As a Nexus volunteer, you have the opportunity to keep yourself and others informed about the events and issues pertinent to college life.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What do volunteers do?
Although writing, photography, and production are the main volunteer areas, help is also needed with distribution and promotion of the newspaper. Those who contribute in any of these areas also participate in the decisions that affect the operation and organization of the newspaper.
Who can volunteer?
Anyone enrolled at Camosun College in at least one three-credit course is eligible to volunteer at Nexus.
Where is the Nexus office?
The Nexus office is located in Richmond House 201 (west of the cafeteria near Richmond Road) at the Lansdowne campus.
When is the office open?
Office hours are between 10 AM and 4 PM, Monday through Thursday (closed May and June).
How much time is required to be a volunteer?
This varies from person to person. As a rule, your volunteer commitment should complement your school schedule. Most volunteers commit to between 2–4 hours per week.
What kind of skills are needed?
While print experience is helpful, it’s not essential. Some volunteers have never worked for a newspaper or published an article. Training is an ongoing process and is provided by the editors and other staff. Resource materials are also available. A willingness to learn is the most important ingredient for a Nexus volunteer.
What kind of tasks are available?
Writing, photography, proofreading, graphic design, cartooning, distribution, web design, ad sales, and more.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED WITH NEXUS
Writing news, sports and entertainment
We need writers to cover campus and community events, and interview people around the college about issues relevant to student life. All the articles must have a close connection to Camosun. Whether it’s news, sports, or entertainment, it’s all an important element to a well-rounded and informative newspaper.
News stories are about current occurrences that happen either on campus or in the community but, in either case, have significant relevance to Camosun students. Sometimes the stories aren’t about a person or place or event, but about an idea or issue or philosophy.
Sports is a very interesting area. Camosun has volleyball, basketball, and golf teams who go under the banner of the Camosun Chargers. Games can be covered by a reporter and a photographer. Often, this is the same person. Sports are not limited to the college teams, however. The Recreation Department is involved in providing facilities as well as offering a number of courses in which students can enroll. These include yoga, dance, and aerobics. A number of free drop-in activities are available as well, such as floor hockey (our favourite). Sports can also include such topics as bike riding, running, and swimming. Whatever sports students might be into, there’s a story somewhere.
Entertainment includes preview articles of local theatrical plays, music concerts, art exhibits, etc., so the readers have an opportunity to attend versus being told about it after the fact. If it’s happening in Victoria and of interest to our readers, we’ll cover it. Our entertainment section also includes larger articles about local artists as well as reviews of new release CDs, books, and movies.
If you have a really good idea for a column and can prove you are reliable and able to carry the column throughout the year, you are invited to submit your idea to the editors and editorial committee along with an example of the column you are intending to write.
Features, Personal Profiles, Editorials, etc.
Some articles fall into other writing categories such as features, personal profiles, editorials, etc.
Features are decided by the Nexus student editorial committee with the input from all volunteers and staff. They are assigned to writers with a proven ability to produce a lengthy and well-researched article. They are usually between 1,500–3,500 words long.
Main editorials are written by the student editor. Subjects are chosen by the committee based upon what’s currently relevant or of particular interest to students. Other opinion pieces are often accepted, so if you have an opinion to share, ask the editors for guidelines on how to go about this. The acceptance of guest editorials is subject to the approval of the editors and editorial committee and subject to available space.
Personal profiles are stories about interesting people who either attend or work at Camosun College. These people are usually profiled because they have achieved something of significance or because they have interesting ideas or participate in interesting pastimes. If you know someone who has a great story to tell, let the editors know. If you don’t want to write it, chances are someone else will.
A lot of the stories we cover can be enhanced with a visual element. If such an opportunity exists, we like to make sure we capture it for our readers. Sometimes it’s a one-time happening, sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s a way to visually express an idea. All of our photography is done on digital cameras. You need a good eye and you can’t be shy! Good pictures usually require effort and creativity.
Do you have a really good sense of humor? Can you draw? Basically, that’s it. Oh, subject matter must be relevant to college life. We need people who can provide regular comic strips, editorial cartoons, or draw graphics to match certain stories.
Do you have well-developed InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator skills? Do you have the time? We can use your skills for building and designing visual elements of the paper. Projects are individual in nature, meaning one piece of work that can be done in an hour or two. The key element to this job is that you must be able to take direction, be accurate and precise, be prepared to make as many revisions as required, and be open to constructive criticism.
Do you have above average grammar and spelling skills? Are you a stickler for accuracy and pay attention to detail? Every two weeks, just before we go to press, we need a couple of people to read our layout sheets for typos, inaccuracies, omissions, inconsistencies, etc. Your eye can save us great embarrassment if we can catch our errors before they get published. A couple hours of time is sufficient.
This is actually a paid position, paying a commission on whatever local advertising you sell. If you are an outgoing, mature, professional person with sales experience or a sincere interest in gaining some sales experience, please contact us. We require a commitment of at least a full semester but prefer your commitment to last throughout the school year. Continuity is key for our clients. Good service is what builds our reputation. You must be able to deliver both service and continuity to be considered for this job. Your sales will be based upon the number of hours you can devote weekly to this position. Former sales reps have been able to earn good money putting in part-time hours.
If students can’t pick up a paper, it won’t get read. You can also enhance our box distribution by handing out copies of the paper when it comes fresh off the press. This is a great way to increase readership and awareness of the paper. A weekly commitment of about one to two hours per week should be sufficient. Three distribution territories include Interurban campus, Lansdowne campus, and other campuses in Victoria (Music Conservatory, Saanich Adult Education, Royal Roads, UVic, etc.).
If you have well-developed web design skills, we’d like to talk to you. We need someone each year that knows what they are doing in this area and is prepared to commit a few hours each week. At minimum, we want to make sure the static information on our website is up to date. Our goal, however, is to incorporate our paper into our website and update it as each new issue is released. In the future we may be incorporating some advertising into our website as well.