You can volunteer for us. Today. Yes, you.
The Ubyssey is made entirely by UBC students. And while there are 10 full-time editors around to help run the paper, volunteers produce the vast majority of our content. Volunteers like you. Whether you want to write one article a semester or an article a day, there’s a place for you at The Ubyssey—this paper has survived and thrived for 95 years because it has truly been a student paper, open to any student who wants to take part. So what are you waiting for?
- How do I get started?
- Where is the office?
- Do I need experience?
- What’s the time commitment?
- When are meetings?
- I want to help out, but I don’t know what I want to write about…is that a problem?
- How can I get a job with The Ubyssey?
- Are there other opportunities for advancement?
- Are there any specific skills you’re looking for?
There are a few ways you can get involved with The Ubyssey:
a) If you have a specific question about how to get involved that we don’t answer here, email our coordinating editor. He should be able to help you out.
b) If there’s a specific section that you know you’re interested in being a part of, email one of our lovely editors. They’ll get back to you about how to get involved, and may even offer you an assignment on the spot!
c) What to be a photographer for The Ubyssey? Check out this document.
d) If all you know is that you want to be part of The Ubyssey, just come by our office anytime in room 24 of the SUB.
Our editorial office, aside from being the place where we create The Ubyssey twice a week, is also one of the coolest students spaces at UBC. At the very least, it’s a better place to spend lunch time than the SUB Cafeteria. Head down the stairs to the basement of the Student Union Building, immediately take a right, and enter the shiny glass doors.
Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nyet. In a word, none. Aside from being the official campus newspaper, we’re also the place on campus for students to learn how to do journalism. Our editors teach you the basics of the craft, and we frequently hold seminars with journalists from The Real World to improve our skills.
However much you want. If you want to write one story a semester, we’re cool with that. If you want to spend twenty hours a week in our office and see your name in the paper almost every issue, we’re especially cool with that. We also understand that school comes first, so we totally understand if you stop showing up in late November and March because of term papers.
Every section also has a meeting where they discuss pitches and workshop writing techniques, which is also a great way to get started:
- General staff (for everyone): Friday at 1:00 p.m.
- News: Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.
- Culture: Monday at 12:00 p.m.
- Blog: Tuesday at 12:00 p.m.
Our weekly meetings are Wednesdays at noon, where we discuss (and vote on) the administrative issues around running The Ubyssey. But the best time to get involved is the day before an issue comes out on the stands (Wednesday and Sunday), better known as “Production Days.” It’s here where we choose what stories go where in the paper, design each page, and eventually send out our final product to the printers. Best of all, a free dinner is involved. If this sounds appealing to you, drop by anytime between noon and 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Not at all. While we encourage people to propose story ideas to us, we put all volunteers on our “Pitch Lists”, where editors send out the majority of the stories that they want to see in their section in the coming weeks. If any of them interest you, and you’re the first one to reply, you get the assignment!
We elect new full-time editors every April for the new school year, and hire part-time editors shortly after that. These positions typically go to the most enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers from the previous year, so the earlier you start showing up around our office, the better!
Even without being an editor, there are plenty of ways to be part of the decision-making process at The Ubyssey. Students who contribute three times in a semester can apply to become staff members, which give you an official Ubyssey email address and a vote at our weekly staff meetings. And in late September, we’ll be electing our Events Page, Games & Comics, and Investigative News Coordinators—and who knows, it could be you!
Most people think a newspaper is all about writing stories and taking pictures, and if you like taking photos or telling a story, there’s definitely a place for you here. But there’s other jobs that need to be done to keep The Ubyssey running which we’re always extra-gracious to get volunteers for. These include:
- Illustrators: Like drawing cartoons and caricatures? Ever wanted your drawings to be viewed by the entire campus? We always need people with a passion for the quill.
- Graphic designers/Layout Artists: We like a newspaper that looks pretty. To do that, we need people with experience with the Adobe Suite. Specifically, if you have experience with InDesign, Photoshop, or Flash, we’d love to see you come by.
- Web developers: While we’ve just redeveloped ubyssey.ca, our Webmaster is always looking for more people to help him make our online home an engaging experience for readers. We publish on WordPress software, so experience with HTML, CSS, PHP or Java is especially helpful.