Budget cuts affect campus media drastically; entertainment thrives
March 8, 2007
On Tuesday I had the honor of sitting in on one of the most frustrating meetings I have ever experienced.
Representing the Student Voice along with our business manager and faculty advisor, I joined students from WRFW, Focus (television) and Prologue (literary magazine) at the Campus Media Committee (CMC) meeting to discuss the most recent disappointing numbers that we were given as our budget from the Leadership Programming and Development Board (LDPB).
I understand that as students increase on campus, the number of student organizations is bound to go up as well.
However, when groups like SEAC receive an astronomical increase from last year’s allocation, it affects other groups negatively across the board. I may be biased, but in only two years, the overall budget allocated to CMC has decreased by 20 percent.
The group sat for over an hour arguing over pennies and who should give up various parts of their budget. I argued that printing costs were set in stone and were more important that anything else, while Focus argued that they were desperate for a new set. Neither argument is less valid than the other, but when budgets are cut dramatically from year to year, every penny is worth fighting for tooth and nail.
As members of the media working for the student body, it is difficult to give up funds and sacrifice not only the amount of news, sports and entertainment pieces we offer, but also the quality of our publications. In the end, each area of CMC sacrificed a significant part of their budget as well as the overall quality of the paper, radio, TV and literary publication.
It may seem important to allot more funds to an organization in order to bring in bigger and better entertainment, but that entertainment won’t even get publicized because there won’t be space in a shrunken newspaper or time on the radio.
What made me the most angry is hearing the speculation that SEAC asked for more money than it needed because it knew it would have to give up a large percentage of their budget to other organizations.
I have no idea whether this is true or not, but just the fact that a student organization would do that in order to “benefit the students” is unfair and disgusting.
That may benefit the student body in one way, but it hurts the students in other areas. Hopefully next year the old adage “quality, not quantity” will not be forgotten when students are disappointed that a specific event isn’t covered or a hockey game isn’t broadcasted.