Publications 1916 - 1969
1926 - 1927
The first issue of the Emery Weal was published on March 18, 1926. It was a monthly publication focusing on student life and student issues but also included provincial and national news. Under Editor-in-Chief C. E. McNevin, there was a full staff, including a class reporter for different programs. From the Emery Weal’s first editorial comes this quote: “The tree is planted, we believe the soil is fertile, proper care is assured, now watch it grow.”
The paper was named by Fred Forster, former student and math instructor, who also served as assistant editor.
“The Emery Weal” is so named because “Emery” refers to a grinding wheel and “Weal” has three meanings: wealth; a sound healthy or prosperous state; and a body politic. The newspaper's intent was to "grind" the rough edges off of the student body and make them more sound, healthy and prosperous. (R.S.)
An early issue of the Emery Weal addresses its name: “The name itself is a play upon the word “emery wheel,” which as (is) well known, is a practical piece of machinery found in nearly every shop. “Weal” means welfare; so the name has reference to the welfare of practical things, and those interested in them.”
“The university had its newspaper so we felt we should have one too,” he said. “The Students’ Association allowed us $100 per year to publish it. We had to find somebody to print it and sell enough advertising and sell enough copies at five cents a piece to make the thing go.” (The History of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Rosalie Pedersen: 1991)
“We thought it was appropriate for the Tech,” Forster said. (The History of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Rosalie Pedersen: 1991. P 11)
1929 - 1930
An editorial stated that some readers had suggested the name be changed, and asked for more thoughts on the matter. In the 1929-1930 school year, the “Weal featured ‘every phase’ of student activity: athletic, literary, musical, social and military. Each issue also carried a technical article on a subject that had not appeared in the text books used at the Institute. The Weal, which now was a monthly, declared its purpose was to ‘polish the personality of students for good and all.’ In order to to achieve this aim, the policy was described as follows: ‘Students who give themselves undue prominence or undesirable publicity in the corridors or classrooms are certain to find themselves given still further publicity in ‘Short Circuits,’ ‘Sporting Tit-Bits,’ or ‘Tabloid News’ of the next issue of the Emery Weal. This type of discipline or censure, coming as it does from the students themselves and done in a way that is above reproach, is beneficial to a high degree.’” (R.S.)
The Emery Weal struggled in its early days. Depending on who was at the helm, the paper was either “full of news items of interest and concern to every student at the Institute” or “a mimeographed scandal, full of misspelled words…for a period, it appeared dead as a dodo,” according to an entry in a 1951 copy of the paper. It also ceased publication for a few years to increase funds for the yearbook (Pedersen, p 16)
“In 1932-1933 the Students’ Association began to feel the full impact of the depression. Publication of the Emery Weal was suspended as there was only enough money for the printing of the Tech Art Record. Other cutbacks were instituted and a running battle emerged between the Emery Weal and the year book.” (R.S.)
Published 1932-1933, the yearbook, called the Tech Art Record, commented: ‘We have heard the rumour that we are about to experience a depression. A depression not of the local type, but one which will be of such proportions that the entire world will feel it. If such a thing should befall us, should we not be prepared to meet it? The student paper, the Emery Weal, started the year in difficulty. The business conditions were so poor that the paper, which had always been self-supporting as part of the activities of the Students' Association, was unable to continue. In February, the Emery Weal dropped from the picture to give the year-book a chance since they both depended on the same advertisers for support. A school without a year-book is a school without a voice. Last year as we all know, the special edition of the Emery Weal took the place of our year-book.”
1934 - 1935
Tech Art Record
Tech Art Record dedicated “To Dr. W.G. Carpenter for his active interest in Technical Education throughout the Dominion.” (R.S.)
Tech Art Record experienced difficulty securing the necessary 300 paid subscriptions, and was delayed as a result of being short of funds. (R.S.)
1935 - 1936
Tech Art Record
Tech Art Record dedicated “To the memory of our Beloved Late Sovereign, King George V.” (R.S.)
During the war, the yearbook was dropped in favour of an Emery Weal Annual due to a shortage of paper and reduced enrolment.(R.S.)
1950 - 1952
1966 - 1967
The annual yearbook, published by the Students’ Association, which had previously been called ‘Tech Art Record,’ was renamed in 1966 to ‘On SAIT.’ This was also identified as the Jubilee Edition. (R.S.)
1967 - 1968
A Student Handbook was prepared, which provided important information about campus services and activities. (R.S.)It was revived with gusto in 1951 and produced eight issues with an average circulation of 222 readers.
Tech Art Record
The dedication in the Tech Art Record in the 1955-1956 year read as follows:
“We dedicate this issue of the Tech Art Record to the technological world of the future. We stand in wonder inside the windows that look out onto a life destined to be more full of leisure hours and easier, happier working conditions. We, the technician of the future, see a world of automation, a world of frightening speed and unerring precisions, a world that will run with machine-like accuracies given an unprecedented labour force of technological maintenance men and women. We, the artists of the future see a world hungry for beauty, a world… that creative art alone can balance. Those of us with restless visions know that the students of 1980 who happen across this Tech Art Record may well be accepting television-telephones, inter-planetary travel, and automatic push-button mealmakers as naturally as we accept today the wonders of electric light, television, airplanes and refrigeration…” (R.S.)
1969 - 1971
In 1969 the Government of Alberta decided that liquor advertising on youth was not a great idea and felt that it overwhelmed the youth. The government’s decision cut $1,800 off the Emery Weal’s total budget for this year (09/26/69, pg 2). The Emery Weal was one of a few successful student run and operated publications. The student newspaper was run by volunteers. The editor didn’t even receive a salary. Nine positions were available to the students at SAIT in 1969 and included the following roles:
- Editor In Chief
- Associate Editor
- Business Manager
- Photo Editor
- SEC Reporter
- Sports Reporter
- Social Editor
- Layout Director
The paper has been a great way to get opinions across to the student body, faculty and administration (9/26/69, pg2). In 1969, the circulation for the Emery Weal was 2,500 (10/3/69, pg 2).
1969 was the first year that the Emery Weal had a whole page dedicated to the females on campus, entitled “Girls Gallery”. The section advertised girls only events and it also included a fashion advice section (10/3/69, pg 5).
If students wished to have their photo in the yearbook, they were asked to pay a dollar for the sitting fee. In addition to the collection of money, students were asked to dress appropriately, with men wearing shirts and ties (10/03/69, pg 7).
Both students and instructors were able to post personal ads for free in the Emery Weal (10/10/69, pg 1).
On October 6th, 1969 Allen Buttle from Memorial Union and Student Activities at Oregon State University congratulated the Emery Weal on its accomplishments with its new format (10/17/69, pg 2, PHOTO).
In 1969, the students at the Emery Weal were unsure of what the name of the newspaper stood for. They broke down the meaning of the paper to five different reasonings:
- A leader of prosperous state and well being.
- To smear with wealth.
- Grinding to produce a sound state and much wealth.
- A ruler who fells blows on a person to cause raised ridges.
- A ruler who rules over a prosperous, sound state. (10/31/1969, 3)
The Emery Weal received several complaints for misquoting students, lack of covering sporting events, lost material and for bitching at the SEC members (11/7/1969, pg 1).
The yearbook, known as On SAIT, cost students $5. The outstanding fees were paid by the Students' Association. Editor Dave Gerke encouraged student clubs to send photos to be printed in the yearbook (11/28/69, pg 3). The yearbook for the 1969-1970 school year was the first book in Canada to go all colour and was just under 100 pages. The book, which cost SAITSA $20,000, was inspired by a conference trip to Winnipeg, where Gerke saw other student yearbooks (12/5/1969, pg 3 PHOTO).