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Upcoming special issues What do you want to see out of our big projects?

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On Apr. 9, 2015, one week after the final weekly paper of the academic year, the former arts and entertainment section known as ANDY had its last 24-page magazine. The direction and focus of the section in the 2015-2016 year lead to the magazine being discontinued, and was not revived with ANDY’s merging with the Lifestyle section in 2016-2017.

On Feb. 10, 2016, we had our last Sex and the Steel City magazine, which was distributed at the same time as the regular, weekly paper and totalled 32-pages. This was more of a reflection of the former Lifestyle section, and while considered despite the merging of the ANDY and Lifestyle sections in 2016-2017, was discontinued due to budget cuts and low pickup rates.

While these sorts of special issues were generally high quality with the amount of time allowed for long-term goals and let volunteers who do not generally contribute share their perspectives, these concerns and others similar to them have been inhibiting factors for considerations.

We have considered a few options to help elevate these:

1) Have better timing to not align with the usual, weekly release to not potentially cannibalize readership, and have a better gauge of distribution processes.

2) Be willing to produce online only issues.

3) Create issue ideas that are more applicable to a wider student base of the university, and reduce how niche the topics are.

Right now, we have two ideas of what we want to do for this year. The first is an issue entirely dedicated to humour. The Speculator on the back page of every week is a fantastic example of what you could expect. We could branch out a bit, open it up for contributions from you and the McMaster community and create a physical product that would appeal to almost anyone on campus or in the city.

This would likely be released after classes end for one of the terms or during the mid-term recess next term.

The second idea is to revive Sex and the Steel City as an online only publication. This was historically beneficial for putting out stories and perspectives that did not fit into the weekly sections, and was a favourite of our Production and Lifestyle teams of the past in order to show off some of their best work. While the topics did not appeal to everyone and was insistent in maintaining its NSFW mentality, it was a fan favourite to those who picked it up.

This would likely be released just before Valentine’s Day or during the mid-term recess next term.

These are not set in stone by any means. When it comes to the revival or creation of content like this, we want to make sure we are making content that you actually want to read and contribute to. While we can assume a lot based on history and random, sporadic feedback, there is still a degree of uncertainty given the amount of time off we have had from special issues.

We would love to hear about your interest in these two goals and other considerations for projects we could do. If you were passionate about ANDY, we would love to hear it by messaging us on social media or sending an email. If you would like for other sections of the paper to get their chance at a special issue or have a completely new idea, then that is perfect too. Just let us know what you want, and we will do our best to provide it for you.

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Author: Haley Greene

Haley is a fourth year communications and multimedia student working as the Online Editor of the Silhouette. If you can't find her in the office, she is probably searching for the best nap spot on campus or thrifting a new pair of funky pants. Her fun facts include being only three degrees of separation from Queen Elizabeth II and not knowing how to stand up while riding her bike.