The Nav has gone through rigorous transformation in the last three years. Having begun as a biweekly newspaper on October 16, 1969, it ran that in-print format until 2017, when my predecessor, Cole Schisler, transformed The Nav into what you hold in your hands today. A sleek, full-colour 40-page magazine produced by VIU students, written by VIU students, for students and the VIU community at large.

In 1992, The Nav became “The Navigator Newspaper Society,” under the BC Society Act. This designation allows The Nav to operate as a nonprofit and receive a share of student fees from the Student Union. The fees collected go toward covering print costs, paying contributors a small stipend for their work, and paying Nav staff to ensure the publication continues. All VIU students are members of “The Navigator Newspaper Society,” simply by being enrolled at VIU.

And as per our Constitution and Bylaws: 

The newspaper is to provide the educational community of Vancouver Island University, hereafter in this Constitution and these Bylaws which shall be referred to as VIU, with a printed periodical capable of performing the below-stated purpose: 

  1. To provide an avenue for student expression primarily, but also for faculty, administration, and community thought;
  2. To provide an avenue of expression in which freedom of speech is the highest ideal, limited only by the laws of Canada and British Columbia;
  3. To inform the VIU community of issues and events which pertain to their interests; 
  4. To provide students with an opportunity to learn about the print media by participating in it. 

We’re here to serve you, VIU community. As Features Editor Caileigh Broatch explains school pride in her feature “My Mariner Pride: A Barbaric Yawp,” stating that we’re all Mariners, you’re also all Navigators, free to submit and contribute work to your magazine. With that said, The Nav is now in its final transition into magazine format, which I’ve laid out in our updated submission guidelines:

The Nav welcomes content submissions from VIU students, staff, faculty, and alumni. We accept all types of media, including video, visual art, photography, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, comics, and all types of long-form features.

Except for creative writing submissions, which may vary in length, all articles submitted for in-print publication must be a long-form feature (1000–2000 words). These must be pitched to the Managing Editor or appropriate content editor prior to submission; contact information for these folks can be found under the masthead in print, or online at <>. All other reportage (arts previews, 300–600-word news pieces, etc.) will be published online. 

Submissions must be the original work of the author, and coursework—material created for university credit—must be marked by an instructor prior to submission. Editors reserve the right to refuse submissions and to edit for space or clarity. 

Traditionally, magazines are created on a longer-reads basis and, in short, that’s what this transition is all about. A slight content shift, accompanied by an updated look from The Nav’s art director, Sara Holmes, and Graphic Designers Joe Thoong and Teigan Mudle. An opportunity to showcase VIU’s best long-form writing, as well as visual art and poetry, outside of the university’s literary magazine Portal.

My first publication was with The Nav in 2016. A poem I wrote for a first-year poetry class, taught by professor Sonnet L’Abbé. Whether you’re a writing student or not, there’s nothing like seeing your work in print. Adjectives fall short, so I’d say the feeling was indescribable. In the words of former associate editor, Spenser Smith, go on and submit. 

You’re all Navigators.