By Alexa Gambero | Editor-in-Chief

The Collegian exists to offer our community a space to share their voices. The operation of The Collegian relies on funding from the Associated Students. In the past, we have had a budget that incorporated funding for up to 25 issues of the print newspaper, with some of the costs offset by a $5,000 fundraising expectation, which has required us to sell advertisements in our print newspapers. In my four years of experience on the editorial staff of The Collegian, I have noticed our allocated funds being cut each year, despite the fact that printing costs tend to increase.

The allocated funds for each chartered student organization are relatively easy to find. This year, I was able to walk right into Student Involvement and Leadership and pick up a packet that listed the proposed budgets that the Associated Students and Finance Committee allocated to the student organizations on campus. The Collegian is thankful to have received allocated funds for the upcoming academic year. However, I found it completely disheartening that our funding has been cut by $7,000. That is 50 percent of our printing budget. It is true that we did not meet our fundraising goal this year, but we have been transparent with the Associated Students representatives about our shortcomings since before the end of the fall semester.

The Collegian has been part of Saint Mary’s for over 100 years. We print weekly, with no intention of reducing the frequency of our production. Our funding cut is seemingly justified by the allure of the internet that has reduced other student, local, and national publications to transition to online-only publishing. One solution that we have been offered to alleviate the budget decrease is to alternate between publishing our newspaper in print and online. This would not help us, because as it stands, we do not have the web support we need to keep up with a constantly engaging online resource in addition to maintaining the integrity of our print newspaper. Switching to online publishing would put us at a disadvantage monetarily, because we only offer print advertising. So, we would only have half of the chances to raise the same amount of money that we have always been tasked with earning.

In addition to offering advertising opportunities to community organizations, we hold ourselves to a high journalistic standard, which aligns directly with the academic integrity that our college boasts about. I predict that a transition to online publishing will degrade our publication by turning it into clickbait.

The Collegian is not only about readership. We rely on student contributions for writing and editing. Our contributors get to have their names on a byline in a tangible, award-winning publication, which has helped countless students earn opportunities for employment. Plus, it is indescribably satisfying to see your own name, or the name of a friend or classmate, in print. 

A print newspaper takes time, talent, and dedication to put together. The idea of reducing The Collegian to an online publication is insulting. We will not erase a century of integrity because of feigned support by the committees that allocate funding to student organizations.

Moving forward, I urge everyone to keep reading The Collegian and offering your feedback. I would like to continue to encourage all of you to contribute to our newspaper by writing, taking photos, reading our printed newspaper, or sharing our already-existing online content with others. We value every person who takes the time to contribute to our campus culture of caring and transparency. Thank you for your support.

This article has 1 comment

  1. Kathy Gambero

    Alexa has written an excellent article that gets to the heart of communicating the value of the Collegian.

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