Friday, December 1, 2023
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


Revamped Emily Carr student paper stresses community

Emily Carr might have had to turn to her animals for conversation, but the editors of  Woo Magazine hope it…

By Matthew Black , in , on October 28, 2010 Tags: , , ,

Copies of the new Woo can be picked up on the campuses of local art schools
Copies of the new Woo can be picked up on the campuses of local art schools

Emily Carr might have had to turn to her animals for conversation, but the editors of  Woo Magazine hope it won’t take a monkey to get students talking.

The latest edition of Emily Carr University of Art and Design‘s student publication – named after Carr’s pet monkey, Woo – launched a more colourful, broadsheet redesign on Oct 24 to showcase student work within and beyond the university. The Woo website has also been revamped.

The first edition features more than 100 colour photos of student work ranging from original drawings and illustrations to photos of ceramic, fashion and sculpture work.

The issue also reviews several recent art exhibits hosted by the school and critiques “The Birds,” a public art installation found near the Olympic village.

“When you can cross-pollinate between the departments and within the school, it feeds this original creativity which is good for students and for people who aren’t in the creative art and design realm,” said Alley Kurgan, a Woo editor and designer.

Bringing students together

The incoming editorial team hopes to establish a common forum for conversations among the 1,800 full-time students in four faculties.

“It seems the school is setting up this segregation between the departments and I don’t think that was the intention whatsoever,” said Kurgan. “To have just one newspaper show everybody’s work – it’s bringing the community together.”

The new Woo shares student work from all departments
The Woo shares student work from a variety of artistic disciplines

Editors sought student contributions from all faculties to create a publication representative of student work.

“I think they have all their bases covered,” said Zac Hromek, a first-year student at Emily Carr. “They’re representing what this school values as far as art and design.”

“The more the departments can get together in any way is better,” said Dustin Wadsworth, a film student.

“We’re very much cut off, and it’s nice to see other departments and what they’re working on and to be influenced by them.”

Editorial teams presented competing proposals of the publication to union representatives two months prior to the first issue.

Encouraging school-wide participation was a key point in their winning presentation, editors said.

“In the past, the Woo was very much about representing the fine arts department and nobody was aware of what could be represented in the publication,” said Briana Garelli, an editor and writer for the magazine.

“We’re trying to do the opposite this time. We’re trying to make students feel like they have somewhere to publish their work.”

“A lot of times in the past, it’s been very incestuous,” said Wadsworth.

Editors said they received over 200 submissions for publication from students in all faculties.

Publication is an important step towards professional work for Emily Carr students.

“It gets your name out there, and makes you feel like you did something right,” said Eric Miranda, a first-year student.

Online presence

The new online edition published all articles found in the initial print edition as well as additional multimedia video stories.

The website encourages community building by supplying readers with links to share stories, graphics and videos through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Readers are encouraged to interact by posting comments and discussing individual articles.

The multimedia aspect of the website encourages participation from visual and film students who were excluded by previous print editions.

“It’s an opportunity for people in Vancouver to get their work out to thousands of people as all these social networking sites cross-pollinate and word will travel,” said Justin Alm, the Woo’s web designer.

The editors hope the accessibility of the website archives will improve the future relationship between ECUAD and the community.

“We’re making an attempt to archive all information, present it and get it outside Emily Carr and bring stuff outside of Emily Carr into Emily Carr,” said Karston Smith, a Woo editor and designer.

“We’re strengthening the entire community in ways that haven’t been attempted before to the same extent.”


  • Matthew I appreciate how your article addressed Incestuous amplification. This is an idea that many media organizations seem to have a hard time battling.

    This piece also shows how working with each other offers far more than working against each other. I think that is a lesson many journalists take in. Working together to represent various parts of society at large (or the school in this case) offers a great deal more than each sect of society (department) working against the other.

    I enjoyed the piece, thanks for writing it.

Leave a Reply