue of the Runner hit the stands, and for this, we thank you.
In case you’re new to us, here’s a quick history on who we are, and why you should care. This is the first all-encompassing student-run newspaper at our school. Sure, there’s the Kwantlen Chronicle, but only second-year journalism students are in charge of creating content for it and putting it together. The Runner on the other hand, is open to every single Kwantlen student, regardless of your year, faculty, and campus. Now, let’s get back to it.
Like all publications, things started out a little rough here at the Runner. While we had a lot of people interested in contributing, and a lot of enthusiasm, translating that into something workable proved far more difficult than imagined. There were conflicting ideas as to how to go about it and who should do what. You can probably imagine.
As time progressed, so did things on our end. Not only were we responsible for putting out the paper, but, being the first group of editors and contributors, we were also responsible for creating and implementing a set of policies and bylaws that are meant to ensure the paper’s success, long after we’ve left. And while the majority of it was boring, mostly bureaucratic jib-jabbing, our main focus had always been the continuing production and evolution of the paper.
On that note, we’re also pleased to say that the Runner has never missed a publication deadline, no matter how tense things got on our end. Sure we had our troubles, sometimes people were flakey, sometimes things were promised and didn’t arrive, but we made due, and we always ended up getting a finished product out to the printer.
We have also made contact with various student newspapers across the country, and we’ve been able to take a lot of valuable information from publications such as the Ubyssey (from UBC), The Peak (from SFU), and of course, Brandon University’s The Quill (whom we love dearly).
On the operation side of things, we have a business division here at the Runner, and without somebody at the helm making sure bills were paid, and supplies were coming in, we wouldn’t have been able to translate our motivation into anything tangible. We are very thankful to them for everything that they’ve done to allow us to succeed thus far.
Our first few issues were a little rough around the edges; people didn’t submit things, others wrote overlapping stories, layout had to be decided upon, etc. However, as we slowly gained our footing, and began surveying the various students of our campuses, we began to fill our pages with things that students wanted to see. We had our traditional-themed issues like our Halloween or Christmas issues, but we also went off the beaten path with things like our Lenin Head Issue, and our Religion Issue.
We also began running recurring sections in our paper, things like Kyle Slavin’s movie column, ‘Six Degrees of Separation,’ or Jeff Groat’s ‘Groat in the Sack.’ Perhaps because I’m intensely biased seeing as I’m the writer of this piece, but I’m most proud of our ‘Rip-Off Kwantlen’ section, which has pointed out some of the costly injustices affecting all Kwantlen students. We decried the cost of the Richmond campus’ yoga studio, and were happy to see prices drop in the following weeks. We also took offense to the price of beer when first offered in the Grassroots Café, which have also dropped since. And while there may have been other powers at play, we’d still like to take some of the credit. After all, we’re here for you, the students.
Without the amazing student body across all four Kwantlen campuses, we would not have been able to last as long as we have. We truly appreciate everything that you, the reader, have done for us, and encourage you to keep up with your praise, your criticism, and even your poorly-worded rants. We’re just happy that we were able to draw you to some sort of a conclusion, no matter how joyful or angry.
Finally, we’d like to thank our amazing team of contributors and bureau chiefs, without whom our paper surely would have fallen apart by now. These are people who have donated their time and energy to make sure that The Runner is the best that it can be, and the end result has been truly remarkable. The copy that you hold in your hands can be directly attributed to the collective efforts of nearly 60 passionate students who have come together at some point or another over the past year, and worked towards getting us to where we are today.
Thanks to everyone that made this possible, and we look forward to being with you in the years to come.