In honour of our 85th anniversary, I spent two days this week going through archived issues of The Silhouette looking for content for our special edition.

The last eight and a half decades have been host to quite a number of important international events, changes to campus and the university’s structure, and my personal favourite: controversial and no holds barred Silhouette journalists.

While flipping through pages, I came across an editorial from Aug. 30, 1968 by then Editor-in-Chief, Albert Cipryk. The article was from a Welcome Week preview issue and was titled “Should ivy walls a prison make?” Already from the title, you can guess that this guy was about to share some takes. A section of the article read:

It would be nice to put out something to make you laugh and say what a groovy place Mac must be and I can’t wait to get there because it says right here in this paper that kids don’t do nuthin’ but smoke pot and drink coffee and give the Kampus Kops a ruff time after all what the hell am I leaving home for anyway if it ain’t goin’ to be fun.

No, Virginia, it’s not quite like that. The articles inside have a definite purpose. They are for you to read and digest. Hopefully they will incite thought. Hopefully they will let you know that the ivy walls can house a prison, and intellectual bloody stalag.

I will be the first to say that this is phrased a little bit abrasively (likening the university to a prisoner-of-war camp was a tad harsh), but these words bring up an important point. The Silhouette is not just a newspaper that advocates for all of the university’s (and the city’s) plans, it is the voice of informed and educated students who wish to hold their university accountable for its actions. These articles hope to incite thought and serve a definite purpose, even if it means facing a few harsh Twitter mentions every now and again.

Looking at old issues it became clear that the paper is a time capsule that houses the wisdom that students wish to impart on their future counterparts, and is the only historical archive of the university from a student’s perspective.

So take this article as a reminder that you are responsible for inciting change at your academic institution, and The Silhouette can be your canvas. If you have something to say, say it before these ivy walls begin to tell a different story.

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