Alright, so this is our baby blog which will hopefully help shed light on the other side of this issue, which is being adequately but erratically covered through comments in other blogs, Wayward Reporter, Empty Calorie and others.
I've struggled a lot with why this is so important to me. With apologies to Will, Jeremy and other past and present Sheaf staff, I'm not actually a huge fan of the Sheaf as it currently is - I frequently find the commentaries in it either blatently offensive or smug and self-congratulatory (I want to further clarify this by saying that Jeremy's and Will's pieces were what made me pick up the Sheaf every week). I still remember when I first moved to Saskatoon, I picked up a copy of the Sheaf and there was an article on why overweight women shouldn't wear low-rise jeans. Through the Sheaf, I've had the privilege of corresponding with a gentleman who wrote an article detailing why women entering the medical profession will eventually lead to the downfall of society as we know it (as a woman in veterinary medicine, this was interesting for me to learn). I've had some angsty navel-gazing sessions where I've pondered why this means so much to me and why the threat of the Sheaf going under or even being annexed by an angry vocal minority worries me so much.
And I think what it comes down to is love - the fierce love I have for this university and this city. I grew up in a fairly sheltered existence on Vancouver Island, and moving to Saskatoon and the U of S was quite a shock. I am still enraptured with the unique environment that the U of S is with students coming from a mix of highly urban areas like Saskatoon and Regina to rural communities that don't have their own post-office, from fourth generation Saskatchewan residents to international students. The spectrum of ideas and beliefs here is so much greater than anything I experienced back home, and the Sheaf is one of the mediums connecting all of these ideas and beliefs. I believe in the spirit of independent media, and even if I'm reluctant to read 80% of what they publish, I support the Sheaf for keeping our student government, faculty and administration accountable, for discussing issues that mainstream media won't touch, and for connecting students like nothing else on our campus can. This is one of the reason I was so grieved to hear that Will Robbins was forced to resign. Most of the anti-Sheaf communications have come from individuals outside the university sphere. The Sheaf's legitimacy as an independent source is severely compromised by their acquiesence to the voices it is meant to stand out against.
Support the Sheaf. Come out to the AGM on Thursday, March 23 (time and location to be announced soon) and stand up for independent media. Write to the Sheaf at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know that you support independent media.