Imprint (newspaper)

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Imprint is a publication created by Imprint Publications, Waterloo and is the official student newspaper of the University of Waterloo.


Imprint prints weekly during the fall and winter semesters, and bi-weekly during the spring semester. Imprint publishes 30 issues a year and is paid for mostly by advertising, but is also supplemented with a $3.30 refundable fee paid per semester by students enrolled at the university.


First Waterloo paper

A student-run newspaper at the campus of Waterloo began in the late 1950s when the campus was still called the Waterloo College Associate Faculties and was affiliated with Waterloo College, which is now known as Wilfrid Laurier University.[1] The Engineering students of the Associated Faculties started their own newsletter in early 1959, shortly after the formation of the Engineering society. The newsletter was called Enginews and was published as a mimeographed sheet of foolscap. By late 1959, Enginews had joined The Cord Weekly and was its own special section with its own masthead in the newspaper.[1]


The federation of Waterloo College and the Associated Faculties (which had now been renamed the University of Waterloo) failed in the spring of 1960. The Cord Weekly and Enginews stopped their relationship and so students were forced to create a new student paper in the fall semester of 1960.[1] The first issue of this newspaper was unnamed, but by the second issue they had was officially called it The Coryphaeus, the Greek word for leader.

In this second issue, The Coryphaeus stated: "From the Engineering Students 'Enginews' of last year we have developed into a University-wide publication from Arts, Science and Engineering".[1]

The Chevron

The Coryphaeus was heavily focused on covering mainly Engineering news which bothered students in other faculties.[citation needed] It sparked one Arts student to submit an editorial that he wished to write about "the monetary policy of the Canadian government, but I thought it might send the vast majority of engineers running for a dictionary."[citation needed] The Coryphaeus was renamed The Chevron in 1966, and began to take a more radical editorial slant as the activist student movement of the 1960s got underway, dealing with issues such as the Vietnam War and civil rights.

The Chevron ran into trouble. Through the late 1960s and into the 1970s, the radical left-wing agenda of the newspaper's cliquish staff became apparent and it began losing the students' confidence. The Chevron was disenfranchised by students and expelled from the Canadian University Press for its adoption of Communist ideologies. In November 1978, after a long battle with the Feds Executive that had involved the freezing of the newspaper's budget (to which its staff responded by publishing The Free Chevron), The Chevron was overwhelmingly rejected by students in a referendum and removed as the University’s official student newspaper.[1]


In the spring of 1978, the UW Journalism Club, made up of former Chevron staffers and other students, started its own weekly publication called Imprint, funded solely by advertising. After winning the support of the students in a March 1979 referendum (including Engineering students, who voted over 10-1 in favour of recognizing the newspaper and establishing a refundable fee), Imprint was installed as the official student newspaper of the University of Waterloo.

Since its modest beginnings as an independent newspaper published by a Federation of Students club, Imprint has now become an award-winning newspaper[citation needed] with a circulation of 11,000 in Kitchener-Waterloo and a six-figure operating budget.[1]

1997 Defense of smoker's rights

In 1997 the Lethbridge Herald reprinted a condensed version of an Imprint editorial defending smoker's rights.[2]

2001 Frosh supplement removed from the University's official Frosh kit

In September 2004 the Imprint's Frosh supplement stirred controversy.[3][4] The article that triggered concern was entitled "Sex secrets revealed". It was illustrated with cartoons of couples showing various sexual positions -- but the figures in the cartoons were fully clothed. Imprint staff speculated that it was the title alone that triggered concern -- specifically that University administrators were concerned that the title would shock the parents of first year students. University administrators in turn asserted that the decision was made by the Dons in the residences, who they pointed out where students themselves.

In a September 8th op-ed, Jon Willing, writing in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record defended the Imprint and criticized the University administration and the Dons for trying to treat first year student as if they children.[5]

2003 Criticism over Tobacco ads

In 2003 the Kitchener-Waterloo Record reported on criticism from researchers at the University over the Imprint's continuing to accept advertizements for Tobacco products.[6]

Suresh Sriskandarajah

In 2004 Suresh Sriskandarajah, a student in Electrical Engineering who had been on a work term in Sri Lanka, described his experience for the Imprint of working to help Sri Lankans recover from the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.[7] In his account he described how the Sinhalese central government had withheld the International aid from the region where he was working, and that most of the aid there came from the Tamil Tigers. Sriskandarajah would later be accused by US security officials of being a covert supporter of the Tigers

2010 dissatisfaction

On the 21st of May, 2010, a group of students anonymously distributed a single page publication branded as the Chevron across various campus buildings.[8] Much of the content of this publication expressed a growing dissatisfaction with the lack of quality and journalistic integrity shown by The Imprint as well as that publication's inadequate coverage, analysis and criticism of the Federation of Students.

2012 Election Controversy

During a media debate for the election for executives of the University of Waterloo Federation of Students, Brent Golem, the then editor-in-chief of the Imprint controversially decided to exclude several presidential candidates from being allowed to speak at the debate at his own discretion without any consultation. [9]

Further controversy was sparked when Brent Golem as the editor-in-chief later attempted to physically silence a senatorial candidate during a speech critical of the exclusion of the presidential candidates. [10]

Mission statement

Imprint has two equally important and complementary missions:

  1. To publish a newspaper that provides the University of Waterloo community with information, entertainment and a forum for the discussion of issues that affect the community; and
  2. To provide University of Waterloo students with the opportunity to learn and gain practical experience in an open and rewarding journalistic environment.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Bahman Hadji (2007-10-10). "Fifty Years of Campus Journalism: How It Really Happened: A Dynamic Culture of Journalism at Waterloo". Iron Warrior. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  2. Sandy Atwall (1997-03-25). "Sandy Atwal, editor-in-chief of the Imprint, the student newspaper at the University of Waterloo, writes about smoking in a recent editorial:". Lethbridge Herald. p. 8. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  3. Liam Dynes (2001-09-11). "No sex for frosh at UW". Brock Press. Archived from the original on 2004-09-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "According to Mark Van Nierop, director of information and public affairs for the University of Waterloo, the frosh supplement was removed voluntarily by Imprint staff. He also said the supplement was removed only after the residence dons, who are students themselves, voted to request its removal." 
  4. "University of Waterloo pulls student paper out of residences". Daily Mercury. 2001-09-04. p. A.3. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  5. Jon Willing (2001-09-08). "Frosh don't need the university to play Mr. Mom". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. A.18. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  6. Barbara Aggerholm (2003-02-05). "Cigarette ads raise hackles; Paper grabbing cash from tobacco industry, UW researchers contend". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. B.1. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "The ads in the Imprint newspaper are an embarrassment, especially when the University of Waterloo is a leader in tobacco control research and home to a Canadian Cancer Society research centre, said David Hammond, a PhD psychology student." 
  7. Adrian Humphreys, Allison Hanes (2006-08-23). "Waterloo university grad was secretly working for Tamil terrorists, FBI alleges". National Post. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. Retrieved 2013-07-20. "In a February, 2005, edition of the Imprint, the student newspaper, Sriskandarajah tells of travelling to northeastern Sri Lanka with a group of 11 University of Waterloo students on a foreign aid mission, only to find themselves providing emergency relief when the Boxing Day tsunami struck." 
  8. "Hot news as the weather cools a little". UW Daily Bulletin. 2010-05-28. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-05-28. "The Chevron ceased publication as Waterloo's student newspaper in 1976, or so history records — but it's baaack. "Volume 1, issue 1" of something by that title, and using the same double-chevron logo that graced campus mastheads three decades ago, was distributed on campus just before the long weekend." 

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