The first Ontarion student newspaper was published on campus March 29, 1951. The lead story included this photo of OAC students wielding shovels in the basement of Massey Hall to make way for a student lounge. Another story summarized the findings of a research project that compared commercial mix cakes with homemade.
The newspaper was intended to serve students at all three founding colleges. One early editor reported that the paper's name came from the idea that the three schools might one day become the University of Ontario.
The Ontarion has changed over the years, reflecting changes on campus and in society, as well as the individuality of each new editor.
Following the social club atmosphere of the 1950s, the 1960s Ontarion editors tried to stir up controversy with articles about communism and boarding houses that advertised "whites preferred." One issue in fall 1970 was confiscated by the RCMP at the printers because it contained a bulletin with the FLQ manifesto - illegal under the War Measures Act.
Later editors have varied the focus from news and intellectual discussion to letters and opinion pieces in an effort to hear all voices on campus. One 1990s editor told students: "If you don't like what we're doing with the paper, you can volunteer to help change it . . . . It's your paper."
After 50 years of publication, the Ontarion is still one of the few completely autonomous student newspapers in the country.
Black and white image: OVC 55 classmates digging the basement below Massey Hall: left to right, Ron Stewart, Norm Fredrickson (behind the pick handle), Bruce Watson (bending over in front of checkered shirt), Howard Martin and Barry MacDonald (sharing a grip on the pick handle). In the top right corner is Wayne MacAlwraith, and at bottom right is Gordon Flook. The person between Flook and MacAlwraith is likely Bob Rutherford. The person bending over a shovel in the foreground is likely Bill Vivian. Colour image: The Ontarion, Fall 1968 Cover.