The Collegian needs university support

staff

At the Collegian, we enjoy hearing what our readers have to say, whether it is positive or negative. We’ve heard enough from both sides to know that our readers are an eclectic and an intelligent bunch.

But there’s one thing they get wrong consistently, whether they’re posting on our message boards, writing us letters or coming in to our office to talk to us about something they liked or hated in the latest issue.

Most SDSU students assume the Collegian receives some sort of money from the Students’ Association Senate every semester, probably drawn from student fees, which the Collegian then uses to pay for its printing and its personnel. They assume that their student fees go to cover the newspaper’s expenses.

This, unfortunately for us, is simply not true. The Collegian receives absolutely no money from the SA. Nor does it receive any money from the journalism department. Nor does it receive any money from the College of Arts and Science. Nor does it receive any money from the university as a whole, other than office housing in the union.

The Collegian relies entirely on advertising dollars and subscription fees to pay for all of its many expenses. While it has received some much needed money from alumni, this money is not enough to pull the Collegian out of debt and make it profitable again.

Some would argue that the Collegian is better off when it is not funded by any university organization. Long-time SDSU faculty members can recall a time when the SA held the Collegian in the palm of its hand and believed it exerted editorial control.

However, we believe the Collegian would be better off with a small portion of the student fee money. The vast majority of college newspapers are funded by student fees. SDSU’s newspaper is one of the exceptions. If the paper were funded by student fee dollars, it would give students more of a vested interest in the newspaper and would keep the paper from sliding back into an example of poor journalism (as it was for many years).

The SA has come light years from what it was when the Collegian saw fit to break off and become independent. It understands that it should not and would not demand any editorial control over the newspaper. It also understands that a determined college newspaper is vital to the survival of any institution of higher learning.

Now is the time for the SA to step up and work with the leadership of the Collegian to figure out a way to fund the publication. If they do not, the students and faculty of SDSU should demand the university find another solution.

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