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UConn students should support The Daily Campus newspaper

Published: Monday, March 5, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 10:03

 

A campus' student-run news source is an invaluable resource—a bias, I will admit from the onset, having manned the helm of The Good Five Cent Cigar for the past two years and having been a part of its news and editing staff from the onset of my college career. It is a place for student journalists and writers to come together and get practical experience for the field they plan on entering, an opportunity to try and fail, to succeed immeasurably and to gain the news clips and experience that bolster a resume. It is a place that staff alumni come back to again and again as the start of their most lasting friendships and best memories of creaky office chairs and chatter around the newsroom.

Most importantly, it is a source for students to have their voices heard. Student newspapers write for the student body in every sense—not only are students their main audience, but they are the primary concern. A campus newspaper is mouthpiece for the student body, a news source that investigates their concerns, highlights their success and is there for them to share their thoughts and opinions. It is a crucial outlet for students and a staple of campus life.

Recently, the student campus paper at the University of Connecticut, The Daily Campus, has been dealing with the dire economic situation that has impacted newspapers, including student-run publications, across the country. Without an increase in student funding aid, a paper that has been publishing for more than 100 years for a huge public university community will cease to exist in just a few years.

The Daily Campus editor-in-chief Melanie Deziel's experience and financial issues, detailed in her piece on the Huffington Post, "SOS: Save Our Student Newspaper," was something that I could relate with. I've been in the same position she is in, taking pride in the student work she helps to publish and setting aside her responsibilities as a student for her responsibilities as an editor. I've also seen the Cigar weather the same experiences of inflation matched with economically-driven decreases in advertising revenue. It is something we have struggled with in the past several years, but we have been lucky enough to have had the support of the Student Senate, along with faculty and alumni, who have always been supportive of our mission statement.

It is time for the University of Connecticut community to step up and help it's student news source. The Cigar has helped shape my own experience in college and I imagine the same can be said for every staff member at The Daily Campus. More importantly, however, is the student body who the newspaper represents. Do not let the UConn students be voiceless—the campus daily newspaper must be saved so that future students can get the same quality news coverage about what matters most to them.

URI students should keep abreast of the issues going on at UConn and keep an eye on the issues going on at our own campus—funding, tuition rates and student rights transcend individual campuses. Be informed, because we'll keep writing—hopefully, The Daily Campus will, too.

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