To Whom It May Concern:
Hey there! My name is Jesaya, current president of the Vault Publication and the de-facto master of ceremonies (think parliament as opposed to cult). If you’re reading this, you’ve likely made your way over to this page from McMaster University’s 2020 online ClubsFest. You could also be just another internet surfer, exploring our little website to see what you can see. Perhaps you may even be an internet historian, who’s discovered this post on an old hard drive many hundreds of years from now. In any case, I offer you my warmest welcome.
Whoever you are, you’re most likely wondering what you’ve stumbled upon. What is this strange site, and why are there a bunch of posts covered with an embarrassing number of anime girls? Perhaps more specifically: what exactly is a Vault? I’ve continued to ask myself this over the past week or so, in anticipation of this letter. After all, the Vault is an anomaly amongst MSU clubs. Is it a publication? A website? Perhaps some sort of loose social gathering? Maybe it was just an idea all along. While our main focus may be on writing and publishing multi-media articles, I feel that this description comes up short. Somehow, we act as both a bastion of media literacy and free speech while also functioning as a hub for shitposters. Jokes aside, the identity of our club has always been a bit of an issue, a challenge rooted deeply in the events that led up to its foundation.
In 2013, a small group of friends in the Health Sciences program at Mac were looking to apply to medical school. Medical school applications, however, were not sustained on GPA alone. The group needed something flashy to boost the ol’ resume, and the plethora of clubs available at the time just weren’t cutting it.
Then, a flash of brilliance.
“Hey,” they said to each other, “we all like video games and anime, right? Why don’t we just make our own club?”
Thus, the Vault was born: a garbled mess of multi-media opinions, reviews, and hot takes (not to disparage our early writers, of course; many of our most brilliant articles came from this period). This was an exciting, if confusing, time. However, despite this strange start, what seemed like a small side project to dust up a CV quickly became something more. Over the years, things became more streamlined, the quality of the writing improved, and the club began to attract artists, storytellers, and passionate media-consumers from every walk of life. The weekly in-person meetings solidified this fact, bringing life and community to what was once an eclectic and dispersed collection of people. Friendships were formed; graduations came and went. Seven years later, we’re still here and strong: McMaster University’s little club that could.
So, after all that, what is a Vault? These days, we like to describe ourselves through three main C’s: Community, Creativity, and Commentary. Of course, these are just words. Perhaps a better way to describe the Vault is through an experience. In my humble opinion, our little community is one of the closest-knit units I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. Nearly all of the friends I’ve made during my stay at McMaster I owe to the Vault. Reflecting on the three years I’ve spent here, I can say confidently say that this club has helped to shape me into the person I am today. From my time as a lonely first year to my life now—with a current support system that has helped me improve myself and has helped me through hardship—it’s been quite a journey.
With that, I would like to welcome you, dear reader. To anyone with a mind open to diverse multi-media opinions and a heart primed for memes, we open our doors; our club is your club! With any luck, I’ll see you around on our Discord and perhaps in years to come when the school opens once more. Perhaps we can break bread, laugh, and have a conversation on some obscure multi-media related topic. Because, beyond the writing, the meetings, and the deadlines, that is what the Vault is.
Jesaya.T, President of the Vault Publication