Apr 102008
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge

Jeff Browne, the director of Student Media, presented his final proposal for changes to the Collegian’s relationship to CSU, which includes the paper becoming a non-profit organization under a state-independent publishing board, to the paper’s advisory committee Thursday night.

If the committee approves the proposal, the biggest change would be that the university would no longer be liable for editorial content in the student publication, which came under close scrutiny last semester over a controversial four-word editorial that made a profane reference to President George W. Bush.

The proposal comes two months after President Larry Penley held a closed-door meeting to discuss a possible sale of the Collegian to media giant Gannett.

The new structure calls for the rest of Student Media, including KCSU, CTV and College Avenue, to follow the Collegian away from status as an entity under state supervision.

Currently, Student Media is overseen by the seven-student, three-faculty member Board of Student Communications. Under Browne’s proposal, the new publishing board would not contain any state employees.

The Collegian Advisory Committee raised concerns about the rest of Student Media following the paper, including their operating relationship.

“It’s one of the tricky things where you’re trying to see the future,” said Anne Hudgens, the executive director of Student Affairs.

She said it was important to research other schools that have similar structure for their student media departments,

But Christina Dickinson, the station manager at KCSU, said she wants the department to stay together because the different media might not work as well together under different authority.

“I feel that Student Media should stay together as a whole,” she said. “There’s no guarantee down the line that we would have a cohesive representation of Student Media.”

Browne’s proposal also addresses numerous concerns of the committee, including a mission statement, organizational structure, financial transition and student salaries.

Currently, the paper operates completely from advertising dollars raised by student advertisers, not from student fees, but the money goes through CSU financial services. If the new structure is approved, a myriad financial concerns would need to be addressed to separate funds from the university system.

Under Browne’s proposal, CTV and KCSU would still receive student fees.

News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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