CSU newspaper could be shut down

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The California State University Dominguez Hills campus newspaper, The Bulletin, could be shut down by the end of the Fall 2005 semester due to funding problems.

Announcement of the possible end of the student newspaper came in mid-October.

If the paper shuts down in December, CSUDH would be the only CSU without a student newspaper unless CSUDH President James Lyons can find a solution to the funding issues.

Students can only “wait and see what happens,” said Garry Hart, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts at CSUDH. A final announcement will be made before the newspaper’s Dec. 7 issue is published.

Hart said many students, faculty and staff are hopeful that Lyons will find a solution because of the importance of the newspaper and because the class linked to the paper is on the academic schedule next semester.

Hart said Lyons was quoted in recent meetings saying he will not let the newspaper be shut down while he is president, and is doing his best to keep the paper running.

The annual cost to fund the newspaper is about $75,000, Hart said, including printing and staff salaries. Advertising revenue goes to supplies for the school’s communications department and salary for the newspaper’s business manager.

The Bulletin’s advertising revenue for the Spring 2005 semester was $8,000, according to Cathy Rislingi, Bulletin adviser. According to Rislingi, Lyons said the university would not fund the Bulletin because the cost of running the newspaper is a financial obligation for one area of the school only. Rislingi said the university believes the newspaper should be the responsibility of the whole university, not just one college.

Officials at CSUDH plan on using the extra money that would have gone to the newspaper for additional classes in the communications field that students have a hard time of getting into, Hart said. Having extra classes will benefit many students and get them through the curriculum faster to graduate, he said.

Associate professor Rich Turner, who teaches a news writing class, said he could not imagine a university like CSU DH without a newspaper.

“Every school I have been to, there has always been a newspaper,” Turner said. “I can’t think of an institution that has no paper.”

Some students, including those who work on the newspaper, expressed the same disbelief as Turner, Rislingi said.

“It’s a joke,” said Heather Schulte, junior communications major at CSUDH and Bulletin staff writer. “We can’t be the only CSU without a paper. It’s sad and pathetic.”

Staff writers organized a signature petition to try and save the paper, Rislingi said. Students also received support from other CSUs and several daily newspapers, Schulte said.

Schulte said a university without a newspaper will not reflect a good image because there is no voice to represent the students, which she said could discourage some students from attending the university.

“We want the paper here not for us, but the future students that are coming after us,” Schulte said.

Several ideas are currently being discussed to solve the problem, such as trying to increasing advertising, Hart said.

The presence of a newspaper at a university is essential in many ways, Turner said.

“It is a way for students on campus to find information and to keep them informed about the community,” Turner said. “It binds communities together.”

He said professors and students fear that taking away the paper will take away a good learning process for communication majors at CSUDH.

“Take away the paper and the students have no place to practice their craft,” Turner said.

“It is a sense of pride when you have a paper,” said Fannette Davis, CSUDH junior communications major and Bulletin staff writer. “The paper represents you and it also represents the image of the school.”

Oscar Areliz can be reached at oscar.areliz@csun.edu.