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Editorial 315: Welcome to Bristol!

Welcome to Bristol! We are Alex and Noa, Epigram’s first Co-Editors in Chief since 1999, taking over from Ben Parr.

Bristol is a great city to be a student in, and we hope that soon you will adore it as much as we do. A city as varied as it is scenic, we encourage you take time to explore beyond Stoke Bishop, Whiteladies and the Triangle. It is a city passionate about social justice, a place where independent businesses, arts, culture and cider thrive. This week, as we have watched numerous bewildered Freshers walk around the SU, it reminded us just how quickly our first two years have gone. Make the most of your time here, and hopefully Epigram can help you
do just that.

Epigram is your reliable, professional source of Bristol news and features. We are an independent newspaper so it is our role to report on everything, whether it be good or bad, in an impartial way. Last year, notable articles covered events like the evacuation of parts of the university due to a chemical explosive scare, an escaped convict who was taken in by Bristol students, and the uproar following the party where two students were accused of ‘blacking up’. These articles, and several others, were even picked up by national news outlets.

The bar was raised even higher by successful Epigram campaigns led by last year’s editorial team, including #14Conversations and #RevoltAgainstSexualAssault, which helped to raise awareness of mental health and sexual assault respectively.

Our success both within the student body and in the wider media world was reflected at the Student Publication Awards in May, where Epigram won the awards for Best Publication and Best Use of Digital Media in the country.

We haven’t peaked just yet, and we are making numerous changes this year. Even though an editor’s lifespan at a student newspaper is rarely more than a year, we want to make sure the paper can constantly evolve and develop when we leave.

After the section’s success last year and the growing awareness of a need for discussion about mental health, we have expanded the Wellbeing section to two pages and a three-person editorial team.

We hope to feature Bristol’s student illustrators and photographers in the paper - this issue’s front page cartoon was illustrated by Harry Coke, while our E2 cover was taken by Epigram’s own Charlie Gearon.

Our online team, Georgia Marsh and Lucy Thompson, will be focusing on creating new and exciting multimedia content. In particular, we are looking forward to the use of our new app among students and the redevelopment of our website.

Epigram is above all a paper written by and for students. Our content is Bristol and student focused, and any wider topics are covered from a student perspective. The wide range of interests within the student body are shown in our 15 sections, beginning with News and ending with Sport with almost everything in between.

Many of the topics Epigram covered last year remain at the core of student interests. We anticipate continued discussion surrounding accommodation, mental health and student welfare, diversity and equality, and sexual assault. Our first front page of the year covers the university’s choice to replace the compulsory sexual consent classes with optional e-inductions – a move that has sparked much debate amongst students. This comes at a time when local police are creating their own consent awareness campaigns (see page 5), which was inspired by Epigram’s very own #RevoltAgainstAssault campaign.

We are excited to see what makes the front covers of the other twelve issues over the following year – and we’re looking forward to looking back!

So make sure you get involved – it’s easier than you think. Contact the section(s) you are interested in and attend our writers’ meetings, and by the end of the year you might be applying for an editorial role yourself.

This year we want to make Epigram more accessible so that all students know how easy it is to write for us and how rewarding it is. Neither of us thought we would make it this far when we started – and you can do the same.

Originally published in Epigram 315.

Welcome to Bristol!

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