History 1938 – 2013: 75 Years of Canadian University Press

In late 2012, CUP published a book outlining some highlights of our 75 year history as part of the anniversary celebrations. Here are some excerpts from that book.



Editors' Note

A lot can change in 75 years.

In few places is that more clear than in journalism. In 1938, the student press was little more than the production of newsletter-style publications, often funded by the same student governments they covered.

Now, the student press is a largely autonomous, robust network of campus publications. They chase and file stories, shoot and edit photos, design web pages and stunning A1 covers — all while balancing the demands of university life.

CUP is the oldest student organization in Canada — pre-dating Canada’s youngest province by eleven years. It is also the oldest national student press organization in the world.

What began as a news exchange between student papers is now so much more: a place to share ideas, learn the tricks of the trade, connect with industry professionals, and even forge friendships that span a continent.

By highlighting CUP’s history — filled with radical impulse, ill-fated endeavours into magazine publishing, the rise-and-fall of membership, brushes with fire and hat-related thievery — we show how far we’ve come as a cooperative.

We’ve profiled some of CUP’s most notable alumni to showcase what has always been CUP’s greatest strength: the people involved.

Between the national staff that tend to the books and wire service, the bureau chiefs covering news events, and regional directors that liaise with each region — not to mention the volunteers and staff that fill the mastheads of member papers — CUP’s great asset has always been the drive of members.

We’ve contacted alumni — young and not-so-young — to garner their thoughts on a variety of subjects, from the best story they chased in the student press to what a typical workday in the industry is like.
And, scattered throughout this book, nestled at the bottom of these pages, are a few legendary tidbits of CUP history. Many have been passed down from former NASH delegates and CUP staffers and may have grown into tangled tales over time — forgive us if they appear to lean more toward fiction than fact.

With this publication, we hope to illuminate the long history of the student press in Canada, showcase the central role CUP has played in its development and spark a new conversation about the organization’s role in the Canadian journalism landscape.

— Jessie Willms and Emma Godmere, co-editors