If you don’t know Catherine personally, I am sure you’ve enjoyed reading an issue of the Xaverian Weekly, otherwise known as the Xav, at least once during your time here at St.FX. If that’s the case, then there’s a possibility you’ve read her work! Catherine is currently acting as one of the Editors-in-Chief for the 2020-2021 paper. Catherine of course, did not start out as Editor-in-Chief, but began her time at the paper last year as a columnist for the Arts and Community section. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a minor in History, which she hopes will translate to a career with the Navy and as a published author.
Her interest in writing for the paper stemmed from her love of writing, as well as an interest in the Antigonish Community. Catherine says, “I grew up in a small town just like Antigonish and I learned how great and important it is to be involved in the community.” Currently, Catherine collaborating on a story for the Xav, which will focus on the importance of shopping local during the holidays. Like me, Catherine agrees that COVID-19 affected many businesses, and that they are vital to our community so we need to support them whenever possible. The latest issue is out today (Nov.9, 2020), so you can check newsstands and locations around campus for a copy. Feel free to grab a coffee, and enjoy!
This year, we were fortunate enough to have a printed copy, so if you are old school like me, it is the perfect way to spend a break between class. Catherine notes that the decision to go in print this year was based off many staff writers, including herself, who love to see the paper version of their efforts. She says,
“Not only is having a paper copy really cool for our writers to see their name in print but it also helps us get more known on campus. It shows people that St.FX still has a newspaper.”
Catherine notes that there is a ton of behind-the-scenes work in creating the newspaper. First the writers are given time to write their articles, which are given to the editors. The editors check the stories over and make any necessary changes. The editors send it to the Editors-in-Chief who are responsible for putting it into a design format. The overall process start to finish takes around 4 weeks, and Catherine said that while at first the technical part of the process was a learning curve, they have been getting much better since the beginning of the year. This type of attitude, being willing to learn, and a love of writing is all Catherine says you need to apply to the paper.
For those who may be nervous about applying to the paper, Catherine had some encouraging words of advice from her own experience of applying. She stated,
“Although it can be hard learning new things, we at the Xav love to help new members learn how to write a successful article. We encourage people who have never written anything other than a university paper to write for the Xaverian Weekly for it is a great learning experience and it's really fun! A question I often get about applying is people are worried about their spelling and grammar in their pieces, and my answer is that spell check will become your best friend. I have a learning disability called Dyslexia meaning I cannot spell a word to save my life but that didn't stop me from applying to write for the paper, or applying to become Editor-in-Chief. My advice; you can do anything you set your mind to.”
The thought of applying can be nerve-wrecking, but once you actually do it, it is very rewarding to see your name on that page.
You can find the online version as well, but both the paper and the online version may differ slightly, so I encourage you to grab a print if you live on campus! The online version is great for those far away family members and alumni who enjoy keeping up with what is going on on campus and in the Antigonish community!