Hello, Carillon readers.
You may have noticed, in the motions published underneath the Declass last issue and on posters all across campus, that the Carillon has submitted a motion requesting a fee increase.
The last time we asked for an increase in funding, students had a lot of concerns. We lacked a viable online presence. We seemed to be printing more papers than we could distribute. Students wondered if there were ways we could cut costs.
And we listened.
This year, the Carillon has moved its website to a separate domain, carillonregina.com, and in addition to re-designing it we’ve worked to fill it with additional content, including podcasts, blogs, and online-exclusive multimedia stories. Students wanted news delivered in a new format, complementary to the paper, and we’ve worked to provide that.
We’ve taken a hard look at distribution on campus and pared down our printing to try and reflect the papers being distributed. Where in previous years distribution would leave us with stacks of papers cluttering up the office, the leftover papers from the current volume are less than a bundle per issue, meaning our costs for printing aren’t exceeding the demand.
And we’ve worked hard to streamline our work process. We’ve worked hard to ensure that we meet the deadline set by our printer, avoiding late fees and additional costs incurred as a result, while simultaneously making sure that our hired staff are truly earning their pay. You can see this in the content that we put out on a weekly basis, but you can see this in other ways, too – take a look inside businesses on Kramer Boulevard or the Scarth Street mall, and you’ll find copies of the Carillon there, delivered by our distribution manager. That way, your news reaches the wider Regina community.
We’ve also tried to find ways to increase revenue, including taking a hard look at our advertising policies. We’re currently working on solutions to increase revenue from our website, including a plan to offer advertising packages that combine print and online ads.
We’ve accomplished a lot, and we’re extraordinarily grateful to our readership as a result. You’ve given the staff indications of how to better serve the diverse needs of the students, staff, and community of the University of Regina, and we’ve responded by trying even harder to fulfill those needs. You’re our readership, and we’re meant to be your voice. We take this job seriously.
And that’s why we’re bringing this motion to you. Despite the effort to reduce our overhead, we still have costs to meet and bills to pay. And those costs have only gone up since the last time the Carillon’s student fees were increased, while revenues have effectively remained the same. As well, our student fees are well below average fees for other student newspapers across the country. You can see this information on the bottom of this page.
There’s nothing particularly sexy that we need to spend this money on – we just need it to continue operating. But we do need it, especially if we’re to not only provide the calibre of paper that we currently provide but also if we expect to provide an even better one in the future. We’re not a profit-driven enterprise; money that students invest in us will be spent on making this paper happen.
And with what I’ve heard from you this year, that’s important to you. Readers and staff alike joke about flipping to the Declass first thing every issue, to find out who’s talking shit about whom this week. We don’t blame anyone who does that, either – it’s fun to watch people bicker and debate and dis each other, whether it’s playful or crazy harsh.
But more and more, watching people pick up the paper, I’ve been observing some different behaviour. I’ve watched students and staff sit down with issues and, rather than flip them over, flip them open. I’ve watched people take up our paper and instantly start reading it. Papers across campus, from the ones left on benches to the ones left in restrooms, are open to articles that their readers found interesting.
I can’t tell you how rewarding that is, but I can tell you that it sends me a clear message: that you’re interested. That you’re engaged. That you, like us, find the idea of an independent, student-run, student-owned newspaper to be something of extraordinary value to this campus.
At noon in the Lazy Owl on Thursday, Feb. 10, we’re asking you to help us continue bringing you the paper you appreciate. And we’re confident that you’ll vote “yes.”