CSU President Larry Penley received a proposal Monday to transform Student Media – the Collegian, CTV, KCSU and College Avenue – into a non-profit corporation independent of CSU.
There are several positives to this model, under which some of the best student media in the country operate: Namely, Student Media will be 100 percent independent of the university and, conversely, the removal of any real or perceived liability of the university for editorial content within those media. Also, it will remove bureaucratic pressure over these operations promotes good journalism free of corporate bottomlines and state oversight. And that concept itself ensures democracy on a daily basis; at CSU, it means students maintain influence and a voice not granted but earned.
After all is said and done, the CSU administration doesn’t want to be attached to Student Media. Well, we like the idea, too. Both parties can benefit under this model. We hope this is how the president approaches the subject. And we’re not the only ones.
But if Dr. Penley and the Board of the Governors of the CSU system don’t receive and review this proposal in good faith – after a panel of lawyers have vetted it to provide logistics – all parties can lose. And considering this administration’s controversial track record, it’s not easy to give the benefit of doubt.
Dr. Penley and his staff, however, have made legitimate strides since recent blunders to reach out to students, especially after secretly moving to drastically increase tuition last year and after meeting with media giant Gannett to sell the Collegian.
For current and future students’ sake, we hope these efforts are more than empty gestures.