Just a month into the academic year, CSU Dominguez Hills journalism students were outraged as the university decided to cut its student newspaper, the Bulletin, after the fall semester. But now, since CSUDH President James E. Lyons has agreed to put up funds to keep the Bulletin afloat for the spring semester, students aren’t sure whether to be angry or to rejoice.
In October, after Bulletin adviser and editor Cathy Risling approached the Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Garry Hart about a salary issue concerning a journalist-in-residence working as a consultant under contract, Hart told Risling that the cost of the campus newspaper was too much for the college to bear.
According to an October press release, the annual cost of producing the Bulletin was $75,000, which covers 14 issues of the paper throughout the academic year and the salaries of four staff and faculty members, including Risling’s salary. Unlike Cal Poly’s Mustang Daily, the school does not have paid student positions. About $7,000 of that amount is usually provided by the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) as part of an Instructionally Related Activities grant given to the newspaper each year.
But Risling said in an interview last month that the Bulletin doesn’t just take money away from the school. In fact, Risling said advertisements in the Bulletin generally cover the costs of delivery, the computers in the newsroom, office supplies, the ad sales positions and even supplies for the communications department.
In response to the prospect of losing the student newspaper, Bulletin staff writer Heather Schulte said she and the 10 other staff writers on the Bulletin began a petition in October to fight for the life of the paper.
“The whole campus will suffer because it’s the main source of information for the students,” Schulte said in an interview in October. “And losing the paper will have a great effect on future students. Students that can’t take the class won’t have clips for their portfolio.”
Whether the petitions helped or not isn’t clear, but the Bulletin reported that Lyons “would take about $40,000 – from the travel and operations budget of the President’s Office.” In addition, the Bulletin reported that CSUDH ASI president Rex Richardson “tentatively” agreed to provide funds to assist in production of the newspaper next semester.
“The president said he would come up with funding next semester, but the dean (Hart) has not been told or the chair (Richard W. Turner),” Risling said in an interview yesterday.
Though the Bulletin reporting class is scheduled for next semester, Risling said nothing is official.