Editorial Board: Vote ‘yes’

The Daily Evergreen Editorial Board

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The Daily Evergreen editorial board believes it is in the best interest of WSU students to vote to pay a $4 per semester fee to help fund the Office of Student Media.

The opportunity to vote on this referendum will begin Sunday, March 6, and end Thursday, March 10. The referendum will be on the same ballot as the ASWSU presidential and senate elections. In the same way they will be voting for you student body representatives, you will also be voting for their Student Media representation.

Student Media’s consistent budget concerns are adviser and director salaries, student employee salaries, and offsetting decreasing advertising revenue. Without advisers, the Office of Student Media loses its edge as a professional training platform. It loses daily feedback from professionals with experience.

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We believe we deserve consistent, reasonable funding. We are a vital part of the WSU experience and inform the public about issues that would otherwise go unreported, such as the good our Greek community accomplishes every semester and the positive stances ASWSU takes on important issues. We care about student organizations and spreading their messages. We care about informing students about breaking news or events that impact or could potentially cause harm.

Student Media has sought external, university funding only from the Services and Activities Fees (S&A) Committee. The Committee meets every spring to hear funding requests from organizations that benefit students. The money that goes to these organizations comes from a pool that all WSU students contribute to in the form of per-semester mandatory fees.

Last year, when Student Media received a fraction of the increase in funding it requested to support its expanding programs and professional staff – 25 percent as opposed to 163 – it turned to the late President Elson S. Floyd for advice. Recognizing the value of this institution, Floyd generously gave Student Media a one-time grant to fund the positions of two advisers for one year. At the time, Student Media had one director doing the work of all three positions and directing almost 200 students. But Floyd knew the gift was a temporary solution to Student Media’s need for advising. He suggested the Student Media leaders pursue a mandatory student fee to secure permanent funding.

The $4 fee will be on the ballot, and every WSU student should jump at the chance to fund their student media. Most of us buy at least one $4 coffee per week. The cost of one cup of coffee a semester is not too much to ask to provide for the future of The Office of Student Media.

The Daily Evergreen is a national award-winning paper. It won the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s prestigious Gold Crown award in 2015 for best collegiate newspaper. It is a well-known publication in the realm of Pac-12 student papers and consistently wins awards at the regional and national level.

The only free newspaper in the area, The Daily Evergreen covers student groups and university research that may not get much publicity otherwise. Also, through the Student Advertising Fund, The Daily Evergreen is a vehicle for students to get the word out about their events for free. The Daily Evergreen has tackled issues like mental health, sexual health and alcohol abuse in series and special editions, as well as partnering with ASWSU in the popular Students Choice Awards, an edition which won second place in the country for special editions. We firmly believe this is worth a $4 investment.

And students won’t be only helping the newspaper with their investment – it will offer professional development for the students who work for each of Student Media’s departments. Advisers give valuable advice, input and training to the Chinook Yearbook, the Web & Mobile department, the advertising department, the marketing department, the creative department, and our brand-new Visitors Magazine.

The Chinook Yearbook is an established tradition at WSU, so much so that the new building taking the place of the Old Bookie will bear the yearbook’s namesake. Last year, students approved a $98 a semester fee to fund the Chinook building – more than 24 times the fee necessary to sustain the yearbook’s needs.

Students have the Web & Mobile department to thank when breaking news hits and reporters need to communicate their findings in real time via social media. This department also is beginning a series of foreign language podcasts to better reach our international student community, beginning with Mandarin, which any excess money from the referendum would support.

The advertising department works directly and professionally with areas of the university and local businesses to provide a client-advertising experience. This department provides an invaluable training ground for students in advertising, as well as providing an outlet for student groups.

The marketing department provides the popular Blue Tree Photography photo booth, which is available to rent out for events and will print photo strips with your logo on them. The marketing team works with all departments to better serve the community.

The creative department is responsible for designing the advertisements and graphics that go in the newspaper. This department provides an invaluable learning opportunity for students interested in creative graphic design, and also consistently provides award-winning advertisements for clients with The Office of Student Media.

The WSU Visitors Guide Magazine is a marketing publication put out in cooperation with University Communication, and trains students in marketing communication as well as providing a magazine to make future students, faculty and visitors realize why we love this school so much.

We are here to serve you, and this fee allows us to do that and will show itself in countless benefits to students. Invest in your Student Media. Vote Yes.

Editor’s note: This column has been clarified to indicate Floyd’s one-time grant covers the positions of two advisers.