As of Monday, the Student Budget Committee (SBC) has collected $4,000 through their reassumption process, during which the SBC reclaimed unused money from student groups, and was able to dispense money to several student publications that were initially denied funding. Historical Narratives, The Argus Magazine, VOID Magazine, and After Hours were granted funding for printing, while Hermes rejected an offer for additional funding, Unlocked did not respond, and Ostranenie’s request was denied.
The SBC initially denied funding requests from these publications after running out of money during the final SBC meeting of the semester, leaving them without enough money for printing costs. After the reassumption process, Chair of the SBC Cameron Couch ’13 sent out emails to the staff of the publications outlining the funding they would receive. Historical Narratives was given $1,350, The Argus Magazine was given $800, VOID Magazine was given $500, and After Hours was given $281.
Co-Editor-in-Chief of Historical Narratives Charlotte Robertson ’12 said she was pleased the SBC was eventually able to fund these magazines.
“[Historical Narratives] did receive funding, and I appreciate the SBC’s effort to requisition funds for the publications and other groups that did suffer from this unfortunate funding dilemma,” she wrote in an email to The Argus. “Needless to say, I wholeheartedly support reform measures to avoid situations like this in the future.”
Couch said that the SBC denied Ostranenie’s funding request because it totaled more than the combined amount of all of the other publications’ requests.
“Ostranenie’s request, when they met with us during our final meeting, was $5,600, and that was more than every other publication’s request combined,” Couch said. “Given that we only had $4,000 to give to every student group, the way that I was looking at it was that you could give $4,000 to one group or you could give the amount that every group needs and have all of them funded and have one group that doesn’t get funded. I feel that we funded as many publications with what we had as we could.”
According to Ostranenie editor John Schmidt ’13, Ostranenie requested a larger amount this semester than they normally ask for.
“We were planning on putting out our spring color issue, which is always substantially more expensive with an offset printer,” he wrote in an email to The Argus. “Second, Ostranenie has been committed in recent semesters to experimenting with the form of the book, and I hoped to secure the money to allow for this experimentation going forward. Finally—and most importantly—I was asking for approximately $350 in order to reimburse members of the magazine who had paid out of their own pocket last semester due to SBC underfunding.”
Schmidt said that since they did not receive funding from the SBC, they are considering guerilla-printing selected pieces using on-campus printers with the money they received from academic departments. Couch said he would contact Ostranenie to see if they would be able to benefit from a smaller amount of funding.
“I’m going to try reaching out [to Ostranenie] to see if there’s a number they would feel comfortable publishing their magazine with,” he said.
Schmidt said that, though the magazine plans to submit a request earlier next year, the group hopes the SBC will institute reforms so that this funding shortage does not occur again.
“[There should be] a separate process for student publications,” he wrote. “[There should be] clearer justification for the SBC’s decisions—including why projects are partially funded or rejected, [and] a way to see how much money the SBC has left at a given point in time so we don’t end up with a situation where almost every student group on campus is rushing to get funding at once.”
Couch said that suggestions that the SBC set aside funding for student publications would create a difficult situation for other student groups.
“I think that setting aside money at the beginning of the year kind of makes for an awkward relationship between the SBC and other groups,” he said. “It [wrongly] assumes that we’re willing to fund some large publications just based on their historical standing, but that we won’t be willing to fund other publications.”