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Thursday, September 3, 2009

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  • Since 2002, thecannon has played an important function for the students and residents of Guelph. (iStock photo)

    Since 2002, thecannon has played an important function for the students and residents of Guelph. (iStock photo)

Written by Greg Beneteau

Hello and happy O-Week! My name is Greg Beneteau and I'm Editor-in-Chief of thecannon.ca, your news and listings community at the University of Guelph.

Since 2002, thecannon has played an important role on campus, benefitting students and local residents alike. Conceived as a student-owned site for selling used textbooks, thecannon has expanded to include news and opinion, classifieds, event listings, a ride board, community photo galley, contests and more.

It boasts one of the largest and most comprehensive rental housing lists in the city, with hundreds of accommodations available at the click of a mouse. Every fall, new and returning students trust thecannon as the cheapest source for previously enjoyed textbooks. (Be sure to check out the iconic painted cannon near Branion Plaza in the centre of campus – the crowds of people with books in their hands probably met their buyers on thecannon.ca). We rival sites like Craigslist and Kijiji when it comes to reselling furniture, electronics and other items.

In my humble opinion, there are two reasons for thecannon's continued success. Firstly, everything you see on the site is user-generated. With people posting items to buy, sell or rent on a daily basis, there's always something new to offer.

Secondly, everything you see on the site is absolutely free with no strings attached. We're able to offer these services without charge thanks to the financial support of students like you, who contribute a small amount to thecannon every year through their student fees. We also benefit from the administrative support of our co-owners, the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op.

The City of Guelph is regularly ranked as one of Canada's most liveable small cities, while the University of Guelph is considered one of the country's top universities. This isn't a coincidence: both communities work to support each other through civic engagement, volunteerism and good communication.

Thecannon is one of many organizations on campus that relies on the help of community members to continue operating effectively. Our volunteer positions are an excellent introduction to the world of online publication, marketing and journalism. If you're new to any of these fields, don't worry; thecannon will provide all the training you'll need.

We want volunteer news writers, editors, photographers and videographers to keep people informed about current events. We want listings writers to promote the many wonderful events on campus and in the city. We want passionate and opinionated voices to write regular columns and submit opinion pieces. But most importantly, we want students to keep using thecannon as the online community it's intended to be.

It promises to be a busy year, with plans underway to improve the site's usability and content. As these changes take shape, I'll be looking for feedback. If you have any questions, comments or complaints about anything you see on the site, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Welcome to the University of Guelph. Have a wonderful year and keep loading thecannon!

Greg Beneteau is the Editor-in-Chief of thecannon.ca and misses the summer already.

The opinions posted on thecannon.ca reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question.

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