#WhatWouldYouPay: Don't Cut the Dixie Sun News' Funding

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Last year, the Dixie Sun News presented in front of the Student Fee Allocation Committee and defended their right to the $1 of student fees that are put toward the school newspaper. The SFAC asked the newspaper to present again and show how they had improved the utilization of these fees this year. Rhiannon Bent, Dixie Sun News adviser, Editor-in-Chief Ryann Heinlen, News Editor Abby Doman, and Opinion Editor Kelly Seaton went before the committee in February and presented their findings as well as established why they believe the news organization deserves to maintain its $1 allocation.

However, even after evidence that the recommendations were taken into consideration, the fees were cut by 25 percent, meaning the Dixie Sun News would only receive $0.75 per student instead of $1. The committee's main argument for this cut is that the Dixie Sun News throws away newspapers and produces waste. 

Every department has waste; it is unreasonable to expect the student newspaper will not produce waste. It is unclear how the SFAC expects a print newspaper to produce no waste without moving entirely online. The Dixie Sun News benefits both its student reporters and uninvolved students on campus by being more than an online-only platform:

  • Not all students have access to laptops or smart phones.
  • Print newspapers offer more exposure to information and allow students to discover differing opinions.
  • The Dixie Sun News is the only long-standing print publication left that records the history of the university.
  • Print papers allow for reporters to be held accountable for inaccuracies. 

Just because newspapers get thrown away does not mean they are being wasted. We have heard from multiple students that they pick up a newspaper in one stand and put it back in another. It is unreasonable to assume tracking papers is straight forward when a great number of papers are migrating on and off campus.

Although printing is the biggest cost, funds are spent on a number of other avenues. Student scholarships, broadcast and news editing equipment, and other costs could be better helped with the $0.25 that the SFAC wants to take away.

Cutting our funds also affects advertising. There are limited grants available for already-established student news organizations, as well, limited sources of external funding. This also impedes on our ability to go to conferences, update our computers, and continue to offer other vital learning accessories.

The Dixie Sun News is currently one of the departments on campus receiving the lowest amounts of student fees. To the best of our knowledge, the Dixie Sun News is the only department receiving a fee decrease. This is not okay.

Don’t cut the Dixie Sun News' fees. Don’t take this cut to the Truth in Tuition meeting on March 5. As for students and faculty members, contact members on the SFAC committee, and tell the committee you do not think this is right. There is still time to reverse this wrong.

What would you pay for free speech?