Staff Editorital, Week 1: New Year, new challenges

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As the new semester and year begin, the Daily Sundial also resumes its duties. In honor of this new beginning, our staff has resolved to provide our readers with more significant and in-depth information on the CSUN community, California State University system, California and the Nation.

We enter 2009 in an interesting if not difficult time. The United States is embroiled in two wars, a rapidly growing economic crisis and the beginning of a new presidential administration promising sweeping changes.

The State of California, like the U.S. at large, is grappling with growing unemployment, layoffs and staggering financial troubles. California faces a $42 billion budget deficit, a shortage that directly affects the CSU system.’

CSUN employees, staff and students will no doubt face many challenges in the coming months as this lack of funds creates new and unexpected obstacles. As for the foreseeable consequences, the CSU Chancellor’s office has implemented a number of mandatory measures meant to help lower costs.

These include, employee travel restrictions, cancelling all non-essential equipment and supply purchases, as well as instituting hiring and salary restrictions. First, a general hiring freeze on all positions except for those that are vital to the university and then a salary freeze for all vice presidents and higher-level administrators.

The Chancellor’s Office has also ordered that all campuses halt construction funded by state revenue bonds, namely the Valley Performing Arts Center and Chaparral Hall at CSUN.

Prior to the Chancellor’s cutbacks, university officials announced during fall 2008 that CSUN was ‘impacted’ and that the campus would be restricting the number of students admitted during the fall 2009 semester. While this may not directly affect us this spring, this means that the university could potentially turn away 10,000 students come August.

On top of all this, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has also proposed dramatically limiting Cal Grants. This would absolve the state from providing aid to qualified students just as the CSU prepares to increase fees by 10 percent in order to deal with the diminishing state budget.

With the numerous challenges and changes we face in this new year, we at the Daily Sundial will continue to do our best to provide you with the latest and most vital information. To borrow a well-used political catchword, ‘change’ is all around us. Good or bad, it is constant.

In light of this, the Daily Sundial has embraced change both physically and philosophically. In an attempt to evolve and remain relevant in the ever-changing news environment, we are adopting new means of bringing our readers information.

Aside from altering our print design and layout, we will continue to emphasize and increase our online presence. Stressing the interconnectivity of print, web and multimedia news, we hope to take advantage of media convergence to provide our reporters and readers with the tools and information they need to participate in this complicated and remarkable social, political and economic climate.