The Omega 2013-14 staff look back on the year

Left to right: Adam Williams, Jessica Klymchuk, Courtney Dickson, Ashley Wadhwani, Sean Brady, Mark Hendricks, Mike Davies and Karla Karcioglu. Photo Alex Smith

Left to right: Adam Williams, Jessica Klymchuk, Courtney Dickson, Ashley Wadhwani, Sean Brady, Mark Hendricks, Mike Davies and Karla Karcioglu. Photo Alex Smith

It’s been my honour

Every year for the past three years, I went into this edition of The Omega knowing I was about to have a summer of making monthly editions by myself and planning for the upcoming publishing year, where I would once again hire a crew of dedicated student journalists in an attempt to entertain and inform you fine folks while you go about your studies and your lives.

This year is different.

This year I am passing the torch, as cliché as it is, and moving on.

As strange a sensation as it is, and as tightly as I’d like to hold on such that the demons of Hell would have to rise up to tear me away, it’s time to move on.

Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief

It’s been an honour and a pleasure to work alongside such dedicated and talented folks throughout my tenure here. I’ve helped a dozen or more journalists hone their craft on their way to doing what they love and helped a couple other ones realized it’s not really their thing. Every one of them has taught me something about myself, and I’d like to think that I’ve passed along some knowledge in exchange.

I’ve confirmed to myself—and it’s about damn time—that I do, in fact, want to help people tell their stories to the world, and have improved skills I already had to help me in that goal as well as gained a few more along the way.

I’ve also made a few friends I’m not likely to lose.

I’ll be helping through the summer as Mr. Sean Brady transitions into his role as the next Editor-in-Chief of this fine publication, and will try not to pass along any of my deficiencies during that process, though he’ll bring his own with him. (Just kidding Sean.)

Again, always remember, this is your paper, and it’s up to you to tell us (or rather them, now that I’m leaving) what you want from it.

Challenge what’s being told to you and celebrate in each other, my friends.

Four years is far too short a time to spend amongst such excellent and admirable people, but I’m beginning to feel a bit like butter scraped across too much bread, as Mr. Tolkien might say by way of a certain small man about to go on another adventure.

I bid you all a fond farewell.


Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief

Where I learned that journalism is a verb

I’m not quite sure how to sum up this year and say goodbye. It’s been a trip, a cliché one at that, and I’m resisting all temptation to say it was like riding a rollercoaster. I won’t do that. You’re welcome.

I’m going with a different cliché. We often hear that there is a potential to learn more outside the classroom than within it. That has held true for me and working for The Omega taught me much of what I know today.

I learned that I do my best writing when I have a deadline pushing me to the brink like a noose around my neck.

I learned that your first byline will probably be spelled wrong and your mom will frame it.

Jessica Klymchuk, News Editor Ω

I learned that the best way to make sure every member of TRUSU knows your name is to be the only guest who attends every board meeting.

I learned that if you take a picture of someone smoking pot for the front page and promise him he won’t be recognized, at least one person will prove you wrong.

I learned that there’s a time to be insistent and a time to hold back.

I learned that you probably won’t realize you’ve made a wrong decision until you’ve already made it, so just do the best you can.

I learned that you should try and look good at press conferences, because at one point you’re going to be in someone’s shot and it will end up on Twitter.

I learned that people are busy and you aren’t at the top of everyone’s priority list.

I learned that the second you think you know what a story will be about, it will change.

I learned that pizza is always good on Mondays, especially when it’s free.

I learned that I say the words “budget” and “finance” too much.

I learned that universities are not a place where everyone is holding hands singing “Kumbaya,” nor should they be.

To the people who got sick of my face and my emails in their inbox, thank you. To the people who read anything I wrote, thank you. To the many people who took the time to be interviewed, thank you. To my fellow editors, who are equally attractive and talented, I admire you.

To TRU, thank you for the many adventures, and the degree. Adieu.

Jessica Klymchuk, News Editor

So long, and thanks for all the fish

The end of this year with The Omega is bittersweet. It was both my first and my last year as the Science and Technology Editor at the paper. It was also The Omega’s first year with a Science and Technology Editor. I didn’t do as much as I would have liked to do, but I got to do more than I had any right to expect to.

From the beginning, none of us at The Omega were exactly sure what the role was going to entail. We loosely knew that we wanted to talk about research that was coming out of TRU and science-related talks and events around campus, but none of us (or at least I didn’t) even know if that was going to be a large enough topic for a university newspaper.

20130909-IMG_0076My time with The Omega taught me so much, it was the first time I had to routinely come up with ideas for stories. I attended my first pitch meetings. It was my first time having to deal with contributors, both in seeking them out and working with them on stories.

I learned so much, and in such a short time, it’s over.

I got to do some incredible things during my time with the paper. Just recently I was able to sit down for 20 minutes talking to Jane Goodall, a living legend in every sense of the word. I watched as Chris Hadfield take the stage at TRU to thunderous applause. I listened to countless speakers and professors talk about research that could change entire industries.

Through it all, I was there, recorder and camera in hand.

I can’t express my gratitude enough for the opportunity that I was given with The Omega. Working at a newspaper isn’t about personal achievements though, it’s about the readers. So to anyone that read my articles, my column, or work from my contributors, thank you. If I was able to inspire even a little bit of fascination and excitement about the world around us I’ve done all I could have hoped for.

Thank you all, and so long.

Mark Hendricks, Science & Technology Editor

A small ripple in a big pond

During my time at The Omega as Roving Editor, I covered a number of speakers, numerous events and met many people across campus. I learned many things and passed it on to the campus community through my writing. I shared what I could, but I am certain I only managed to scratch the surface.

Karla Karcioglu, Roving Editor

Thompson Rivers University is filled with interesting and amazing things that you may be lucky enough to stumble upon, but more likely you will have to make the effort to search them out. Luckily for me, it was my job to go out and find the stories that make up life on campus.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to work for the campus paper, it gave me the chance to do something I love. I got to share that passion with readers for eight months. Hopefully my work helped create a positive ripple at TRU. I graduate this year and it is now time to pass the opportunity on to someone else.

There were two keynote speakers from different events this year that I couldn’t help but notice shared the same message about life, one that I couldn’t ignore. You can have an impact on this world by having an impact on those around you. Like a ripple in a pond you create change that flows across the world. Make a ripple that makes a difference for the better. Find the opportunities to do something you love. Be courageous and be successful.

Karla Karcioglu, Roving Editor

It’s not goodbye, it’s see ya later

This year was my first year in the journalism program and my first year at TRU. Looking back on the last two semesters, 177 days and 26 papers with The Omega to be exact, I would have never imagined that I would be writing this editorial right now.

I moved to Kamloops with my heart racing, so nervous to finally begin a program preparing me to eventually get a cool job working at a newspaper. I didn’t expect that “eventually” meant contributing every week for 10 papers last semester, and taking the Arts & Entertainment Editor’s chair for winter 2014… but it did, and so you’ll find me in the center pages of the paper letting you know what I think about albums and such.

ash_headGoodbyes are just as difficult when you’re the one waving out the window as the people you love drive away, and I think the end of this year is making me sadder than all of the other people writing on this page, because they’re awesome people that listen to me every time I open my mouth… which is a lot.

I contributed for each of them once, where they sent me back my corrections in red like any editor would. If anyone knows how intimidating those red corrections are, take my word for it that they were as nice as they could be. They welcomed me with open arms when I became a part of the staff and with that entered into my heart as some of my closest friends.

I’m going to hate not seeing them in their chairs around the table with me, eating pizza and looking over that week’s paper before it’s sent out to print. But of course it’s bittersweet, because at the same time I’m so excited to see where the wind takes them, and even more excited to see another beginning in September when new staff take those seats. They better like pizza.

If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s to be genuine. Being genuine gets you the good interviews, and when you’re really listening, these experiences becomes more than just the experiences of reporting. They become the moments you remember when you think of the best memories that make up your career.

With that said, if you’ve taken time out of your day to talk to me, thank you. If you’ve written as a contributor for me, thank you. Most importantly, if you open up The Omega and don’t use my pages just to start fires, wipe up spills or to pack items when you’re moving, thank you.

Until September, adios!

Ashley Wadhwani, Arts & Entertainment Editor 

This is no farewell

I didn’t really know what to expect when I was hired as Copy/Web Editor at The Omega. I had made some contributions and worked on the website prior to this job, but I never truly saw inside the institution until this past year. What I saw was that this job is all about the people. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with my friends and co-workers, who are one and the same.

For both readers and writers, this student paper is something that absorbs and transforms everything you give to it. And in return, you get a platform – for your voice, your art, your vision and your story, whether you’re writing your own or someone else’s.

portrait_2014A big part of my job at The Omega was to help make that transformation happen. I got to take the work of others and make it the best it could be. And then I got to show it to everyone else, too.

The work of the Copy/Web Editor is very much a “man behind the curtain” kind of job, but it’s one that provides the very best view. In this position I have seen the hard work of others pay off. I have watched our staff and contributors grow as writers, build upon what they’ve learned in the classroom and simply grow as people.

As for myself, I’ve had the great opportunity to edit nearly 400 articles across 26 issues. This has undoubtedly made me a better writer and editor. It has also provided me not only with practice, but something more – practice with a purpose I believe in.

I’ll be watching closely as my talented friends and colleagues move on in their careers – some already have, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

But you won’t be able to pry the dictionary and stylebook from my hands just yet.

In the next academic year, I will become The Omega’s Editor-in-Chief. It’s a job I can’t wait to start, and I’ll be working over the summer to make next year’s paper the best it can be.

Sean Brady, Copy/Web Editor