Next year I will be the faculty adviser of both the “Sunflower” yearbook and The Bulletin newspaper, and I am concerned about the impact of ASG’s proposed decrease in allocations. I question if they thought of the potential repercussions of their decision.
If the proposed allocations are passed, it will be a struggle for both publications to survive. The publications will have to reduce the number of students hired for positions, and this will not allow as many students to have the real-world experience that both “The Sunflower” and The Bulletin provide. This is unfortunate considering several professional journalists in the field today got their start on a student publication staff here at ESU.
ASG’s infographic shared on social media justifying the cuts to “The Sunflower” stated that many universities are using a pre-ordering format. What that statement overlooks is that students at those universities are paying a higher cost for their yearbooks, and many schools across the country that went to this model had to dissolve their yearbooks due to the decline in sales. Those universities who stopped producing yearbooks have lost the historical records the yearbook once provided.
ASG justified the cuts to The Bulletin because it receives a larger allocation than other university papers in the state. This implies that the newspaper could receive funding from other sources- such as advertising. Emporia State differs in geographic location compared to the other state schools (K-State, KU, Wichita State and Washburn) in the infographic ASG posted. These schools are all in larger cities compared to Emporia, which allows these publications to generate funds from ad sales. In Emporia there are a variety of groups and organizations throughout the community that are fighting for advertising funds from limited sources- compared to that of a larger city.
The student government also does not realize that students are receiving a deal with The Bulletin newspaper costing students approximately $12 a semester. A six month subscription, to the Emporia Gazette is $54; this is approximately as many months The Bulletin is distributed during both the fall and spring semesters.
Simply because numbers look good on paper, the reductions can potentially have an irreversible impact. A responsible organization needs to also consider the repercussion those cuts.