Editorial: Students suffer from loss of their paper

In Editorials, Opinion

Statewide budget cuts are impacting life for students and teachers alike across the board in the California State University system. The decision of what to cut out of the budget and what to keep is a difficult one for administrators at any school.

Less than a month ago, the administration of CSUDH decided to cut the journalism class that supported the student newspaper, The Bulletin, thus closing the doors of the campus’ only student-run publication, but this is not the first time The Bulletin has been shut down.

The Bulletin has had its funding cut, only to be reinstated through the efforts of the CSUDH president, along with help from the school’s Associated Students, Inc.

This time, however, its demise was conducted quietly and at the last minute, only a few weeks prior to the campus reopening for the fall semester, after students had already registered for the class.

As for other colleges, the shutdown of student papers has not been so hush-hush.

Most have been for discretionary reasons, others have been late on their bills to printers.

Few have been shut down strictly for budgetary reasons.

The Good Drip

College of the Canyons decided to cut the Canyon Call after the adviser to the paper retired last spring.

College of the Canyons decided to trim the course from this semester’s curriculum and has not yet sought a replacement adviser.

They are planning to bring the paper back eventually, but online only, according to Jay Seidel, President of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.

Cerritos College administrators attempted to halt the printing of the student paper recently, but were met by a hailstorm of dissent from inside and outside defendants of the paper, including Cal State Fullerton Professor Genelle Belmas and the JACC.

Cerritos College wanted to move online only to save costs; however, the printed paper has been saved for at least this semester.

Grumblings of shut downs have reverberated from San Diego Mesa College and Los Angeles Harbor College as well, but for now, the Mesa Press and Harbor Tides will continue to print.

Thus far, there has been no official statement from the campus, or any information regarding the closing of the paper available on the CSUDH Web site.

It is true that California and state-run schools are hurting financially, but should the voice of the students be one of the first things to get cut in order to save money?

A student newspaper doesn’t just provide an outlet for students to disseminate information, voice opinions and ideas outside the classroom or student government, it also provides a foil to bad ideas or a platform for praising a good one, much like how news companies are platforms for praising or criticizing the government.

America was founded on the basis of free speech and letting “the people” make their voices heard.

So what happens when, due to budget cuts, the avenues for free speech are curtailed?

A newspaper is about more than just for opinions and entertainment; it informs students of the issues that affect their daily lives. Especially on commuter campuses like CSUF and CSUDH, this is even more important as it helps knit the student body closer together by sharing bits and pieces of campus life.

A student newspaper, by students and for students, also gives students invaluable training in the practices of reporting and writing, something that cannot necessarily be found in a classroom.

A campus newspaper is as integral to a college campus as any of its other departments.

What happened to CSUDH is unfortunate, but what is worse is the thought that this could only be the beginning of the end. It could be that CSUDH may just be the first campus to have to cut their paper, and many more could be on their way.

We at the Daily Titan sincerely hope not.

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