Missing: The Gateway April 1970-September 1971

The Gateway is missing. From March 13, 1970 until September 9, 1971 it is nowhere to be found. Does anyone know where it could be? Since the dissertation is about the University and environmentalism and the student newspaper does a decent job of telling me what was happening on the University of Alberta campus. This makes the missing year kind of a big problem.
I noticed the missing year over the past weekend while working on a paper about what issues spurred Edmontonians to take-up the environmentalism cause. The issue that spurred action in Edmonton was air pollution — specifically that created by Refinery Row, the 105th Street power plant, and automobiles. Anti-pollution advocacy and activism initiative began in January 1970 and came from two University of Alberta based groups; STOP (Save Tomorrow, Oppose Pollution) and the Edmonton Anti-Pollution Group. The former focused on public awareness and changes to legislation through political action and the latter produced scholarly reports to show the problems of pollution with facts and figures. The date environmental activism in Edmonton took off make the missing Gateway issues significant. Between March 13, 1970 and September 9, 1971 a lot happened in the history of environmentalism and I have no idea how the University of Alberta students reacted to it.
The first significant event occurred on April 20, 1970: Earth Day. From looking at other universities in Western Canada, I know Canadian university students observed the inaugural event. Each school took a slightly different approach but I have yet to find reference to how the University of Alberta marked the occasion. Normally The Gateway would be my go to source, but there are no issues from April 1970. This is a problem, and it gets worse. In early 1971 Alberta did two things before the federal government; created a provincial Ministry of Environment, and created a Clean Air Act. Again, I have no idea how students responded to these events because The Gateway is MIA.
I have a hunch that the sudden disappearance of The Gateway is linked to a censorship dispute with University Print Services during the 1969/70 academic year. However, I have nothing to support that hypothesis because when the paper returns in September 1971 the editorial staff makes no mention of the long absence. This would not be the only student newspaper in Canada to get into a spat over censorship with university administration – the University of Victoria’s The Martlet changed its name to The Cougar City Gazette from January 16 to March 20, 1970. So, was it censorship issues that caused The Gateway to disappear? And if it was, did the students launch an alternative newspaper in protest? Were the issues simply lost, though it seems unlikely based on the excellent preservation of the paper through the Peel’s Prairie Provinces database?
I have no answers for these questions and would really like to know why this newspaper went missing at what happens to be a very important period for what I study. If you have answers or alternative hypothesizes please send them along. I am eager to find out what happened to The Gateway and what was happening on the campus of the University of Alberta during a very active year in the history of environmentalism.

About Lauren Wheeler

A reformed history phd student working as a public historian and looking for connections between museums and environmental history from the often freezing reaches of Canada (aka Edmonton).
This entry was posted in Canada, Environmentalism, Grad School, Research and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Missing: The Gateway April 1970-September 1971

  1. Mark Wilson says:

    Hey Lauren. I am doing virtually the same thesis as you but in a British context – using University newspapers etc. However there is not much before the late 1960s, which is when I am interested in (and a lot of universities haven’t kept their newspapers either). I have hints of student organisations and groups on campuses in the early 1970s but not much before. At least, not yet!

    It is frustrating when you know there are things happening but you cannot access the sources to look at them. I can empathise. Is there anyone who was editor of the paper in 1970 and 1971 who you could speak to? I’m sure you’ve thought of this already. Just see parallels with problems I have! Hope you find some answers!

  2. Mark Wilson says:

    Interestingly I just come across a student newspaper at Manchester University which was stopped in 1960 but started against in 1961/2 independent from the union (previously it had been union-managed). Unfortunately (and I haven’t inspected them) the paper seemed to have been canned ‘following publication of outspoken article by a landlord on his student tenants.’ So nothing environmental related on surface, but still interesting.

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