Mon. May 16th, 2022

Now, I’m not one to complain but.

The SGA Finance Committee has decided to not increase the budget for The Quad Newspaper because they feel that the Quad has only just started to refocus itself. Until the Quad can show better buisness practices and increase its coverage of student events on campus, the SGA Finance does not feel comfortable increasing its budget.

If the above letter The Quad received from SGA Treasurer Matt South didn’t cause your head to explode, you should be commended for your very high resistance to hooey and applesauce. To endure that level of nonsense you must have cockroach level survival abilities.

The weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer and the SGA elections are right around the corner. You’re probably asking yourself “why should I care about that election gibberish?” My response to you is to quit sassing me and pay attention.

A few weeks back, next year’s organization budgets were released in the News section of this beloved publication. The chances are pretty good that if you’re one of those “participating” types, you are still pretty steamed about the budget your

organization of choice received.

Please spare me the speech about how the economy is in shambles and moolah is harder to track down then a shuttle bus during class change. I mean, sure we can burn huge piles of it imprinting our school logo on various intersections all across campus, but that’s in no way the point. I wasn’t expecting The Quad to be given enough

funding to finally be able to afford to print each week’s issue on golden tablets. Of course not! That’s what NEXT year’s budget is for, obviously. But a simple “cost of existing increase” would have been just dandy. I won’t bore you with long-winded specifics here, but the cost of ink and tree murder goes up every year. When you add in the declining state of newspapers across the globe and the stagnating funding from SGA, it doesn’t take an English major to see why The Quad has been running in the red lately. This isn’t an excuse, mind you, simply facts. The same facts which unfortunately could force The Quad to reduce the discounts we give out to student organizations just to break even.

Yet, despite having the deck stacked against the paper from the get go, our “business practices” were still criticized in that two sentence explanatory “letter.”

This bit here is really interesting to me considering how much work the paper has done to pull itself out of the hole that it is placed in each year and avoid taking it out on other student groups. We’ve cut staff, the number of issues we put together and even the physical copies that are printed out. All of this apparently does not meet the definition of good “business practices.” Nope, instead The Quad must solve all of the newspaper industry’s problems in order to be given a slight raise in our budget.

It’s just that easy, I suppose.

As if that wasn’t enough, South’s letter goes on to criticize the paper’s content. Now, you would think that basing the paper’s funding on its content would be a violation of that silly old Constitutional nonsense about “freedom of the press,” but you’d be wrong.

In reality, this is just SGA’s way of making sure that the paper covers what SGA wants it to, namely SGA, and the things that SGA sponsors. I shudder to think the effect that this editorial will have on future budgets. Somehow I feel like those golden tablets will be out of reach. In two years The Quad will be printed on post-it notes.

This very obvious conflict of interest results from the media organizations

receiving their funding from SGA. How can you criticize something that holds your

wallet in its hands? From SGA’s point of view, why would they give more money to groups that they don’t like?

The easiest fix to this problem would be to have the University handle the media groups funding directly. Sure, a similar conflict of interest could exist— criticize WCU? Who me?— but I’d like to hope that WCU would be able to distinguish between business and personal.

All this raving brings us back to the elections which are rapidly approaching. I’m guilty of not paying too much attention to them in the past, but honestly this is a mistake. Get out there, learn everything you can about the candidates, and grill them mercilessly on this issue any chance you get. The future of your organization could very well depend on who wins this yearly popularity contest. It seems insane to think that this is the case, but welcome to college ladies and gentlemen.

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