Here’s answers to some of the questions you may have about volunteering at the Gauntlet.
1. How do I get involved?
Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to schedule a volunteer orientation, get added to editor mail-outs and get any of your questions answered. Also feel free to drop by our office anytime during the week to say hi and get to know our editors — we don’t have formal office hours, but there’s usually someone around on school days anytime from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
2. Where is the Gauntlet office?
We’re located on the east third floor of MacHall — that’s the third floor that’s above the Den & Black Lounge and the Q Centre. We had our offices renovated in the summer of 2017, and they’re looking pretty spiffy, if we do say so ourselves. We’ve got couches and workspace available for students. At the very least, it beats eating lunch in the MacHall cafeteria.
3. Do I need experience?
Absolutely not. There isn’t a journalism program at the University of Calgary, meaning that we’re the place on campus for students who want to learn how to do journalism. If you come in with an open mind and a keenness to learn, you’ll do great.
4. What’s the time commitment?
It’s as much or as little as you want. Some contributors write once or twice a semester. Others spend as much time in the office as our full-time staff. Whatever works for you works for us.
5. What’s in it for me?
Learning about journalistic practices and building a portfolio of work at one of Canada’s best student publications — many Gauntlet alumni are now working journalists. If you use the co-curricular record, we can verify your volunteer hours for that. We also award four $500 scholarships to volunteer writers each fall and winter semester!
6. When are meetings?
Weekly pitch meetings begin in the fall semester. Here, section editors discuss stories they’d like to publish in upcoming weeks and volunteers can claim assignments in-person. You can also pitch your own stories to editors at these meetings. Beyond pitch meetings, we have copy editing days on Tuesday of every week, and every second Tuesday we produce our magazine and provide snacks to all who lend a land, whether by taking photos, copyediting, or helping to write or design. You will get e-mails about upcoming dates after completing the volunteer orientation.
7. I’d like to be a part of the Gauntlet but I don’t know what I would write about. Will that be a problem?
Nope! While our editors are happy to take story pitches from volunteers, they also pitch their own ideas to volunteer writers. This happens both at the aforementioned pitch meetings but also through “storylists,” which volunteers are added onto after completing their orientation. If any stories interest you, just be the first one to claim it and it’s all yours.
8. Can I help out in any way other than writing?
Of course! We are always looking for volunteer photographers, videographers, illustrators, graphic designers and cartoonists to help out on the visual side of the publication. We’re also happy to have layout help from those with experience with Adobe InDesign. Helping us get our work in the hands of other students is an imperative role as well – our Street Team makes a huge impact on our organzation.
9. How can I get a job with the Gauntlet?
The editor-in-chief of the Gauntlet is elected by the membership of the Gauntlet Publications Society every March. All editorial staff, board members and volunteers who have contributed at least three times during the semester are considered voting members of the Society.
We also hire each of our editorial board positions — news editor, opinions editor, arts editor, sports editor, humour editor, photographer, online editor, graphic artist, videographer and volunteer coordinator — each March. All these positions are part-time salaried, except for news editor, which is full-time salaried. These positions typically go to dedicated volunteers, so if you’re keen on working at the Gauntlet, get started sooner rather than later!