It’s early January and Canadian University Press’s president Sam Brooks and national bureau chief Arshy Mann sit in their new Yonge Street office in downtown Toronto, putting the finishing touches on the organization’s 75th national conference.
Since then, CUP has grown from an informal network to a support system for university papers across the country. In the days before the internet, the wire service was crucial for letting campus papers know what was going on at other universities throughout Canada. Its online newswire continues to allow student papers to share their content, and CUP opened it to the public in 2009 to help showcase student talent.
CUP also offers its members valuable legal resources. Emma Godmere, one of CUP’s two national conference co-ordinators, and last year’s national bureau chief, remembers facing legal troubles when the CUP wire reposted
, which included a link to a site that hosted several bits of sensitive information about McGill. The university’s lawyers sent both CUP and the Daily letters asking that they remove the link. As CUP itself has a lawyer at hand for members, it made dealing with the situation a bit easier.
Currently, the organization is in the early stages of a rebrand. This is especially important if CUP hopes to keep up its membership numbers; it currently comprises about 70 campus papers. “We’re in a significant period of change throughout the history of media in Canada, and in a lot of ways we need to rethink it,” Brooks says. “We need to rethink the position that campus press holds.”