Summer Evergreen cut, other cutbacks postponed

Student Media Board tables decision on whether to cut Evergreen’s print cycle


Luke Hollister | The Daily Evergreen

Richard Miller, Student Media director, said conflicts with the university’s administration may mean the paper could be shown “less mercy.”

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

The WSU Student Media Board decided not to change school-year production at The Daily Evergreen until the Jan. 31 board meeting.

Board members failed to agree on what aspects of the paper’s production to cut, or whether to cut anything. At the end of a two-and-a-half-hour meeting, which included a 15-minute executive session that the press was barred from entering, the board decided it needed more information before making a decision.

The Daily Evergreen currently faces a $128,000 deficit per year, according to Director of Student Media Richard Miller’s handout. This is not sustainable, even after numerous budget cuts, Miller said.

The emergency meeting Wednesday night opened with statements from Daily Evergreen Editor-in-Chief Madison Jackson, who said the student leaders were caught off guard by the suggested print cut, and that Miller needs to provide a plan for more revenue.

“We were promised this semester, that if we could pass a referendum, we could avoid major changes in printing,” Jackson said.

She said students need to play a major role in deciding the eventual fate of the publication.

“Since it is Student Media, I feel that the student’s voices need to be heard, and it is their decision to be made,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the paper would be willing to reduce the number of days it publishes a physical paper if the planned referendum fails. The referendum has not yet been finalized or formally proposed to ASWSU, but will ask students for a $5 fee to fund the paper, Murrow Senator Harald Hyllseth said.

Miller said in his statements that previous efforts to balance Student Media’s budget have not worked. He said in November that the yearly deficit projection was about $80,000.

A drop in advertising sales also hindered the Evergreen’s revenue and contributed to the deficit. Advertising Manager Jacob Wagoner said a decrease in interest from advertisers, as well as lack of a professional to advise the staff, led to the drop in earnings for the advertising department.

Jackson showed testimonials from Daily Evergreen alumni, including Calley Hair, who wrote “cutting back their hours will take a team of potential Edward R. Murrows and Kathi Goertzens and turn them into hobbyists.” Another testimonial questioned the motives of the university allowing a watchdog publication to shutter its production.

Following board member discussion, several members of the public gave comment, all opposed to cutting print.

“If we do really value journalism, then we need to value it in its purest form,” WSU student and former ASWSU presidential candidate Zach Anders said. “The moment that you even hint at slowing down circulation is a death rattle.”

WSU Graduate and Professional Student Association Vice President Amir Gilmore said the paper had the support of the majority of GPSA senators.

“Being in this room reminds me of getting the emails to the budget cuts in the Voiland College,” he said. “Seeing that dread is what I feel in this room today.”

Others also voiced support, with statements including appreciation for coverage, giving students a voice and acting as a watchdog for the university. Board members pointed to the paper’s sometimes antagonistic relationship with the university in response to the idea of operating at a loss until funds accumulated again.

“There may be less mercy showed to us due to conflicts with the administration,” Miller said.

At the end of the meeting, the board held multiple votes regarding the future of the student-run publication. The first vote, which proposed maintaining production at its current level until after the outcome of the planned referendum, failed.

The next vote was on whether to cut all physical production of the paper over the summer. The vote passed easily, with only Jackson, Visitor’s Guide Magazine Editor and Mint Editor Gabriella Ramos, and Murrow College Professor Ben Shors voting against.

The board tabled any further discussion or changes to production until the next regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 31, as members did not want to cut any student wages at the time.

Jackson told the board that student leaders are working to come up with a solution.

“We are doing everything we can,” she said. “We are not sitting on campus twiddling our thumbs.”