Last week, The Bulletin was shocked to learn that the Associated Student Government will vote soon on a bill that would, over the course of four years, reduce the working budget of The Bulletin by 48 percent. That is one of the largest line item cuts, in terms of dollars, proposed for any group on campus; by 2023, it would mean a loss to the newspaper of about $50,000.
Is it a coincidence that The Buletin is slated for these crippling cuts the same semester that we put out an investigative series that revealed an undergraduate student was likely sexually harassed by a tenured professor and the university attempted to silence the student with a non-disclosure agreement?
There seems to be no other reasonable explanation.
This is a transparent attempt to muzzle student voices and student journalists on campus.
This is the only conclusion to be gathered because of the lack of transparency leading up to this cut.
ASG should not be taking their lead from Wichita State’s student government. This sets a bad precedent.
“The Sunflower,” our campus yearbook, and Quivira, the campus literary journal, and the Performing Arts Board are also on the block. “The Sunflower” would be cut 8 percent for the next four years, Quivira is being cut by 60 percent for next year, and the PAB is being cut 40 percent for the next year.
It seems that the humanities are under fire during this round of budget cuts by ASG.
There are no senators on the Fiscal Affairs Committee from the Liberal Arts and Sciences. They are making decisions without hearing the voices of the people they’re representing.
In the past, attempted student publication cuts have been excused with, “Well, no one really reads the campus newspaper.”
That sure as hell isn’t the case this year.
Every campus club and organization is worthwhile but, we must ask ourselves, what really matters?
In this era of fake news, is it really the time to be cutting the one source on campus that has proved itself to be worthwhile?
The student press is important, now more than ever.
Without The Bulletin breaking “Jane’s story” about the undergrad who filed the sexual assault complaint, the issue may have gone unresolved and unknown of for years.
We can only change the things we know about, and the student press is in the business of making sure you know what’s important to you.
In this age of #metoo, the student press is vital.
This bill comes up for a vote on April 12. Please, stand with us and express your support for The Bulletin as we are coming under fire for our investigative and aggressive journalism.
If you believe Jane, and you love truth, now is the time to speak up for the student press.
It may be now or never.