Jan 232008
Authors: Erik Myers

The issue of independent student media was the hot topic of discussion among the Associated Students of CSU during their meeting Wednesday evening.

Senators discussed Resolution 3726, titled “Endorsement of Independent Student Media.” The resolution, written by senators Byron Moore, Sara Goldman and Sage Morris-Greene, addressed the recent revelation of media conglomerate Gannett’s interest in acquiring the Collegian, dismissing President Larry Penley’s decision to exclude a student media representative as “inappropriate,” and stated that “the intentions of a corporate-run newspaper do not always align with the best interests of the students.”

Goldman, an Intra University senator, said she and her co-authors were quick to respond to Tuesday’s incident, writing up the resolution that same afternoon.

“When I heard about this, I got really fired up,” Goldman said. “I wanted to take a kind of front-running role with that.”

Discussion opened with a question-and-answer session with Collegian Editor-in-Chief J. David McSwane, who spoke of his fear of a media conglomerate taking over an independent student newspaper.

“They are a bottom-line company,” McSwane said. “They’ve been trying to get to the college audience for a long time, something that the Collegian has taken to for the past 117 years.”

When introducing the resolution, Moore, a senator for the liberal arts, encouraged senators to think of what they considered Student Media to be.

“If we value Student Media as a brand, we’d make a lot of money by selling it,” Moore said. “But if we value it as something more, we should think about the ramifications of submitting it to corporate media.”

While many senators expressed support for Student Media, many were concerned that ASCSU would be acting too early in approving the resolution.

Ben Schrader, chief of staff, said the senate needed to hear what Gannett had to propose.

“Until we know more, we can’t make an informed decision,” Schrader said. “The most important thing here is that we need to figure out what’s best for the students, not what’s best for the Collegian.”

Morris-Greene said she agreed that discussion was needed, but that having the resolution sit in committee would be essential when dealing with CSU administration.

“Penley has a history of not notifying us,” Morris-Greene said. “The bill has to be sitting in a committee, so we can discuss it there and not take up time talking about it in here in case Gannett were to make an offer.”

With preliminary discussion completed, the resolution will now enter a committee for retooling and then be brought before the senate for a vote.

“We basically sit down with that legislation, work through it, edit it, figuring what wording we want to use,” Goldman said.

News Editor Erik Myers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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