March 18, 1926. The first issue of the Emery Weal newspaper, or magazine as it was called then, showed up as a four-page bulletin highlighting the school’s events. One copy was printed and passed around. When this proved impractical, the Weal was printed as a tabloid and sold for five cents.
The Weal – the second oldest college newspaper in Alberta – has gone through a series of changes. It was a stenciled legal-sized typewritten news-sheet in the ‘30s and ‘40s, a smaller typeset newspaper in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and returned to tabloid size in the ‘70s.
In 1984, the SAIT Students’ Association hired a non-student editor and formed an umbrella department to house all publications produced by SAITSA.
In 2000, the newspaper started using an abbreviated moniker; now “The Weal” is its flag and preferred pseudonym – yet the paper will always be the Emery Weal.
In 2018, The Weal made a bold leap by becoming a monthly print magazine with an editorial strategy more in-line with modern day publications to keep up in an increasingly digital-centric era.
The Weal’s name comes from a strange combination of two words. When the paper was founded, “weal” was understood as one of three things: wealth; a sound, healthy or prosperous state; or a body politic. An emery wheel, made of emery powder, is used for grinding and polishing.
In the paper’s fourth edition the editors explained, “There is found in the title the suggestion of an abrasive for rubbing off corners and polishing up the personality – all for the common good.”
The paper largely maintains this mandate; to serve the SAIT community with a focus on students’ interests and needs, and to keep them informed about the on-campus issues that matter to them most.
While the Weal has served as a vibrant voice for the SAIT community since its inception, it’s also been the launching point for incredible careers in journalism. Wealies have gone on to work at local, national and even international levels as reporters, editors, and photographers. They’ve worked for publications like the Calgary Herald, the Toronto Star, Rolling Stone, NME, the National Post, the Globe and Mail, and the BBC.
We hire student writers, editors, photographers, graphic designers, and fact checkers. We also hire students to distribute and promote the magazine. Stop by every Monday at noon, unless posted otherwise, during our publishing year to take part in our pitch meetings, and to get involved with the Weal!