Seven editors of The Quad returned last weekend from the 86th annual National College Media Convention presented by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) and College Media Advisors (CMA). The seven editors represent a broad group of talented young students with interests ranging from the entertainment media to hard news journalism to advertising. We came back inspired to bring change to the publication we run and to make it better in ways that we have the resources and capabilities to. We want to take this opportunity to poll you, our readers, because it is what you want that matters most. The paper is for you, and if you feel it could be better or changed in a positive way, we want to hear from you.For many years, The Quad has neglected its duty to provide oversight of the University and many of its departments and organizations. As a newspaper, we have an obligation to keep a watchful eye on the finances, policies and actions of the people and groups of people that hold power at this university. We have legal rights-as does any member of the public-to request and fight for information that is not publicly disclosed. We plan on searching for a staff of investigative writers and reporters that will dig deep into stories and be at the ready to exercise the aforementioned rights.
To that end, The Quad read an open letter to our Student Government Association (SGA) on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The letter focused on our obligation to thoroughly report on the people who hold power at this university. We asked Treasurer Jai Northcraft for unrestricted access to the committee that she chairs, finance committee. The committee is closed to every member of WCU except the eight student senators that sit on it, and The Quad believes that the 12,992 other students here have a right to know not only how they vote to appropriate a six-figure budget, but the deliberations that occur behind closed doors to reach their decisions. We asked Northcraft in front of the entire student senate for this access, and we are currently waiting for SGA’s decision. We hope, for the sake of every student who cares how their money is being spent, that we are granted this access. Many senators told us that the committee is not secretive. We believe this to be true, and it is why we ask for a seat on the perimeter of the room to take our notes and report on their deliberations.
Aside from SGA, we will be focusing on other departments on campus. Several of them should expect requests for information from us in the near future. It is high time that The Quad be a place students turn to for stories that they can’t find anywhere else-stories that impact them, that have an actual effect on their lives. We are trying to make that time now. We are not trying to make the news-the news is out there, we just want to report it.
If this type of reporting intrigues you, and you are interested in learning how to perform small investigations for stories, let us know. We are looking to build a small staff of bright students to join out staff as investigative reporters and work on non-weekly assignments for our news section. Investigative reporting is the most highly sought after genre of journalism, and it is thought to be the most rewarding. If you would like more information, please contact Jeff J. Simon, Editor-in-Chief, at QuadEIC@wcupa.edu.
The Quad is looking down a new path. We are constantly improving and we look within ourselves and outward, to the University community, for the ability to do better.