The Daily Campus requested a fee increase from the University of Connecticut this semester, fearing that without one, the school paper will go into debt by 2025.
The student-led newspaper receives money from the university to continue running through student fees.
“Every student has a charge on their fee bill each semester called an activity fee. Out of that total charge, 10 of those dollars goes to the Daily Campus. It’s been that way since 2013,” the DC Business Manager Zachary Wisnefsky said.
Today Wisnefsky and the DC Editor-In-Chief Harrison Raskin will present their plea for a fee increase to the UConn Student Activity and Service Fee Advisory Committee, which can approve or disapprove their request.
“We are asking for an increase of $6 per student, per semester. Meaning we would get $32 per year from every student,” Wisnefsky said. “We may not get all that we are asking for however, the committee could give us less than asking.”
Raskin, who is now a senior, joined the DC in his freshman year. After various positions, he has remained the editor-in-chief since last May. He expressed the DC’s urgent need for a fee increase.
“This is the first time in many years that we have had to ask the university for a fee increase. We’ve had the same fee for 10 years,” Raskin said.
With inflation occurring and minimum wages rising each year in Connecticut, the paper cannot continue to run only receiving $20 a year from each student, Wisnefsky said.
“Since 2013 prices have gone up to run the paper. Inflation has affected us. Printing costs are also increasing,” Wisnefsky stated.
The financial situation of the DC is currently dire. Raskin explained how halting of some typical aspects of the paper due to COVID-19 was the only thing saving the DC from being in debt sooner.
“Because we did not print from March 2020 to September 2021 we’ve had left over money to hold us over. Had it not been for that we would already be in debt,” Raskin said.
The DC prides themselves on paying student staff for their work, Raskin explained. It is an area they do not mind spending money on, but in order to continue to pay students abiding by Connecticut’s rising minimum wage, they need more money.
“We are asking for fee increases because we believe if the DC were to have to make cuts in student wages that the we would see a decline in the quantity and quality of the services we provide to UConn,” Raskin said.
Wisnefsky also highlighted the uniqueness of the DC being printed every Monday through Friday. In order to continue doing that, they need the fee increase.
“Having a daily printed paper is something that not many colleges offer. It is a rare thing in this modern world, which may have to go away if we don’t receive more funds,” Wisnefsky said.
The DC has obtained over 200 student signatures and are hopeful that their presentation today will go well, Wisnefsky said. Beyond that, he explained how students in support of the DC’s fee increase can help.
“Later this semester there will be an election for USG members,” Wisnefsky said. “At the bottom of that election there will be a question about support over the Daily Campus fee increase, so if you are in favor of it, students can vote yes.”