Online survey leads University of Redlands to cut student newspaper budget

CALIFORNIA — The Bulldog,the University of Redlands student newspaper in Redlands, Calif., received astifling bite to its funding, knocking its $39,000 budget to $10,000.

The Bulldog is supported by student funds from the College of Artsand Sciences allocated by the Association of Students. Before the spring 2008semester ended the Association of Students President Megan MacNee, a senior atthe private university, decided the paper’s budget would be decreased. Toarrive at her decision, MacNee used online surveys sent to every College of Artsand Sciences student via e-mail to get the students’ opinions on thepaper.

“Whether students support this (The Bulldog) or not is areoccurring problem,” MacNee said.

MacNee said that some students were unhappy with certain articlespublished, but she declined to identify which articles were called intoquestion.

“More than anything it wasn’t meeting students interest,” said MacNee. “It wasn’t reaching the average student.”

Of the University of Redlands College of Arts and Sciences’ 2,323 students,120 responded to the survey. However, MacNee said the amount of responsesreceived normally relies on students’ interest of the topic.

A week after the Association of Students received the survey results, aresolution to cut The Bulldog’s funding was met by the senate andcabinet, and varying levels of school officials, said MacNee.

The Bulldog weekly does still exist, it just has a reducedbudget,” she said.

With the cuts, the staff would be able to publish a newspaper for theentire semester. However, student reporters should not expect to get paid, saidAlisa Slaughter, assistant* professor of creative writing at UR.

“The paper was in need of repair,” she said.

Although Slaughter perceives MacNee’s reasons for the budget cut aswell thought out, she did not entirely agree with the survey’scontent.

“Not a lot of students responded,” she said. “The surveywas poorly worded.”

Jessica Morey-Collins an upcoming junior is considered by MacNee to be theunofficial editor in chief.

Morey-Collins had worked for The Bulldog in the past in an editorialposition.

She said while she approved of the survey sent to students, she would haveliked to see more of a reply.

The Bulldog’s $29,000 budget cut inevitably will affectproduction and wages, but Morey-Collins hopes to begin publishing within thenext three weeks even though some staff positions once paid, will have to gounpaid.

She hopes to start as a bi-weekly and then transition back into a weeklypaper. The Bulldog has not been published since classes started Sept.2.

CORRECTION, 9/18: An earlier version of this article said Slaughter was an “associate” professor at the University of Redlands. The SPLC regrets the error. Return to story