[ By Akram Kamal ]
As I was walking past the Student Life Centre and caught a glimpse of Elise, Editor-in-Chief of ETC. Magazine, sitting down just outside and I walked over to her to say hello. She tells me that there are copies of the magazine inside and immediately I walk in to get a copy of my own. I took one with a smile on my face and put it in my bag so I could read it later in the day. As I got home, I unpacked my things and looked at my copy, and lay down on my bed to read the finally printed magazine. My eyes were glued to every page and every minor detail. I was intrigued and delighted at the same time. It was an amazing feeling, flipping through the pages, to be a part of the long, tiresome but incredibly rewarding journey of making this magazine come to life.
For months and months on end, meeting after meeting, this was the time that we had all been waiting for: the launch of the first print edition of ETC. magazine.
A lethal and utterly innovative combination of photography, writing, events and design comes together full circle to create the ETC Magazine Club. In meetings, we’d always start off with the dreaded game activity of the day which everyone seems to hate, but then would always have the most fun playing and end up groaning in disappointment by the time the game was over.
But in all seriousness, it was the meetings where we’d discuss what articles needed to be written and what new directions and topics we could discuss with our audience that we enjoyed the most. Something about creating, constructing and birthing our projects kept us excited with ETC. Whether it was the countless promotion projects or the articles that would go up on our online site, we were always determined. But most importantly, we’d talk about the printed magazine during these meetings. This was always our main goal, this was always the anticipated topic that captured our attention the most. Determination, hope and aspiration filled the room when we talked about the designs; every intricate detail to the littlest edges, the articles, every single word, commas and even down to the ellipses, the advertisements and which direction we wanted it all to go into. At the time, the print magazine just seemed like something almost impossible. We literally saw it as a goal, a far far away dream, planned from years ago.
But now that hundreds of students around campus held, carried and read our magazine, all the blood, sweat and tears were definitely worth every single second spent planning on this beacon of dreams.
The time was 7:30 pm on a Tuesday school night, my fellow ETC. members and I at Block E in a deserted, empty, but very cold classroom, still preparing and practicing for the ETC. magazine launch the next day. Just hours before this we had received word from a devastated editor-in-chief that we wouldn’t be able to hand out actual prints of our magazine as there had been a mistake at the printer’s – the orders weren’t ready. That didn’t stop us. We were unfazed, because we didn’t make it all this way to be stopped by something so microscopic. And so we did what we always do; we planned ahead and made a Plan B. We were still hungry and ready to take on Taylor’s University by storm the next day.
It was Wednesday morning, 27 May. This was it, the day of the launch. I personally had classes to attend to, so as I was walking to my morning class I already saw my team setting up for the launch as I walked by the Student Life Centre, and was immediately anxious yet excited for what was coming later in the day. This was the day we’d all been waiting for regardless of the casualties we encountered. At 12 pm I left class, anxiety and nervousness levels over the roof as I walked towards the SLC and saw the area flooded with students, hand-made streamers created by us towering above our heads and our booths being bombarded with customers and the smiling faces of our team every place I turned to.
Food stalls, henna stalls, our hand-made photo-booth, and of course the table lined up with laptops with our Facebook page open for people to like and become a part of our lovely ETC. familia. Carrot halwa, cake and beef sarnies were sold as well as the ever-so-popular sponge-a-friend game where people were able to throw wet sponges at the target (of course being one of us.) I felt so incredibly proud of everyone a part of this project, new members and old regardless, we’d all put in our personal time and contributed to making this day happen, into making this day a success. And a success it was.