I’ve been blogging since September 2003 across several different websites. Originally it was MSN’s “Live Spaces” — a fairly straightforward publishing service that atomized content to your MSN Messenger account. From there I moved to Blogger, partly because I was in love with Google and partly because I was too scared of WordPress. I blogged there for a few years as I discovered university and myself and a few different writing styles. In 2009 I started Listen! Listen! Listen!, a moderately popular MP3 blog that eventually gave way to an unhealthy dedication to the Gazette. Then I started this new blog in the summer and mostly talked about design and programming, which was my latest self-taught hobby. Now, at the Gazette, I’m mostly blogging about my job in an effort to never really leave the office. But if you venture down memory lane you’ll find out all the strange things [...]
I had a good conversation with a Western journalism grad student and London Free Press intern about the Gazette’s UWOFA coverage on Twitter. It was intended to be part of a bigger article but, I was told, space restrictions caused it to be condensed into another article. Here’s the interview: download Interview recorded and conducted by Trevor Melanson
Last week marked another historic night in Gazette history. It’s just one of many over the past couple years after our new website and web presence opened a bunch of new doors. This time, it was a fantastic end to our coverage of the potential UWOFA strike. The union was reaching its strike deadline at 12:01 a.m., at which point students would apparently find out if they’d have class on Wednesday. Understandably, campus was abuzz and as day turned to night, the conversation went online. The Gazette was the possibly the only reliable source of information for the strike that night. The Free Press was closed, other blogs and community members had no contacts. Western and UWOFA had their own Twitter accounts but were either too preoccupied or didn’t register that students were there and wanted to know. From our end, it was a fairly typical night. We sat around [...]
On a small scale, the red poppy is just about visualizing our remembrance. It’s one of the most visible and popular ways to express it. It’s unfortunate, then, that a nationwide campaign related to war discourages any meaningful criticism about it. We have the perfect opportunity to stand united in a statement of peace. But the red poppy discourages a conversation about the policies and structures that make war possible. It takes no stand on war and, like the pithy “Support our Troops” slogan, actually deflects attention away from these kinds of discussions. That’s not necessarily surprising. Culture is filled with ways to give soft support for war. Hollywood movies, fictional stories and even Remembrance Day are ways that war is discussed in society. For the red poppy, attention is drawn to romanticized ideas of honour and the virtues of dying for one’s country — regardless of our views on [...]
It took an 18-hour marathon session, but a tentative deal was finally reached in the early hours yesterday morning between the UWO Faculty Association and Western administration. The agreement averted a strike that would have cancelled classes for nearly all main campus students. The union must now ratify the deal, but a date for the ratification has yet to be determined. The details surrounding the agreement will not be available until UWOFA has a chance to review it, according to Helen Connell, vice-president public affairs and communications for Western. On Tuesday night, students flocked to Twitter and Facebook for news of a possible strike, where “UWOFA” and the hashtag for “UWO” entered Twitter’s top-10 trending topics in Canada. As the 12:01 a.m. strike deadline neared, little information was released from the negotiating room. Western announced around midnight that talks would continue beyond the 12:01 a.m. strike deadline. But UWOFA continued [...]
The UWO Faculty Association and Western administration met for a daylong negotiation yesterday. The results of the meeting were not available by press time.
The UWO Faculty Association reached a last-minute deal with administration yesterday, barely averting a strike that would have cancelled classes for nearly all main campus students.
A deal between administration and Western’s faculty union remains elusive following a series of meetings last week and an unscheduled meeting on Saturday. If progress isn’t made before the strike deadline Wednesday at 12:01 a.m., the union representing 1,700 main campus faculty will go on strike.* Both sides said Saturday’s unscheduled meeting was a positive sign, despite failing to reach a compromise. “It says that the two sides are obviously making some progress and feel the need to continue the talks,” said Helen Connell, vice-president of communications and public affairs for Western. She said if a strike is called, Western would notify students before class on Wednesday through email, on their website and through accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Western president Amit Chakma sent an email last Sunday detailing the situation with UWO Faculty Association. But he restated that Western “does not negotiate in public,” meaning they would not release [...]
After a few months of practice, the training wheels are coming off the Purple Bikes program. The bike rental and co-op service launched early this year and is now expanding its reach to Elgin and Perth Hall. Students can rent out the purple coloured bikes at the two residences and the University Community Centre by paying a $15 membership fee. For students who have their own bikes, $5 gets them membership to a bike co-op where experienced bike mechanics can lend a hand for repairs and upgrades. “It’s people brining their bikes and fixing their bikes,” said Alison Fine, a second-year medical student and administrative officer for the Purple Bikes program. With 30 people currently in the co-op, students can carry their bikes up to the third floor of the UCC to the bike co-op. “We have a bunch of experienced people doing repairs and helping others do repairs.” She [...]
Have you been threatened lately? Vote or die, shut up or vote, the list goes on. Slogans like this try to shake the apathy out of young voters a few weeks before an election. But getting students to care about municipal elections feels a little like passing a kidney stone — it takes a lot force and, after all that work, things just return to normal. After campaigning with the “Shut Up or Vote” slogan, the University Students’ Council was able to rouse two per cent of campus to cast a ballot in early voting. The turnout was called a resounding success by organizers. After all, Fanshawe College found just 64 people to vote at their on-campus voting booth. Suddenly, Western seems like it’s leading the charge with just 569 votes. Western also played host to a bunch of new election-themed events. For the first time in recent memory, candidates came [...]
Union will strike by Nov. 3 if progress not made.
Money will help fund strike pay, rental of strike headquarters and other related costs.
Well it’s 20 issues down, 80 to go. September has flown by and October is halfway done. Now’s a good time to look at the progress for Volume 104 and see what people have read online. Of course, the top ten articles aren’t really representative of what people read in the paper or what people like most. The ones that stand out are usually breaking news stories or articles with unusual amounts of controversy. There’s a lot of great articles not on this list that got plenty of prominence and attention in print. 10. How to spot a student from… A short piece made for the Frosh Issue, this article used some well-known stereotypes about different residences to help newcomers profile strangers. All in good fun. Read the article. 9. Nine things I wish I knew in first year The follow-up to Arden’s “Ten things I wish I knew in [...]
They crammed into a basement with enough pizza and pop to last the weekend and created London’s first open data application: a website to remind you when it’s garbage day. It might seem like a frivolous idea. After all, garbage day is something you have to remember, despite the City of London’s efforts to avoid a consistent pickup day. But for groups like UnLondon — the non-profit group who helped make the app — this is just the beginning of a new wave in London’s innovation. Finally, talented young minds are organizing in ways the city has never seen. UnLondon is part of at least 22 different local groups who are working to make the city a better place. Ignite London hosts high-energy, five minute talks featuring anyone with a good idea. PodCamp London is an “unconference” where anyone can give a talk about social media, the internet or anything innovative. [...]
One idea I had this year was a tip line. So far, it’s wrought a few suggestions, a few misplaced letters and a few anonymous complaints. I’ve had: four story suggestions an anonymous request for The Fixer (about old candy in a vending machine) an anonymous letter concerning this column about better insults at Homecoming a bunch of links from Bob Howard an anonymous letter about this story an anonymous complaint The last one was this: Hi I’m here in my fourth year at UWO and have read nearly Gazette [sic] issued in my time here. I need to say that I am very disappointed falling [sic] quality of this medium over the years. The newspaper that is most demonstrative of aspects the Gazette lacks is my opinion [sic] the McMaster Silhouette. It is arranged in a readable way. It covers a wide variety of topics relevant for students of all ages, [...]