The Peak (newspaper)

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The Peak
Simon Fraser University
Type Weekly Student Newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) The Peak Publications Society
Founded 1965
Headquarters MBC 2901, 8888 University Drive,
Burnaby, BC
V5A 1S6
Circulation 10,000

The Peak is the independent student newspaper of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. It is split into six major sections: News, Opinions, Features, Arts, Sports and Humour.


The Peak was founded on October 6, 1965[1][2] through the merger of SFU's two original student newspapers, The Tartan and The SF View. The Tartan had published six issues under the editorship of Lorne Mallin, while the SF View had published one, edited by Rick McGrath.[3] Because no name had yet been decided, the first printed issue was unnamed;[4] the October 20, 1965 issue was the first to carry the banner of The Peak.

The Peak achieved full financial and editorial autonomy from the Student Society in a 1995 decision, bringing The Peak in line with the majority of Canadian student newspapers. Student newspapers seek autonomy mostly to avoid conflicts of interest, in which the Student Society, or the University, attempts to exert control over the content of the paper.

Notable Peak alumni include journalist and author Allen Garr, Vancouver Province copy editor Lorne Mallin, author and interviewer John Sawatsky, award-winning Calgary Herald journalist Michelle Lang, comedian Mark Little from Comedy Network's Picnicface, and Charles Demers, a comedian and author of Vancouver Special.

Staff and structures[edit]

There are 12 editors who comprise the Peak Editorial Board: Coordinating, Copy, Production, News, Associate News, Opinions, Features, Arts, Sports, Humour, Photo and Multimedia.

Until September 2012, The Peak functioned as a collective, without a Managing Editor or Editor in Chief position. Each editor maintains general control of their section, while broader decisions are made democratically, by the editorial board as a whole. The Peak also maintains a board of directors, which makes certain other decisions, mostly financial in nature. This board is made up partly of editorial staff, partly of "at large" representatives. Peak editors are elected by the paper's voting "collective," which formally consists of all editors and recent writers, for a period of one semester. Editors may, and very often do, seek multiple terms, sometimes ultimately spanning several years.

As of September 2014, "The Peak" now operates under the management of an Editor-in-Chief, with a hiring process used to employ section editors.

The Peak employs a Distribution and Archives Manager, a Promotions Coordinator, and a Business and Advertising Manager. They are hired, not elected, positions. The Business and Advertising Manager has historically been the most long-lived position at the paper, and is thus the repository for much of the Society's institutional memory.

Like many student newspapers in British Columbia, The Peak is formally run as a registered non-profit society under the Society Act of British Columbia, known as the Peak Publications Society. Technically all SFU students are members of the Peak Society, and refundable membership dues are imposed on all students at SFU as part of the university's student activity fee, which are used to partially fund the paper's operations.


The Peak publishes weekly during SFU's regular semesters, which totals thirteen issues per semester, and 39 per year. Currently, The Peak is one of very few student newspapers that continues to run weekly issues during the summer. Like most of Canada's major student newspapers, The Peak is a member of the Canadian University Press.

In popular culture[edit]

Edmonton Journal columnist Michael Hingston published a fictionalized account of his time at The Peak, titled The Dilettantes (Freehand Books). It was named one of CBC Books' must-read books of Fall 2013.[5]


  1. ^ "Newspapers dissolve, form new publication," The Peak, (Vol. 1, No. 1), October 13, 1966, p. 1
  2. ^ "One paper" (editorial), The Peak, (Vol. 1, No. 1), October 13, 1966, p. 2
  3. ^ Mike Hingston, "The tumultuous history of SFU's student press", The Peak, (Vol. 121, No. 1), September 5, 2005
  4. ^ The front page banner read simply, "NAME your student newspaper". The Peak, (Vol. 1, No. 1), October 13, 1966, p. 1
  5. ^ CBC Books' fall 2013 reading list

See also[edit]

External links[edit]