I loathe top-10 lists of anything. At first, it felt like a huge cop-out to make this feature a look at the 10 most-read stories at nexusnewspaper.com in 2019 and say, “This is what everyone liked, see you next year.” But for us at the Nexus office, it’s not that at all. The end result of writing is a duck having a nice little swim; we’re not seeing the legs hard at work. Doing this article opened my eyes to how hard we all work for this paper, and how important each story can be to both the writers and the students.
So, this story is a splendid way to look back and learn from the highs and lows of working in the office, and to measure how we’ve evolved here at Nexus. Most of all, it’s a chance to see what the students are reading, which is the most important part of the paper, after all.
Looking back at some of our 2019 issues (photo by Greg Pratt/Nexus).
Looking back on the year, my life in the office changed significantly, mostly because I now actually work in the office. I always feel like I’m walking in all the past features writers’ shoes (especially Fred Cameron’s, now that it’s been a year since his 2018 top-10 feature was published). These are huge shoes to fill, and I already feel like I’m clowning around in them as I write this. It’s an honour, for sure, but it’s a duty that I really take seriously. When the due date for a feature hits and I send the draft off to managing editor Greg Pratt, it’s like I’ve been released from a two-week curse and I can work on the next big thing.
By the time next year comes, I’ll have grown into it, and I’ll be able to comfortably work in non-clown shoes. This clown metaphor got out of hand; I’d better stop now and just dive right into my analysis of the stories that were the most popular this year on nexusnewspaper.com.
10. “Layers of academic theft unravelling: Is plagiarism on the rise at Camosun College?” (February 6, 2019, written by Fred Cameron)
I was surprised to see that this was only number 10 on the list. Academic theft is a problem I hear about a lot, and there’s always a warning about it at the bottom of our course outlines. In this piece, Cameron really alters the reader’s perspective on what the definition of plagiarism actually is, and what we consider it to be. How has our technology contributed to the rise of plagiarism… or is it really even on the rise? Seeing people in my own world spew the same ideas from others, I wonder if the matter of originality should be considered plagiarism because, after all, “borrowing” an idea isn’t giving much room for independent thought. But what if the thought is your own, just from last year, or another class?
Features—and I know this by now—are complicated, but this one is particularly complicated. If you haven’t already, read this story for yourself. Then read it a second and third time.
9. “Know Your Profs: Irene Wallace on the importance of a Starbucks glass half-full” (May 15, 2019, written by Katy Weicker)
We were surprised to see Know Your Profs show up in this list for the second year in a row. But the nice thing about that is that now we know that students here love their instructors and faculty. Case in point: the popularity of this Q&A with Camosun Career Services employment facilitator Irene Wallace.
We caught up with Wallace to tell her the good news. Talking with Wallace shows why she made it on this list; she really makes students believe in their future.
“Each one of us does have a huge opportunity to make a difference, and I guess that’s always what I’m trying to encourage students to do,” says Wallace. “Don’t be thinking ‘I’m just a little old student,’ or ‘I’m not important.’ Well, you are, and if you’re willing to step forward and try to make a difference and have an impact on whatever it is you might be interested in, a whole bunch of ones add up to a great big world-changer sometimes.”
8. “Camosun College student raises concerns about Interurban bike lane” (January 7, 2019, written by Adam Marsh)
Back in late 2018, Nexus got an email from a concerned student (which is how many of our stories start—keep those emails coming!) who had some concerns about the state of the bike lane leading out to Interurban. Especially during poor weather, the mud would completely cover up the lane, meaning cyclists had to dart out into the road during a curvy, hilly stretch that people routinely speed in (update: almost a year later, the bike lane still looks like garbage).
It’s actually a disservice to say that this article is just about a bike lane. The safety of citizens should always come first, and the constant war between car drivers and cyclists is a bitter fight for safer transportation. After all, roads are what get us to campus. There’s no reason to go to school if just getting there is a danger.
Maybe some of us don’t think much of going on our morning commute. There is always the…